Small Business and Minority Businesses in Miami Dade County (Part 2)

Not many people know this but it is important to know that once a business or disadvantaged individual has participated in the program, neither the business nor that individual will be eligible again.  The SBA will automatically decline those applications.

Does the SBA do background checks?

  • The firm and all its principals must show good character. SBA looks at the following to make this decision:
    • Adverse information regarding criminal conduct
    • Violations of any SBA regulations
    • Debarred or suspended firms
    • Debarred or suspended persons
    • Submission of false information during the application process or after approval
  • A firm will be automatically declined if the firm, its owner, manager, partners, LLC member, director, officer, key employee, or any owner of more than 10 percent:
    • Lacks business integrity (i.e. any legal issues such as indictments, guilty pleas, convictions, judgments, settlements)
    • Is currently incarcerated or on parole or probation (either pre-trial or following conviction for felony or any crime involving business integrity)
  • The application package requires this form be completed by the firm principals

Who is eligible for an SBA loan?

Not many people know this but it is important to know that once a business or disadvantaged individual has participated in the program, neither the business nor that individual will be eligible again.  The SBA will automatically decline those applications.

Hence, a business may participate only once.  It does not matter if ownership and control has completely changed; the firm will be declined if it applies again.

Likewise, the SBA automatically declines applications from the following:

  • Brokers
  • Nonprofit organizations (except Community Development Corporations)
  • Businesses owned by another firm, even if that firm is owned by another disadvantaged firm or firms (except for certain firms owned by parent corporation that is, in turn, owned by an Alaska Native Corporation or Native Hawaiian Organization)

Synopsis version:  A small business must meet certain requirements to qualify for Section 8(a) status and must maintain each requirement in order to continue participating in the Business Development Program.

Each county in Florida has its own small business enterprise certification requirements.  Our focus will be on Miami-Dade County and Broward County.

What Programs does Miami-Dade County Offer to Small Businesses?

Miami-Dade County offers different small business programs with different requirements and classifications depending on whether you are a construction company, are part of the architectural industry, or provide aeronautical services.  If you believe you fall under any of those categories and want more information, please call EPGD Attorneys at Law.  Our contact information can be found below.

For small businesses that provide goods and/or services to Miami-Dade, the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) would be an ideal fit. The SBE program, which is race and gender neutral, consists of two tiers.

(1) Micro Enterprise (Micro) – three (3) year average annual gross revenues cannot exceed 2 million dollars except manufacturers whose number of employees cannot exceed fifty (50) and wholesalers whose number of employees cannot exceed fifteen (15).

(2) Small Business Enterprise (SBE) – three (3) year average gross revenues cannot exceed 5 million dollars except manufacturers whose number of employees cannot exceed one hundred (100) and wholesalers whose number of employees cannot exceed fifty (50).

  • Located and performing a commercially useful function in Miami-Dade County;
  • Must be properly licensed to do business with Miami-Dade County;
  • Completion of Vendor Registration Package with the Department of Procurement is highly recommended;
  • Must own only one certified Micro/SBE certified firm;
  • Must be an established business for at least one-year;
  • Annual Continue Eligibility required.

Miami-Dade County also offers a disadvantaged business program which includes classification as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) which is a federal program that ensures equal opportunity in transportation contracting markets, addresses the effects of discrimination in transportation contracting, and promotes increased participation in federally funded contracts by small, socially and economically disadvantaged businesses, including minority and women owned enterprises. Miami-Dade County is a Unified Certification Program member and processes applications for DBE certification. If this is a program you are interested in, an application must be submitted to SBD for processing.  The application can be found online at: http://www.dot.state.fl.us/equalopportunityoffice/dbecertification.shtm.

What Programs does Broward County Offer to Small Businesses?

Like Miami-Dade County, Broward County operates a Small Business Program.  Broward County’s Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program is a race and gender neutral program that allows all SBE-certified businesses to receive first consideration for contracts under $250,000. The goal of the program is to spur economic development and stimulate small business growth by increasing the number of small businesses acting as prime contractors or consultants for Broward County. These projects are identified as sheltered market / reserved projects for certified Small Business Enterprises (SBEs).

To qualify for the program, each business must meet the following SBE eligibility requirements:

  • The business must be independent;
  • The business must have a continuing operating presence in Broward County for at least one year prior to submitting an application;
  • The business shall employ 25 or fewer permanent full-time employees;
  • Each owner must not have a personal net worth exceeding $750,000;
  • For businesses in Construction Services, the annual gross revenues must not exceed $3 million, calculated over the previous three (3) calendar years
  • For businesses in Contractual Services, the annual gross revenues must not exceed $1 million, calculated over the previous three (3) calendar years
  • For Professional Consultants, the annual gross revenues must not exceed $500,000, calculated over the previous three (3) calendar years
  • Firms selling Commodities to Broward County, are not subject to any gross revenue limitations.

If you would like to go back and read Part 1, click here.


If you are seeking to obtain small business certification in either Miami-Dade or Broward County or would like more information as to whether you qualify, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced attorneys at EPGD Business Law, with offices in Miami, FL, Washington, D.C., and West Palm Beach, FL. Call us at (786) 837-6737 or email us to schedule a consultation. EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

Categories: Business Law

Speak with an attorney. Leave a comment.