Business | weeks of time well-spent filling out forms

Slide1 copyI have restarted my primary business, Resource Catalysts (R|CAT) – an environmental and energy consulting practice, where I also am including behavior design, Tiny Habits® coaching, and applied improv services for environmental health & safety practices, professional development, diversity awareness, and leadership.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have spent time with R|CAT business administration and outreach, where “busy” includes the filling out forms, and creating, finding, or compiling attachments – many attachments.

About this post. This post shares the bulk of what I have done over the past couple of weeks, with links to R|CAT filling-out-forms activities, a not-so-trivial endeavor, as I had anticipated. In short, here are R|CAT’s blog posts since late October –

Several former clients have asked R|CAT to engage in Master Services Consulting Agreements or subcontracting agreements. One of the contractual requirements, liability insurance, is required before beginning consulting work. And for some, having a supplier diversity business certification (e.g., small, woman-owned, minority-owned, etc.) contributes to organizations’ procurement goals. While not mandatory for contracting, there are several benefits to securing these certifications.

Liability Insurance – Environmental and Professional

RCAT Insurance App SubmissionStarting off the process of filling-out-forms – insurance. The main form and required attachments were submitted Tues, November 17, to one insurance broker, to begin securing quotes for insurance premiums. Document attachments required for this broker’s application form, based on R|CAT’s business status (e.g., new, no recent income history) included the following:

    • Career History (1-page)
    • Statement of Qualifications, SOQs (12-pages)
    • Master Services Agreement (MSAs), if Client does not have one (5-pages)
    • Consultant Master Services Agreement (5-pages)

R|CAT’s SOQs and my career history were updated. R|CAT’s agreements are based on templates that consulting colleagues provided as examples.

Within three days of submitting the application to the insurance broker, R|CAT received its first insurance quote of an annual, total premium of $3,080.00 (incl. base premium, surplus lines tax, and brokers fee). For an extra $250.00, Terrorism Premium could be included, thus totaling $3,330.00.

Supplier Diversity – Woman, Minority, Small Business

The next filling-out-forms step? Beginning efforts to secure select supplier diversity certifications available for California business. Information provided by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) was used, summarized by the CPUC in a two-page table (.pdf).


Page 1 of  two-page table from CPUC, Certifications in California (.pdf)


Page 2 of two-page table from CPUC, Certifications in California (.pdf)

Some businesses and agencies have procurement goals to contract a percentage of project work to business enterprises owned by women, minorities, disabled veterans, and LGBTQ, as well as businesses that qualify as micro, small, or disadvantaged businesses. Six certifying entities have been identified, and four of them have no application fee. To date, R|CAT has reviewed (or started) the application process for two certifying entities.

The Supplier Clearinghouse

SuppClear_headerThe Supplier Clearinghouse is a California Public Utilities Commission-supervised certification entity. R|CAT historically held this certification, which has since expired. R|CAT was certified as a woman-, minority-owned business in the mid-2000s. R|CAT started the on-line application process on Thursday, November 12.

Application Forms

R|CAT has posted about beginning the Clearinghouse application process. The process includes completing on-line content, attaching (scanning) documents, and notarizing the application. This starts from creating an on-line account with the Clearinghouse.


The on-line application is an option to the Clearinghouse’s paper application (.pdf). Through this process, R|CAT identified not only SIC codes but also NAICS codes that represent R|CAT business services.


At this time, R|CAT’s application is 65% complete, with the following information yet to be provided:

    • date business established
    • local business license information
    • mandatory documents
      • copy of  U.S. passport (or copy of certified birth certificate) to demonstrate citizenship status, ethnicity/minority status, and gender
      • detailed resume or work history with dates, duties, and responsibilities
      • 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 of personal capital contributions (such as cancelled checks) or an explanation and substantiating evidence of other consideration given to acquire ownership interest in the business (initial investment).
      • most recent federal tax returns IN FULL, for Corporations – Form 1120, 1120A, or 1120S, including all statements and applicable schedules
      • Articles of Incorporation, including documents issued by the Secretary of State
      • By-Laws and any amendments of the Corporation
    • notarized, verification agreement and affidavit of application

deletion dateAfter beginning the on-line application process, the application is deleted from the Clearinghouse system in 90-days, if the application is not submitted and complete. R|CAT’s deadline is February 10, 2016.

Department of General Services

On November 17, R|CAT began reviewing the Department of General Services (DGS) application process, a California-based certification process for its Office of Small Business & Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (OSDS). R|CAT summarized its initial review in a blog post.

DGS - Cal e ProcureOn-Line Application: Cal eProcure

While a paper application (.pdf) is available, in December, an on-line application process for DGS’s small business certification, Cal eProcure, will be available.

R|CAT reviewed the digital (paper) application to determine what additional information (beyond what has been provided for The Supplier Clearinghouse) must be provided for R|CAT’s certification. The following additional information was identified.

    • DGS - Elect Paper AppDun & Bradstreet number
    • California counties where services to be provided
    • business classification code(s) using the UNSPSC, United Nations Standard Products and Services Codes, for which R|CAT now has the full Codeset and has identified possible UNSPSC®
    • describing business in keywords, not more than 255 characters
    • mandatory documents
      • as a new application, official IRS documentation verifying the firm’s Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN)
      • Corporation’s Articles of Incorporation (required if R|CAT previously applied for certification, which requires reviewing R|CAT’s archived files)
      • Corporate Statement of Information as filed with the California Secretary of State (required if R|CAT previously applied for certification, which requires reviewing R|CAT’s archived files)

What have you been doing this past couple of weeks that has been time well spent?