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Establishing A Successful Minority Or Woman-Owned Business

The state of New York values diversity among business owners. Certified minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) can take advantage of a wide range of resources, contract opportunities and development assistance. Not just any business owner will qualify for this certification, however. You must submit a number of documents to support your application.

At Tarshus Law Firm, we can assist you with the application process, from start to finish. Our attorney, Andrea A. Tarshus, has advised businesses throughout the Buffalo-Niagara area on a full range of corporate law issues. She understands how to help businesses grow and thrive, from a new startup to everyday operations.

What Is A Minority Or Woman-Owned Business?

New York requires applicants to meet strict requirements to qualify as an MWBE. The requirements include:

  • Ownership – For a minority-owned business (MBE), at least 51% of the business owners must meet the state’s definition of a racial or ethnic minority. For a woman-owned business (WBE), at least 51% of the owners must be women.
  • Personal net worth – Each owner must meet certain net worth criteria. No individual minority or woman owner may have more than $15 million (after allowable deductions) in personal net worth.
  • Business size – MWBE status is limited to companies with 300 or fewer employees and must run independently of any other firm.

In addition, the state expects that your company is active, in good standing with the state and has been in business for at least one year. We will assist you with preparing all necessary documentation to support your qualifications.

The Certification Process

Once you determine that you qualify for certification, you are ready to start the application process. This means gathering your supporting business and financial documents and completing the application forms. Once you are certified, you may need to recertify or update your status in the future. We can help you with this, as well, to make sure you do not jeopardize your certification.

Was Your Application Denied?

If the state denied your certification for some reason, we can assist you with the appeals process, but you must act quickly. You only have 30 days to complete your request to appeal. You must submit your argument in writing. You cannot introduce new evidence or documentation, which is why you need to make sure your original application is accurate and complete. You may or may not need to attend an administrative hearing before the administrative law judge makes a decision. Attorney Tarshus is happy to represent you throughout this process.

Start The Certification Process

We are here to help you get started on certifying your business as an MWBE. To discuss how you might meet the requirements, schedule an appointment with our attorney. You can call our Grand Island office at 716-745-6225 or fill out our online form.