Minority and Woman-Owned Businesses
- What is Certification?
- Why should I get certified?
- What is the typical certification process?
- What type of supporting documents are usually required?
- What is the normal processing time for certification?
- If I get certified are there any guarantees I will secure additional business?
- What are the names of some of the major certifications and what can you tell me about them?
- Where do I find more information about certification and the certifying agencies?
Certification is a review process to verify the business is owned, controlled and operated by the applicant or applicants. Certification requires the business be woman-owned or of a socially and economically disadvantaged group. The following groups are presumed disadvantaged: African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans and Subcontinent Asian-Pacific Americans. Certifying agencies are responsible for ensuring only firms meeting the specified eligibility criteria are properly certified.
Many government agencies receiving federal dollars, major corporations, universities, and school systems have implemented Supplier Diversity Programs. These programs establish goals for the company or organization to award a percentage of their business to minority and woman-owned businesses. Certification ensures the business is minority or woman-owned and not a misrepresentation designed to take advantage of the established procurement goals set by the organization.
A business entity submits an application, along with the necessary supporting documentation and a processing fee, if applicable. The application is then reviewed to determine if all required information is included in the application. Once the applicant’s file is complete (meaning all documentation pertinent to the business and legal structure has been received), it will go to the Certification Committee for review. An on-site visit is then scheduled by a trained certification specialist to review the applicant’s business. At the meeting following the site visit, a final recommendation is made regarding the applicant’s eligibility. The applicant is then notified of certification or non-certification.
Documents that provide evidence that the applicant is conducting the business as described as well as verifies the ownership, management, and control by the owner(s) are required. Financial documents, such as the Profit & Loss Statement and Balance Sheet, Bank Signature Card, Tax Returns, Resumes and etc. verify this information. Depending on the certification, documents proving race and ethnicity may also be required.
The processing time is generally 60-90 days once all documentation has been received by the agency.
Certification is meant to help level the playing field for minority and woman-owned businesses. Although there are major corporations and government entities with goals to use minorities and women-owned businesses, there are no guarantees your business will receive additional business if you become certified.
|Certifying Agency||Certification Name||Gender & Ethnicity Requirement||Agencies & Organizations Using the Certification||Annual Gross Receipts Requirements||Personal Net Worth Requirements||Regulated By||Application and Renewal Fee|
|Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC)||Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)||51% or more minority or woman-owned & operated business||Federal Transportation Agencies and Government Agencies Receiving Federal Funds||SBA Industry Standards||Less than $1.32 million excluding the home & business||US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration||None|
|Tri State Minority Supplier Development Council (TSMSDC)||Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)||51% or more minority owned and operated||Private Sector & Some Public Entities||None||None||National Minority Supplier Council||$250 App. Fee
$250 Renewal Fee
|Small Business Administration (SBA)||8(a)||Socially & economically disadvantaged, 51% or more owned and operated||Federal Government||SBA Industry Standards||Less than $250,000 excluding home & business||SBA||None|
|Small Business Administration (SBA)||Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB)||Socially & economically disadvantaged, 51% or more owned and operated||Federal Government||None||Less than $250,000 excluding home & business||SBA||None|
|Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)||Women Business Enterprise (WBE)||51% or more woman-owned & operated business||Private Sector||None||None||Women’s Business Enterprise National Council||$350 App. Fee
$350 Renewal Fee
|KY Minority and Business Certification Enterprise Certification||KY M/WBE Certification||At least 51% or more owned & operated by a minority or woman||The state of Kentucky||SBA Industry Standards||None||The State of Kentucky||None|
The above information is only a sampling of the different agency requirements. You should contact the agency directly to get more information.
|Kentucky Minority and Women Business Enterprise
Certification Program (KY M/WBE Certification)
|Tri State Minority Supplier Development Council (TSMSDC)
|614 W. Main Street, Suite 5500
Louisville, KY 40202
|Small Business Administration (SBA)
(8A & SDB certification)
|Romano L. Mazzoli Federal
600 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pl
Louisville, KY 40202
|Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
|3360 E. Livingston Ave., Suite 3A
Columbus, OH 43227
|Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
|200 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40622