In order to qualify for certification, an applicant must successfully document, demonstrate and comply with the following:
Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) is one that is at least 51% owned by one of the minority groups identified below who also control and operate the business and are permanent residents of the State of Florida. The business must have a permanent, functioning office within the State of Florida and be lawfully licensed within the relevant jurisdiction.
Minority classifications are:
- African American - a person (male or female) having origins in any of the indigenous racial groups of Africa.
- Hispanic American - a person (male or female) of Spanish or Portuguese heritage with origins in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, South America, Central America or the Caribbean Islands, regardless of race.
- Asian American - a person (male or female) having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, Indian subcontinent, or Pacific Islands including the Hawaiian Islands.
- Native American - a person (male or female) who has origins in any of the Indian Tribes of North America.
Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) is one that:
- Is at least 51% owned by a Caucasian Female or females, who also
- Control and operate the business and
- Are permanent residents of the State of Florida
- Has a permanent, functioning office within the State of Florida
- Is lawfully licensed within its relevant jurisdiction.
Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) is one that:
- Has 25 or fewer permanent fulltime employees
- Has gross revenue averaged for the past three years that does not exceed $2 million
- Is located in the Tampa Market Area (Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk, Pinellas or Manatee County)
- Is owned by individual(s) who are all permanent residents of the State of Florida
- Is without regard to ethnicity and gender
- Is independently owned and operated
All Firms Must Meet These General Requirements:
Any SLBE, MBE, or WBE must have -
- Operated as such for ONE YEAR prior to application in order to be eligible to apply for certification
- Been operating independently of other firms
- A permanent, functioning office within the state of Florida that is lawfully licensed within the relevant jurisdiction (includes foreign registered corporations)