Florida Minority Business Government Programs
Like the federal Small Business Association, the state of Florida enacted certification programs to provide more opportunities for small businesses.
What is the Florida Certified Business Enterprise?
The Florida Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) is a certification program run by the Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD), a specialized team within the Division of State Purchasing. The program’s goal is to help improve business opportunities for Florida-based woman-, veteran- and minority-owned small businesses.
What are the Benefits of the Florida Certified Business Enterprise?
The primary benefit of the CBE certification program is that the Women-, veteran- and minority-owned small businesses certified by the state are the first tier of businesses referred to state agencies for job bidding. Additionally, the certified businesses are listed in a Vendor Directory used by State agencies, state universities, regional and local government entities and private businesses. The certified businesses also receive special emails containing contract opportunities, special events, networking activities and technical assistance training. Lastly, certified business are given the opportunity to make presentations at the bi-monthly Diversity Working Group Meetings and introduce their companies and capabilities to several state entities.
Who can Qualify for the Florida Certified Business Enterprise?
Unlike the Federal programs which classify minority, women, and underutilized business zones into separate application, the CBE is a single application open to all woman-, veteran- or minority-owned Florida businesses. There is no specific requirement that the individual be economically or socially disadvantaged.
What are the CBE Qualification Requirements?
To be eligible for a CBE certification, the woman-, veteran- or minority-owned business must be legal registered to do business in Florida as a for-profit organization, be based in Florida and be 51% owned and managed by a woman, veteran or minority who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Additionally, the business must be registered in MyFloridaMarketPlace and meet certain financial requirements including having a net worth of less than $5 million.
Like the SBA certification, the Florida CBE certification process requires a lengthy application and submission of financial and business documents. Once certified the Florida business will maintain its certification for two years with the option to renew. The Office of Supplier Diversity will conduct random reviews or audits to ensure the business stays compliant with the certification requirements.
If your business would like to learn more about the Florida CBE certification program, contact one of our corporate associates at EPGD Business Law.