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Supplier Clearinghouse FAQs:

1. How do I find Suppliers that have been verified by the Clearinghouse?

Please reference the California Public Utilities website

2. What business structures can be certified?

Sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and certain non-profit organizations operating in the United States may be certified.  If the business is a start-up, it must be operating and conducting business at the time it applies with the Clearinghouse.

3. Is there any restriction on the size of the business, or the owners’ personal wealth?

No.

4. Does the business need to be located In California to be certified by the Clearinghouse?

No. The Clearinghouse certifies companies located in the United States.

5. Does the business need to be doing business in California?

No. Participating utility companies may operate in and outside of California, and they accept the Clearinghouse certification in those other states.

6. Who are the participating utilities?

A list of the participating utilities is available on the Home page of this web site.

7. How does a company get certified?

Click on "Getting Started" and respond to the preliminary eligibility determination questions.  If you qualify, the system will guide you through the process of completing an online application for certification and submission of all required supporting documentation. Alternatively, you can download the .pdf file, print it out, fill it in, sign the application and have it notarized, mail it with all the required supporting documentation to the address below:

The Supplier Clearinghouse
606 S. Olive St., Suite 1120
Los Angeles, CA 90014

8. What is the advantage of certification?

Certification is not a guarantee to receiving contracts. Certification is one tool that may lead to meeting majority companies in the private sector and government agency's seeking to do business with WMBEs. Upon certification, your company is placed in a database which is accessible by participating utilities. Participating utilities, as do many large businesses and government agency's, have WMBE Initiatives and Programs, which include ‘outreach’ to WMBEs, inclusion of WMBEs in their procurement solicitations, and specific goals for WMBEs. Your certification allows organizations to know they are dealing with genuine WMBEs..

9. How long is the certification process?

Upon receipt of all required documents, the process takes approximately 45 days to 90 days.  Factors that delay the process include:
         1. Which Verification Process the applicant will use;
         2. Missing documents required in the verification process;
         3. Questionable or inconsistent information on the application that may require supplemental documents;
         4. Whether an on-site visit is necessary, or in the case of applicants outside of California, in lieu of an onsite visit, whether a comprehensive telephone interview with the applicant is necessary

10. Is the information on the application made public?

Only general information such as company name, contact person, address, phone number, and services provided are posted on the CPUC’s website.

11. What Supporting Documentation should I be prepared to submit?

S = Sole Proprietorship P = Partnership
C = Corporation SV = Is the Standard Verification application
FT = Fast Track Verification Application CV = Comparable Verification Application
RC = Re-certification    
S P C SV FT CV RC Description of document sought
               
Supplier Clearinghouse Verification Application Form,completed,signed by the authorized owner(s) or officer(s),and notarized.Only the original form will be accepted.Copies will not be accepted.
- - Written authorization for SDB Network personnel to contact Comparable agency directly regarding applicant and supporting to discuss and/or obtain copy of the comparable agency certificate and supporting documentation provided during application process
- - Copy of comparable agency certificate
- - Copy of approval letter from comparable agency
- - Business License and ficitious business name statement.
- - Business card from all owners NOT COPIES and a brochure/portfolio describing company's product or services
Proof of qualifying owner(s) U.S citizenship or legal,permanent U.S resident alien status:(a) copy of certified birth certificate from applicable county, state or federal registrar; or,(b) copy of U.S. passport; or,(c) copy of voter's registration card; or,(d) copy of U.S. military record (Form DD214); or,(e) copy of front and back of INS permanent resident visa card; or,(f) INS certificate of naturalization; or,(g) INS certificate of U.S. citizenship.
- Proof of qualifying owner(s) ethnicity/ minority status. for applicants other than Native Americans, furnish:(a) copy of certified birth certificate from applicable county, state or federal registrar; or,(b) three declarations from recognized minority community organizations;or,(c) copy of parents or grandparents birth certificate.For Native American applicants,furnish:(a) copy of tribal enrollment card; or,(e) letter of Tribal Chairman; or,(f) letter from BIA if reservation is terminated.
- Proof of qualifying owner(s) gender:(a) copy of certified birth certificate from applicable county, state or federal registrar; or, (b) copy of U.S. driver's license; or,(c) copy of U.S. passport **(D1, D2 & D3 may all be satisfied by submitting only one copy of U.S. passport)
- Detailed resume OR work history of all prinicipals and key employee's, summarizing education, training and employment history, with dates, duties and responsibilities.
- - Copy of full lease/rental agreement for main business site or copy of deed and/or purchase loan agreement reflecting ownership of property(s), or if working from home, state so in a letter & give copy of mortgage or property tax bill.
- - Cancelled check or payment receipt for lease/rental or purchaes of business site. For residence, mortgage/tax invoice.
- Business bank account information: copy of bank account signature card, or letter from your bank verifying person(s) authorized to sign checks and the number of signatures required.
- Evidence or personal capital contributions (such as cancelled checks) or an explanation and substanliating evidence of other consideration given to acquire ownership interest in the business (initial investment).
Federal tax returns for the previous 2 years IN FULL: (a)Form 1120, 1120A, or 1120s, include all statements and applicable schedules for Corporations; or, (b) Form 1065 include all statements and applicable schedules for Partnerships or LLCs; or,(c) Form 1040 include entire return including W2 and 1099 statements and all applicable schedules for Sole Proprietors; or,(d) Form 4562 for all businesses (if applicable).
- - On a separate page, list two clients AND two suppliers with whom you have done business in the past twelve months. Include name of client/ supplier, contact person, address, phone number, and nature of relations to applicant firm.
- - - - Partnership agreements and any amendments thereto.
- - - - Profit-sharing agreements (if not incuded in partnership agreement).
- - - - Buyout rights agreements (if not incuded in partnership agreement).
- - - Articles of Incorporation, including doucments issued by Secretary of State.
- - - By-Laws and any amendments thereto pertaining, but not limited to, the following: stock options, stockholder agreements, stockholder voting rights, ownership of voting securities, facts pertaining to values of shares and restrictions on disposal of stock loan agreements.
- - - - Record of first organizational meeting AND subsequent minutes which record any change in ownership and/or control of the corporation (if applicable).
- - - - Copies of all current stock certificates. Include front & back.
- - - - If not a California Corporation,a Copy of Statement of Foreign Corporation Designation,if one has been filed
- - - - Copy of most recent recently filed Statement by Domestic Stock Corporation Designation,if one has been filed
- - - - Most recent annual report,if available

12. What is Comparable Agency Verification (CAV)?

Comparable Agency Verification (CAV) is the verification process whereby an applicant for WMBE certification with the Supplier Clearinghouse may be accepted, if the applicant’s company has WMBE certification in good standing with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and/or the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).  Only the NMSDC and WBENC are accepted as comparable agency's. 
 
                       
The CAV process is more simplified or streamlined than the other verification processes, and in many cases, an applicant applying for WMBE certification from the Clearinghouse is required only to complete the CAV application and include a copy of their CAV certificate.  Acceptance of a CAV is not automatic, and in those instances where there may be doubt regarding the application, the Clearinghouse may request additional documents and/or may conduct a site visit or extensive telephone interview.
                       

Upon approval of the applicant via the CAV process, the Clearinghouse certification expires on the same day as that of the comparable agency certification expiration date.  NOTE:  NMSDC and WBENC certification requirements differ, thus an  applicant certified by the Clearinghouse in certain cases may not be certified by NMSDC or WBENC.  Conversely, in certain cases, an applicant certified by NMSDC or WBENC may not be certified by the Clearinghouse.