MWBE Certification Eligibility Requirements

Before applying to become a New York State certified MWBE, make sure your business is eligible by reviewing the below requirements. 

 

    Certification Eligibility Requirements

    Definition of a Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE)

    Under Article 15-A of the Executive Law, an MBE is a business enterprise in which at least fifty-one percent (51%) is owned, operated and controlled by citizens or permanent resident aliens who are meeting the ethnic definitions listed below:

    • Black: Persons having origins from any of the Black African racial groups.
    •  Hispanic: Persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Central or South American descent of either Native American or Latin American origin, regardless of race.
    • Asian-Pacific: Persons having origins from the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Pacific Islands.
    • Asian-Indian Subcontinent: Persons having origins from the Indian subcontinent.
    • Native American or Alaskan Native: Persons having origins in any of the original peoples of North America.

    Definition of a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE)

    Under Article 15-A of the Executive Law, a WBE is a business enterprise in which at least fifty-one percent (51%) is owned, operated and controlled by citizens or permanent resident aliens who are women.
     

    Qualifications for NYS MWBE Certification

    To qualify for New York State certification as a minority and/or women-owned business enterprise (MWBE), an applicant must successfully demonstrate the following through the production of relevant documentation:

     

    1. Ownership, Operation and Control: All firms seeking MBE, WBE or MWBE certification must be independently owned, operated and controlled by minority members and/or women.​ The ownership must be real, substantial and continuing, and the minority members and/or women must exercise the authority to independently control the day-to-day business decisions.

    2. Personal Net Worth Restriction: Each minority or woman owner upon whom certification is based cannot have a personal net worth exceeding $15 Million after allowable deductions. 

    These are allowable deductions under the law:

    • Primary residence or the mortgage for that residence

    • Ownership interest in the applicant firm

    • Ownership interest in a holding company established for the exclusive and sole purpose of leasing machinery, equipment, or vehicles exclusively to the certified minority or women-owned business enterprise, that is majority owned by the minority group member or women relied upon for certification, and the holding company does not own any other assets of any kind.

    • Up to $750,000 of any qualified retirement savings plan.

    1. Mandatory Supporting Documents: For each minority or woman owner upon which certification is based) Current Personal and Business Federal and State Taxes (Including all schedules, statements and amendments)
       
    2. Small Business Restriction:  Firms must not employ more than 300 individuals. The Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development calculates the number of employees of a business based upon the average total employees of the business over four calendar quarters.
    1. Independent, Active and One year in Business: ​The firm must operate independently of other firms, must demonstrate it is an active business and generally, the business must be in operation for at least one year.
       
    2. ​Out of State Firms: Out of state applicants should be certified as a MWBE in their home state, if a similar process exists, before applying for MWBE certification in New York State. 

    **All applicants must have "Authority to do Business in NYS" from the New York Department of State prior to submitting an application for MWBE certification.