State and Local Government Certification programs

Many state and municipal government agencies have certification programs for small and disadvantaged businesses. Generally, these apply to minority- and woman-owned businesses and some states are now adopting contracting programs for veteran-owned businesses.

Almost all states have some type of program for small business enterprises regardless of ownership status. The criteria are based on number of employees and gross receipts rather than the owner’s ethnicity or gender.

Because each state is different, it is important to check into the programs and requirements that apply to your business. Many have combined applications for both small and minority-owned businesses.

To find information on each county or state requirements you could email us or call us at our office. If you qualify, certification can give you an advantage when marketing goods and/or services to local agencies. Once certified, these agencies and most of the prime contractors who do business with the state will provide contracting preference to help you compete. Below is a list of the most common programs available to small businesses.

Click on the titles to learn more about the benefits, eligibility requirements, and certifying agencies for each type of program.

Several states have adopted contracting preference programs for veteran-owned businesses. DVBE certification increases business opportunities for disabled veterans and provides certain competitive advantages when these firms are competing for state government procurements against non-certified firms.

SBE certification provides small businesses with access to up to 25% of state government contracting dollars. Additionally, some states provide price preference incentives that give small businesses an advantage when bidding against larger firms with more resources.

The DBE program is a federal program managed by individual state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) agencies. DBE contracting goals are established for federally funded projects, generally in public works and transportation, with sub-contracting potential. DBE certification entitles your business to numerous state government procurements.