The purpose of the Minority Business Certification Program is to increase the opportunity for minority firms to sell their products and services to the State of Wisconsin. A certified minority business is eligible for a 5 percent bid preference on state purchases.
The Wisconsin Department of Administration monitors state agencies' compliance with the purchasing guidelines that have been established for minority business procurement through this Act. The Wisconsin Department of Administration certifies firms for eligibility to participate in the state's minority business bid preference program.
The bid preference program does not apply to printing firms, but they are encouraged to become certified so that agencies can procure printing orders from minority vendors to meet their purchasing goal.
A minority-owned business (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or joint venture) must meet the following criteria:
- Belong to an ethnic minority group (Native American, Black, Hispanic, Asian Indian, Asian Pacific, Aleut, Eskimo, or Native Hawaiian). (State statutes do not recognize women as minorities based solely on gender. Therefore, women-owned businesses are not eligible for minority business enterprise (MBE) certification but are eligible for women-owned business enterprise (WBE) certification offered by the Department of Commerce. ).
- Be at least 51 percent owned, controlled and actively managed by minority group members.
- Serve a "useful business function" and have customers other than the State of Wisconsin.
- Must be at least one (1) year old under current ownership.
How to Apply
- Complete an online application and upload requested documentation (ethnic status of minority owner(s), financial records, going business activity, etc.).
- Must provide access to its business facilities and key personnel for the state Certification Consultant's on-site visit.
Out-Of-State Applicants Out-of-State firms must meet the following standards of certifications.
- Out-of-state firms must have equivalent certification from an acceptable and recognizable governmental agency, such as state, county or city in their home state. Hint: Does you certification's governing agency's web site include(your state agency).gov?
- Proof must be provided.
- A copy of the letter or official document of MBE certification from the governmental agency in the state which the applicant is incorporated or has its principal place of business
Applications that do not provide proof listed above will not meet standards of certification as an MBE in the State of Wisconsin and will not be considered for certification. The Minority Business Enterprises Program reserves the right to deny certification in accordance with these terms.
If the above proof is available, an out-of-State MBE Certification applicant must do the following:
- Email proof required above to: DOABDMBD@Wisconsin.gov
- Upon verification and review of proof, applicant will be notified via email to proceed to complete the online MBE certification, and upload all required documents.
- Visit the online certification application site and register.
Where to Apply
Applications and additional information are available from the Wisconsin Department of Administration by contacting:
Minority Business Certification Program
101 E Wilson St, 6th Floor
PO Box 7970
Madison, WI 53707
Tel: (608) 267-9550
Fax: (608) 267-0600
Comparison of Certifications in Wisconsin
Different agencies and organizations in Wisconsin have their own certification programs as they as governed by different state, federal, city, county and even private organizations' laws, ordinances, and statutes and proclamations. For instance, federal regulations allow for the certification of disadvantage and women businesses, while state laws do not.
This file titled "Wisconsin Certifications Grid" will open in a new window and show you the certification organizations in the state.
Other Wisconsin certifying agencies
Wisconsin Department of Administration
Women Certification Program
101 E Wilson St, 6 Floor
P.O. Box 7970
Madison, WI 53707
Community Business Development Partners
2711 W. Wells Street, Room 830
Milwaukee, WI 53208
City of Milwaukee
Emerging Business Enterprise Program
200 E. Wells Street, Room 606
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 286-5553
Fax: (414) 286-8547
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Office of DBE Program
4802 Sheboygan Avenue, Room 451
PO Box 7965
Madison, WI 53707-7965
Phone: (608) 266-6961
FAX: (608) 267-3641 6150 West Fond du Lac Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53218
Phone: (414) 438-4583
City of Madison
215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Suite 130
PO Box 1626
Madison, WI 53701-1626
Phone: (608) 266-4082
Fax: (608) 267-1142
U S Small Business Administration
310 West Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 400
Milwaukee, WI 53203
Phone: (414) 297-3941
Fax: (414) 297-1377
740 Regent Street, Suite 100
Madison, WI 53715
Phone: (608) 441-5263
Wisconsin Minority Supplier Development Council
PO Box 8577
Madison, WI 53708-8577
Phone: (608) 241-5858
Fax: (608) 241-9100
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
260 West Seeboth Street
Milwaukee, WI 53225
Phone: (414) 225-2238
Dane County Equal Opportunity
210 Martin Luther King Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-5623
Note that the minorities and/or women owning such a certified business enterprise should be either citizens or legal aliens with permanent residence status in the United States .
Minority-Owned Business: A business enterprise that is at least 51 percent owned by a minority individual or group(s); or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more minority groups, and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of those individuals. Minority includes, but it is not limited to, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and other groups.
Women-Owned Business: A business enterprise that is at least 51 percent owned by a woman or women; or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more women, and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of those individuals. The Wisconsin women-owned business enterprise (WBE) certification became effective June 1, 2007. The Department of Administration WBE web site contains the application form, document checklist, administrative code, frequently asked questions and other information to assist women interested in obtaining state WBE certification. A directory of women-owned businesses (both alpha by name and industry) is also available from the web site.
Disadvantaged Business: A small business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual or individuals. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans, and Native Americans are presumed to quality. Other individuals can qualify if they show by a "preponderance of the evidence" http://archive.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sdb/index.html that they are disadvantaged. All individuals must have a net worth of less than $750,000, excluding the equity of the business and primary residence. Successful applicants must also meet applicable size standards for small businesses in their industry.