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Public Works Small Business Enterprise

Public Works Small Business Enterprise (PWSBE) is a new type of State Certification that fosters small business participation in public works contracting. PWSBE Certification also grants businesses free access to the Municipal Research and Services Center's (MRSC) Small Works Roster, where public agencies are looking for qualified vendors.

"Public Works" refers to all work, construction, alteration, repair, or improvement paid for by state and local governments, public universities, school districts, and other public organizations. Examples of public works projects include road construction, roof repair, HVAC upgrades, building remodeling, or parking meter installation.

PWSBE Certification Is Now Available!

Create an account in our certification portal, Access Equity, to start your application or opt-in if you are already certified with OMWBE. If you need help, please email

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See what documents you need to apply for PWSBE Certification.

Do I qualify for PWSBE Certification?

The business must be:

  • For profit
  • Licensed to do business in Washington State
  • Able to perform the core services necessary to fulfill a contract in the business’s eligible owner(s) area of specialty or expertise.
  • A small business based on U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards, which is measured in two ways:

The eligible owner(s) must:

  • Own at least 51% of the business and show contribution of capital or expertise.
  • Control the management and day-to-day operations of the business.
  • Be economically disadvantaged.
    • Personal Net Worth (PNW) under $2.047 million excluding primary residence and applicant business.
    • Cannot have the ability to Accumulate Substantial Wealth
      • Have an average of Gross Adjusted Income of less than $350,000 year on a 3-year average.
      • Have assets of less than $6 million

Please refer to our Certification Eligibility page for additional information.

Opt-in options are available for businesses who have State and Federal Certifications with OMWBE. These certifications are MBE, WBE, MWBE, SEDBE, CBE, SBE, and DBE. The opt-in option may not apply for out of state businesses that are only DBE interstate certified with OMWBE. In this case, a new PWSBE application may be required.

What other changes are coming to Public Works contracting?

In addition to launching PWSBE Certification, Washington state is changing the way we approach public works contracting. There are several changes that affect small businesses in particular, which you can learn about here - Changes to the Small Works Roster (Department of Enterprise Services, DES)

"Public Works" is defined in RCW 39.04.010(4). Learn more about Public Works Contracts on MRSC's website.