Certification Criteria & Process

Certification is a journey, not a destination.

Don't forget that LGBT Business Enterprise certification fees are waived when you join your local affiliate chamber.


Certification Process

Step 1

  • Visit My.NGLCC.org to start your business profile. Tell us more about you and your business.

Step 2

Step 3

  • Complete a site visit with an NGLCC trained site visitor. The site visitor will corroborate the information in your application and learn more about your business in the process. 

Step 4

  • Complete the National Certification Committee Review. Our National Certification Committee meets monthly and will review your application to certify your business as LGBTBE.
Next Steps

I'm Certified—Now What?

If you are already certified, continue this investment in your business to creates new avenues of access. Certification is the critical first step in the path of strategic marketing, relationship building, and engagement with corporations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Be at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned, operated, managed, and controlled by an LGBTQ person or persons who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

  • Exercise independence from any non-LGBTQ business enterprise
  • Have its principle place of business (headquarters) in the United States
  • Have been formed as a legal entity in the United States

Once your complete application is received by the NGLCC, it will take 60 to 90 days to process. Please note that failure to submit a complete application will result in delays in that processing time and that a site inspection is a mandatory element of the initial certification process. 

Certification as a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® lasts for three years from the date certification is granted.

Yes, an LGBTQ person and a non-LGBTQ person can own a company jointly; however, the LGBTQ person must be the majority owner with at least 51% ownership and must demonstrate that his/her/their management and control of the company, his/her/their contribution of capital and/or expertise, and his/her/their assumption of all profits and risks are commensurate with his/her/their ownership percentage.

All documents are kept under lock and key in NGLCC Headquarters. The NGLCC staff that has access to those documents is limited to those who play an integral role in preparation for Certification Committee meetings and in informing applicants of the status of their application. Any committee members in a competitive industry do not have access to the file, nor are they present during any discussion of your application. All members of the NGLCC staff and the NGLCC Certification Committees sign the NGLCC Confidentiality Agreement.

Site visits are a mandatory element of the initial certification process, in accordance with industry standards. Site visits provide a key perspective into the day-to-day operation of a business. By seeing the facility and asking a set of questions that is complementary to the questions asked in the application, the site visit completes the picture of the business applicant. The site visit plays an essential role in demonstrating the ownership, operation, control, and management of a business and allows the NGLCC to become more familiar with certified businesses. In the event a site visit must be canceled or rescheduled due to scheduling conflicts or a lack of preparation on the part of the applicant business, a fee may be incurred which must be paid by the applicant, otherwise, there is no fee for the site visit. All site visits are scheduled in consultation with the business seeking certification. There are no surprise site visits.

After you receive your certification letter and certificate in the mail, the next step is to register with the NGLCC’s Corporate Partners through the NGLCC website. Registration with each Corporate Partner is slightly different, and it is critical to get your business into the database of each of our Corporate Supplier Diversity Partners. After you are registered, work with NGLCC staff to learn the best ways to reach out to our Corporate Partners through letters, phone calls, and NGLCC matchmaking events. The Supplier Diversity team offers a variety of tools to newly certified LGBTQ business owners, including orientations and other tools for success. Contact the NGLCC SDI Team to begin taking advantage of these resources! 

NGLCC waives the certification fee ($899) and recertification fee ($499) for applicants who submit proof of valid, current membership with their local affiliate chamber of commerce. By joining your local affiliate chamber, you can network with local LGBTQ and allied business owners, have access to local programming and events, and can take advantage of local business opportunities. Become a member of your local affiliate chamber to not only leverage local membership benefits but also take advantage of complimentary national certification. An applicant does not necessarily need to be based locally in order to be a member of an affiliate chamber. Applicants who wish not to join their local affiliate chamber will be prompted to pay a non-refundable certification/ recertification fee when completing the application for certification.

Let's Chat

Still have questions?

Consult the NGLCC Supplier Diversity Initiative Standards and Procedures, or contact the NGLCC SDI Team.