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Benefits / Definitions / How to Apply / Verification


  • No Fee

Certification is free of charge. There is no fee to apply or participate in the verification process.

  • Centralized Listing
Qualified applicants are entered in a supplier database accessed by participating utilities throughout the State.
  • Three-Year Term

Certification is usually granted within 45 days of receipt of a successful application, and is valid for three years.


Qualified businesses are certified as women-owned, minority-owned and/or LGBT-owned as defined by General Order 156.

"Women-owned" (section 1.3.2) is a business at least 51% owned by one or more women, and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more women.

"Minority-owned" (section 1.3.3) is a business at least 51% owned by one or more minority individuals, and whose management and daily operations are controlled by one or more minority individuals. Recognized minorities include Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans, among others.

“LGBT-owned” (section 1.3.4) is a business at least 51% owned by a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person or persons and whose management and daily operations are controlled by one or more of those individuals.

How to Apply

If you are interested in certification and believe your company qualifies as a women, minority and/or LGBT-owned business, carefully read our General Information and Application, before submitting a complete, signed and notarized verification application with all required documents to the clearinghouse office.  Reading the Supplier Clearinghouse “Questions and Answers” section will also be helpful.  

Please note: Our program does not accept applications directly.

The clearinghouse also accepts women, minority and/or LGBT business certification from agencies with comparable verification criteria.

If your current clearinghouse certification is expiring, submit a reverification application.

Firms seeking certification as a disabled veteran-owned must contact the Office of Small Business & Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Services (OSDS), a unit of the California Department of General Services.


Upon receipt of a completed application package, the clearinghouse operator examines the material for evidence of diverse status, as well as company ownership, management and control. A site visit is sometimes necessary to make a conclusive determination. Certification is limited to United States citizens or legal aliens.


Last Modified: 7/15/2015

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