(1) A business may apply to the director for certification as a qualified small business. The application shall be in the form and be made under the procedures specified by the director.
(2) Within thirty days after receiving an application for certification under this section, the director shall certify the business as satisfying the conditions required of a qualified small business, request additional information, or deny the application. If the director requests additional information, the director shall certify the business or deny the application within thirty days after receiving the additional information. If the director neither certifies the business nor denies the application within thirty days after receiving the original application or within thirty days after receiving the additional information requested, whichever is later, then the application is deemed approved if the business meets the qualifications in subsection (3) of this section. A business that applies for certification and is denied may reapply.
(3) To be certified, a business shall:
(a) Have its headquarters in Nebraska;
(b) Have at least fifty-one percent of its employees employed in Nebraska and have at least fifty-one percent of its total payroll paid or incurred in Nebraska;
(c) Be engaged in, or committed to engage in, innovation in Nebraska in one or more of the following activities as its primary business activity:
(i) Using proprietary technology to add value to a product, process, or service in a qualified high-technology field; or
(ii) Researching, developing, or producing a proprietary product, process, or service in a qualified high-technology field;
(d) Except for activities listed in subdivision (3)(c) of this section, not be engaged in political consulting, leisure, hospitality, or professional services provided by attorneys, accountants, physicians, or health care consultants; and
(e) Have twenty-five or fewer employees at the time the qualified investment is made.
(4) In order for a qualified investment in a qualified small business to be eligible for tax credits, the business shall have applied for and received certification for the calendar year in which the qualified investment was made prior to the date on which the qualified investment was made.