SEBD Program
Tarpan Construction, Cottonport
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Small and Emerging Business Development Program

LED's Small and Emerging Business Development (SEBD) Program provides the managerial and technical assistance training needed to grow and sustain a small business.

  • Provides for developmental assistance, including entrepreneurial training, marketing, computer skills, accounting, business planning, and legal and industry-specific assistance.
  • Consideration for bidding on select products or services purchased by state agencies.
  • SEBD Intermediaries provide a free needs assessment and assistance with accessing other program benefits.


The program is open to all Louisiana small businesses that meet the following eligibility requirements for both the business and the owner. Certification is effective for up to 10 years or until the firm no longer meets the eligibility requirements for the program.

Small and Emerging Business Person
For the purposes of the program, a person who meets all criteria in this section is defined as a Small and Emerging Business Person.

  • Citizenship – The person is a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
  • Louisiana Residency – The person has been a Louisiana resident for at least one year.
  • Net Worth – At least 51 percent of the business is owned and controlled by persons who individually have a net worth of less than $400,000, excluding personal residence, business assets and retirement accounts.
  • Full-Time Employment – Managing owners who claim Small and Emerging Business Person status must be full-time employees of the applicant firm (20 or more hours per week).

Small and Emerging Business
For the purposes of the program, a business that meets all criteria in this section is defined as a Small and Emerging Business.

  • Ownership and Control – At least 51 percent of the company is owned and controlled by one or more Small and Emerging Business Persons.
  • Principal Place of Business – The firm's principal place of business is Louisiana.
  • Lawful Function – The company has been organized for profit to perform a lawful, commercially useful function.
  • Business Net Worth – The business' net worth does not exceed $1.5 million.
  • Job Creation – An applicant firm anticipates creating new full-time jobs.

Program Statutes & Rules: 

All incentive program rules are in the Louisiana Administrative Code maintained by the Office of the State Register.

Getting Started

To benefit from LED's Small and Emerging Business Development Program and its comprehensive approach toward assisting small Louisiana businesses, complete the online application at

For more information on the Small and Emerging Business Development Program, contact:

John W. Matthews
Executive Director, Small Business Services

Next Steps

Online Certification

  • LED will review completed applications within 72 hours of submittal.
  • You will receive an email notification after review that acknowledges your application status.
  • Along with an acceptance notification, approved applicants will receive a certification number, a list of SEBD Intermediaries, and instructions on how to print the SEBD certificate.

Receiving Assistance

  • Now that your business is certified in the SEBD Program, contact the SEBD Intermediary nearest you to schedule a business assessment.
  • Based on the business assessment, the Intermediary will recommend appropriate assistance that is available to help you succeed in growing or sustaining your business.

View the List of SEBD Intermediaries.

Eligibility Scenarios

Q: I meet most of the eligibility requirements, but just moved back to Louisiana 2 months ago after being gone for several years. Am I eligible for the program? 
A: NO. You must be a Louisiana resident for at least one year immediately before you submit your application.

Q: If I own 51% of a business and my business partner owns the other 49%, can I apply using just my personal net worth information? 
A: YES. You would only need to provide information indicating that someone with a personal net worth less than $400,000 owns 51% of the company. However, if you each owned 50%, you would need to provide the personal net worth for both owners.

Q: I founded a nonprofit organization in Louisiana. Would it qualify for the SEBD Program? 
A: No, the SEBD Program is only for companies that are organized for profit (and are performing a lawful, commercially useful function).


Q: How can I get a grant to start my small business? 
A: The SEBD Program is not a grant, and Louisiana Economic Development does not have grants for small businesses. Small businesses can search for federal grants at or

Q: Can I certify more than one company in the SEBD Program? 
A: NO. The SEBD Program is designed to support only one business, by way of the business owner, for managerial and technical assistance training.

Q: Is there a cost to get certified? 
A: NO. Program certification is offered at no charge to the business owner.

Q: I am certified. Now what do I do next? 
A: Certification is the first step. Now you must contact one of our SEBD Intermediaries and schedule an assessment. Following the assessment, the Intermediary will make recommendations for your next step.

Q: Does it matter which Intermediary I go to? 
A: NO. All SEBD Intermediaries have the experience and expertise to guide you through the program. Feel free to contact the one that is most convenient for you.

Q: I am SEBD certified and I just started a large project to update my company website. Can the SEBD Program help pay for that? 
A: NO. Even though the SEBD Program can assist in website enhancements, the program cannot support any ongoing project. All projects must be recommended and submitted by an SEBD Intermediary and approved by LED prior to the project commencing.

Q: My business needs to buy new equipment to continue to grow. Does this program provide assistance to purchase additional equipment? 
A: NO. The Small and Emerging Business Development Program does not provide assistance to purchase hard or fixed assets. The Program is designed to provide for managerial and technical assistance training at reduced costs.

Q: How long does the SEBD certification last? 
A: The SEBD certification is good for 10 years or until the firm no longer qualifies for the program.

Q: Can I re-certify after the 10 years? 
A: NO. The certification is only good for one 10-year period.

Q: How do I log in to see my account after I am certified? 
A: You can visit and log in under the "Previous User" heading using the appropriate username and password.

Q: Where do I find a paper application? 
A: All applications for the SEBD Program must be submitted using our online application process.

Q: Is this a DBE or MBE program? 
A: NO. All Louisiana Economic Development small business programs are race and gender neutral.

Q: How do I get certified as a woman, minority-owned, or disadvantaged business? 
A: Information about these programs can be found at the following sites:

U.S. Small Business Administration Programs
Women’s Business Enterprise Council South
Louisiana's Unified Certification Program

Q: I am already certified in the SEBD Program and I want to show proof to a potential client, but I misplaced my certificate. Can I get another certificate? 
A: Yes. Please follow the directions below.

  • Connect to Louisiana Economic Development's small business portal at
  • Type in your username and password under the "Previous User Login" heading. (If you forgot your password, follow the appropriate link under "Previous User Login").
  • After logging in, you will be given the option to view your certification letter under the button titled "Certificates and Documents."
  • Click on "View SEBD Certification Letter."
  • You should now see the SEBD certificate and can print as needed.