What is the California Department of General Services (DGS)?
DGS is the business manager for the state of California, providing procurement and business solutions for state agencies, local agencies, resource partners and external customers. Each year, the state purchases 8 to 10 billion dollars’ worth of goods, information technology, construction projects and professional services. As the business manager for the state, DGS oversees much of this acquisition activity through its regulations, policies and programs.
Getting certified with DGS increases business opportunities
DGS encourages small businesses and businesses owned and operated by disabled veterans to register and become certified to do business with the state. The Small Business (SB) and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) certification programs provide these groups with bidding preference and contracting opportunities. State departments are required to contract 25 percent of their annual spending with certified SBs and 3 percent with certified DVBEs. Getting certified helps SBs and DVBEs compete for state contracts on a more level playing field with larger firms, promoting competition and supporting California’s entrepreneur and veteran communities.
In January 2019, a new SB certification – Small Business for the Purpose of Public Works (SB-PW) – took effect for state public works contracts and projects, supplementing the existing SB certification. The new SB-PW certification expands opportunities to participate in public works projects as a certified small business to firms that are relatively small in the public works arena, but are larger than allowed by the SB certification limits. Under the new SB-PW certification, firms with average gross annual revenues of $15 million to $36 million, or with 100-200 employees, can receive certification as a Small Business for the purpose of public works contracts.
State certification also opens doors to doing business with cities, counties and organizations that have programs requiring them to award some percentage of their business, or give preference, to state-certified SBs and DVBEs. A list of the state’s reciprocity partners can be found at https://www.dgs.ca.gov/PD/Resources/Page-Content/Procurement-Division-Resources-List-Folder/Reciprocity-Partners. For more information about doing business with the state and its certification programs, visit https://caleprocure.ca.gov.
DGS Outreach team champions SB and DVBE businesses
The DGS Outreach team serves the SB and DVBE communities by assisting businesses with certification and access to procurement opportunities through outreach and training. The Outreach team works with diverse groups of business organizations and attends outreach events, participates in interactive panels, exhibits at events, provides workshops on certification and doing business with the state, and provides one-on-one advice to assist suppliers with the state’s procurement process. The mission of DGS’ Outreach team is to help SBs and DVBEs thrive through expanded business opportunities in California.
To find upcoming Outreach events, visit https://www.dgs.ca.gov/PD/Events
To find additional resources on doing business with the state of California, visit