If you are in the construction industry, there’s no better time to pursue a Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) or a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certification. New projects are popping up all over Sarasota and across the United States. Having a WBE or MBE certification can give your bid priority on certain projects, give you access to networking opportunities as well as access to resources for a number of business needs. Getting certified is not easy, but the Sarasota construction attorneys at Trent Cotney P.A. can help.
In the first part of this series, we gave a general overview of the requirements for being a WBE or MBE. We also discussed the benefits of being certified. In this part, we will discuss the process itself.
The Process of Becoming Certified
Assuming that you meet the qualifications, below are the basic steps. It’s important to note that there is no universal body for MBE or WBE certifications. There are a number of public and private, non-profit entities that grant certifications. Who you receive a certification from should be decided based on the type of clients your are trying to attain. If you are bidding on local or state government business, you need to be certified through the appropriate agencies. If you are seeking clients in the private sector, seek certification from organizations like the National Minority Supplier Development Council or the National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC.) A Sarasota construction lawyer can provide guidance in this area.
The following process is used by NWBOC but is applicable to a number of certifying organizations:
- Fill out an application and provide supporting information including:
- Business plan
- Organizational charts
- Income tax returns for you and your company
- Professional and business licenses
- Financial documents, including balance sheets and profit and loss statements
- A review committee will go over your application.
- A committee member will do a site visit and conduct an interview with you.
- The committee meets again to make the final decision.
If you receive certification, it’s good for one year. You will have to reapply the following year, however, the process is not as lengthy.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.