Deciding to pursue minority-owned certification as a woman-owned business is a lengthy and complicated process but don’t be scared. Doing so can allow you to have access to lucrative contracts. Businesses that are certified as minority-owned can take advantage of special government programs, including increased access to government contracting opportunities that can help them grow quicker. That’s why we wanted to share MDOT’s information and MBE/DBE/ACDBE/SBE certification tips in Maryland
1. Get familiar with the certification requirements: ownership, minority status, control, small business size standards and personal net worth thresholds. http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/newMDOT/MBE/Resources_Information/Resources_Info.html
2. Understand that companies are certified by the NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) Codes. Learn which NAICS Codes may apply to your business. http://www.census.gov/naics
3. Submit a completed application and all required supporting documents. MDOT’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE) recommends submitting the Uniform Certification Application. http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/certify Keep in mind that the SBE Program requires a separate application.
4. Although checklists are included in the application, utilize the appropriate document checklist depending on your firm’s structure. Checklists are created by the Office of Minority Business Enterprise (available online) and sort the information by creating a tab for each item on the checklist. http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/newMDOT/MBE/Resources_Information/Checklists.html
5. Do not leave any area of the application blank. If an area does not apply to your business, indicate “N/A” or “Does Not Apply” in the space provided and include a brief explanation along with your supporting documents.
6. Don’t forget to sign and notarize the Affidavit of Certification included in the application packet.
7. Copy the entire packet for your files, electronically and in paper format, so you have it at the ready if need be.
8. Be responsive to requests for additional information.
9. Be patient. Allow 3 to 5 months to go through the process after submitting a complete application packet along with all required supporting documentation.
10. Stay informed. Visit their website, contact them by email or call the office directly with any questions about the certification process, the application and/or the required supporting documents. Click here to find contact information.
To learn more about the Minority certification process in Maryland and read our article on How to become a Certified Woman-Owned Business in Maryland by clicking here.