The Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) is the sole certifying agency for small businesses owned and controlled by minority, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in Washington State.
We offer the following certifications. Click the arrow to expand each section below:
Certifications for the state program include MBE, WBE, MWBE, CBE, and SEDBE. State-certified firms are eligible to participate in contracting opportunities with state and local governments. Some private sector companies recognize and use OMWBE’s state-certified firms for their supplier diversity goals.
- MBE – Minority Business Enterprise
- WBE – Woman Business Enterprise
- MWBE – Minority Woman Business Enterprise
- CBE – Combination Business Enterprise (owned by 1 minority man and 1 non-minority woman)
- SEDBE – Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged male who is not an eligible minority)
The firm must be licensed to do business in the State of Washington in order to be eligible for certification.
Federal Program – In State
Federally-certified firms are eligible to participate in transportation-specific federal projects. This includes construction work on rails, roads, bridges, airports, and seaports. This certification is only for firms whose scope of work is transportation-related. Federal projects are funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). This includes the Federal Highway Administration, (FHWA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
- SBE – Small Business Enterprise. SBE-certified firms count towards USDOT small business (gender and race-neutral) goals.
- DBE – Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. This certification counts towards USDOT gender and race-conscious goals.
- ACDBE – Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. These firms count towards gender and race-conscious goals for the Federal Aviation Administration and the Ports .
For More information about the federal DBE program Click Here.
Federal Program – Out-of-Washington State Firms
If you are applying for federal certification (DBE/ACDBE) as an out-of-Washington State firm, you must be DBE/ACDBE certified in your home state prior to applying for certification in Washington. If you are an out of state firm that is not DBE/ACDBE certified in your principal place of business, we will not be able to process your application in Washington until you are DBE/ACDBE certified in your home state.
In order for OMWBE to process your out-of-state application, the following documents must be provided:
- Complete the Affidavit of Certification for Out-of-State Applicant. This Affidavit must be signed and notarized by each owner of your firm. Please carefully read this Affidavit to insure the appropriate documentation is provided.
- An identical signed and notarized copy of your home state federal application, including all supporting documents, affidavits of no change and any notices of changes, correspondence and any other information you submitted to your home state or any other recipient concerning your application or status as a DBE/ACDBE firm. If you no longer have a complete copy of all the documents on file with your home state you may need to contact them to request all records.
- Any notices or correspondence from states other than your home state relating to your status as an applicant or certified DBE in those states. For example, if your firm has been denied certification or decertified in any other state, or subject to a decertification action there, you must inform OMWBE of this fact and provide all documentation concerning this action.
- Any certification appeal(s) filed with USDOT, specifically any letter of appeal and USDOT’s response
- Please be sure to include a non-refundable processing fee of $25 made payable to OMWBE.