Small business FAQs

How does SMUD define “small business"?

SMUD defers to the California Department of General Services’ definition of a small business:

  1. Independently owned and operated
  2. Not dominant in its field of operation
  3. Principal office located in California
  4. Owners (officers, if a corporation) domiciled in California

For Small Business certification information, online registration or to request a certification packet please visit the DGS website.

Does my headquarters office need to be in SMUD territory?

Yes, your main office must be a SMUD ratepayer and this address must match the physical address on file with the DGS.

What if I am not a SMUD customer but I lease space in SMUD territory?

You may still qualify, but virtual office spaces and leases require additional review. Please reach out to

How do I get certified as a small business through the Department of General Services (DGS)?

Free certification is obtained through the California Department of General Services (DGS). For certification information, online registration or to request a certification packet please visit the DGS website.

How do I let SMUD know I am certified in Ariba as a small business with the DGS?

When you complete or update your profile in Ariba and in our Electronic Bid Solicitation System (EBSS) you will enter your DGS certification number.

Please refer to the Doing business with SMUD overview for information on how to input your DGS number in the new Ariba portal.

Why do I need to register in EBSS and Ariba?

EBSS houses and tracks SEED vendor information and Ariba is where SEED vendors can view and respond to open SMUD contracting opportunities. 

Become a seed vendor

If I am a certified MBE/WBE small business, do I qualify for the SEED program?

To qualify, SMUD requires a California Department of General Services (DGS) small business certification. The SEED program provides incentives to Certified Small Businesses located in SMUD’s ratepayer territory.

How do I find SEED vendors?

If you are interested in working with SEED vendors, you can find them in the following way:

  • Step 1: See the Category List to determine the category for which you are seeking a SEED vendor
  • Step 2: Email a request for SEED vendors in your specified categories to

Will I receive a SEED certification document?

SMUD does not issue a formal certification; your vendor profile will reflect your SEED status as “verified.”

Does my SEED qualification expire?

Yes. Your SEED qualification aligns with your Small Business certification with the DGS. When your DGS certification expires, so will your SEED qualification. If your main office is under a lease agreement, your SEED verification period may be aligned to when your lease expires. To maintain your SEED status, you can send updated lease information to

How do I register as a SEED Vendor?

The instructions below are for registering your business on the SMUD EBSS system.

  1. Go to
  2. Select “Register as a New User”.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “I Agree” or “I Do Not Agree”.
  4. Under “User Information” enter your personal information and your Department of General Services (DGS) Reference Number. If you do not have a DGS reference number and would like to obtain one, please go to
  5. Select "Save".
  6. Your screen will display the message “Registration confirmation. Thank you for registering”.
  7. Select “Click here to log in”.
  8. Log in with your ID and password in the gray banner on the left side of the screen.
  9. Select “Maintain Enrolled Categories/User Info” in the gray banner on the left side of the screen.
  10. Select the "Manage Account" tab and select the proper radio buttons, then select “Save".
  11. Select the tab "Enrolled Categories".
  12. Select “Add/Maintain Categories.” You can select “View all categories” to see all available selections.
  13. Select the "High-Level Category Group" from the drop-down menu and then the "Low-Level Category Group".
  14. You may select as many categories that are applicable to your business by changing the “High” and “Low” level categories. Selecting “Add” after you’ve selected each category is necessary to add each individual category to your profile.
  15. Once you’re done, select “Save”. Once saved, you will receive the message “Categories Saved Successfully”.
  16. Select “Close” on the top of the screen to return to the main menu.
  17. Select “Log Out" in the gray banner on the left side of the screen to close your profile.

Learn how to register to view and respond to new solicitations on Ariba.

How do I register for a workshop or conference?

Visit our small business opportunities page to learn about our special events or visit to register for our upcoming classes and workshops.

How do I provide my goods or services to SMUD’s customers?

Interested in offering your customers rebates? Download the Residential Equipment Efficiency Program Contractor Financing Application.

Why should I get certified?

Only certified small businesses can qualify for the SEED program and participate in Sheltered Market solicitations. Certified Small Businesses are included in the State’s Small Business Vendor Database and may receive invitations to bid from many other local agencies using the State’s database.

Who do I contact for assistance?

How can suppliers/bidders look for sub or prime contractors to work with?

Review our Category List and email identifying which category(s) you are seeking.