Certification Frequently Asked Questions

How will being certified help my business?
Both New York City and New York State have designed certification programs to assist minority and women owned businesses better access government opportunities. Depending on the type of certification and the agency, a certified business may get the opportunity to gain access to specified procurement opportunities.

How does the certification process work?

  • Submit the appropriate certification application and required documents to the certifying agency.
  • The application will be reviewed by a certification analyst.
  • After the review, the application will be certified, denied or rejected.

Where can I get certified?
There are a number of public agencies that certify businesses in New York State, including:  

What are the requirements to be certified?
Most certifying agencies require that a business be an ongoing independent business that has been in operation for at least one year. Certain type of certifications may stipulate size and location requirements for the business. 

What types of certification are available?

  • Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) – To be certified as a WBE, a business must show ownership by a woman for at least 51% of the business. Click to download the NYS M/WBE certification application and the NYC M/WBE certification application.
  • Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) – An MBE business has at least 51% ownership by a member of a recognized minority population, including Asian American, African American, Hispanic American, or Native American. Click to download the NYS M/WBE certification application and the NYC M/WBE certification application.
  • Locally Based Enterprise (LBE) – The LBE program is for small construction and construction related companies in New York City with annual revenue of less than $2 million. LBE firms must conduct at least 25% of their work in economically disadvantaged areas. NYC requires all prime contractors to use LBE certified sub-contractors to complete at least 10% of the total value of their contracts.
  • 8(a) – SBA certification program created to help small disadvantaged businesses to compete and access the federal procurement opportunities.
  • HUB Zone – SBA program equivalent to LBE, as HUB Zone businesses must be located in a “historically underutilized business zone.”

How can I obtain a certification application?  Where can I get technical assistance with certification applications?
Brooklyn Connects provides one-on-one consultation and assistance for completing certification applications (see above for links to download M/WBE certification applications). To schedule an appointment or to learn more about the certfication process, contact istern@brooklynchamber.com or 718-875-1000 ext. 129.