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How Do MWBE Applications Work?


Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) is a certification program across New York State that does just what it sounds like. It seeks to help advance minority and women-owned businesses. This guide explains the process of getting your MWBE certification and the benefits that stem from it.

Who Qualifies?

A business is considered minority owned if at least 51% of the business is owned by people with any of the following ethnic backgrounds:

1. Black

2. Hispanic

3. Asian-Pacific

4. Asian-Indian Subcontinent

5. Native American or Alaskan Native

Similarly, a business is considered women owned if at least 51% of the business is owned by women.

This certification program is not only for minority women.You do not have to satisfy both of the above requirements. You only have to satisfy one.You can be considered a minority under the law OR a woman in order to qualify. Many people get confused by this notion and do miss out on the great benefits the MWBE program offers.

Additionally, there are some other requirements to qualify. In order for a person to be considered an owner of the business, they have to own, operate, and control the business. Here is what the law says:

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.

Also, each owner has to have a net worth of less than $15 million dollars. This net worth requirement does not include certain assets such as your primary residence and some retirement income. There are some other small restrictions that our firm can help you parse through.

MWBE Benefits

New York State is putting in the effort to do more business with MWBE certified companies. If you are granted certification, you get the following benefits:

  1. 1. Entered into the MWBE contact directory
  2. 2. Easier bidding opportunities for government contracts
  3. 3. Preferential selection over non-MWBE bidders for government contracts

There are legal requirements for local governments to procure a certain amount of contracts to MWBE certified businesses. Getting the certification will offer you free advertising while also giving you assistance and advantages in the bidding process.


If you are a woman or minority business owner, getting your MWBE certification is a no-brainer. The benefits are tremendous and going through the application process could help you get contracts you may not have gotten before. At Lawyer for Business, we love helping business owners grow and want to see them take advantage of every opportunity provided. If you would like assistance filing your MWBE application, click here to schedule a consultation with one of our legal professionals now.

The information included in this blog post is for educational purposes only and is not intended to confer legal advice. Lawyer for Business – 86 The Commons, Grand Island, NY 14072

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Buffalo Business Lawyer Serving New York State
Andrea A. Willis, Esq. is an award-winning attorney that delivers top-notch service to her clients. She has a diverse background representing business clients from many sectors and sizes.

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