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FAQs

Initial Application

  1. What is a MBE or WBE?
  2. May I qualify as both; a MBE and WBE?
  3. What are the advantages of obtaining the State of Missouri M/WBE certification?
  4. What if a question in the certification application does not apply to me?
  5. Is my business automatically certified with the State of Missouri if I am certified with another state?
  6. Is my business automatically certified if I am certified as a M/WBE with another Missouri certifying entity?
  7. What help is available with the application process?
  8. Is there an application fee?
  9. How long does the certification process take?
  10. What does an on-site visit entail?

Re-Certification

  1. How do I get an annual update affidavit?
  2. How do I re-certify my M/WBE?
  3. What help is available with the re-certification process?

Denial and Appeal Process

  1. What happens if my application is denied?
  2. How do I appeal a denial?
  3. If I was certified, do I remain certified during the appeal process?

Doing Business with the State of Missouri

  1. May I bid on state projects prior to my certification?
  2. Do the participation targets remain constant in all contracts?
  3. What types of contracting opportunities are available with the State of Missouri?
  4. How does the State of Missouri keep track of the participation of a M/WBE in a contract?
  5. How can suspected abuse of the M/WBE program be reported?
  6. How will M/WBE contract compliance be monitored?

Initial Application

  1. What is a MBE or WBE?

A Minority Business Enterprises is a business that is at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more minority persons. A Woman Business Enterprise is a business that is at least 51% owned and controlled by a woman. A racial minority is, for the purposes of the State of Missouri’s MBE program, defined as individuals who are Black, American Indian, Hispanic, Asian American and other similar racial minority groups as per Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 33 Section 33.750. Also included are Alaskan Natives, Pacific Islanders, and Aleuts. A complete list is provided on page 2 of our Policies and Procedures Manual located on the links of interest page.

  1. May I qualify as both; a MBE and WBE?
    Only women who also fall into one of the racial or ethnic categories can qualify for classification as both a minority and woman-owned business enterprise M/WBE. A woman and a minority cannot share ownership of a company to qualify for both as one individual must hold 51% ownership. The following requisites must also be met:

    • Own 51% of the enterprise
    • Control the business
    • Have requisite expertise
    • Be a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident.
  1. What are the advantages of obtaining the State of Missouri M/WBE certification?

Certification as a MBE and/or WBE provides greater opportunities for these businesses to bid on state contracts. All certified M/WBE vendors appear on the Office of Equal Opportunity Directory of Certified M/WBE Vendors. Both contractors and state agencies use this site as a resource in soliciting certified minority and/or female participation for ongoing projects. This certification covers all state agencies except for Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), which participates in the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.

  1. What if a question in the certification application does not apply to me?

Please write not applicable (N/A) and include an explanation.

  1. Is my business automatically certified with the State of Missouri if I am certified with another state?

No. You must go through the State of Missouri’s certification process to become certified. It is important to note, however, approval is not guaranteed and each case is reviewed on its individual merits. The requirements for certification vary from state to state, so the easiest way to discover if your certification qualifies is to contact your individual state’s M/W/DBE Program.

  1. Is my business automatically certified if I am certified as a M/WBE with another Missouri certifying entity?

No. Missouri-based businesses may gain accreditation by providing a current certificate from one of the following approved certifying entities listed. You must apply to Office of Equal Opportunity for M/WBE Certification through the Rapid Response Process. This process requires minimal additional documentation and can be completed in a shorter time frame than the Standard In-State Certification. Some of those approved certifying entities include:

    • The Missouri Regional Certification Committee (which includes MoDOT, Metrolink, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), Lambert International Airport/City of Saint Louis, City of Kansas City Missouri KCHRD,
    • Mid-America Regional Council, East-West Gateway Council of Governments)The National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC) www.nwboc.org
    • The Saint Louis Minority Supplier Development Council (SLMSDC) www.slmbc.org  and the Mid-America Business Development Council www.mambdc.org

OEO does not guarantee certification approval and reserves the right to make a determination based on the review of each individual submission.

  1. What help is available with the application process?

If you need help with the application process please call our office at 1-877-259-2963 or 573-751-8130, our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

  1. Is there an application fee?

No! This service is provided free of charge as a benefit from the state of Missouri.

  1. How long does the certification process take?

Standard process for Missouri based businesses takes approximately 45-60 days from the day that the application becomes complete (All requested documentation must be included to proceed to the next stage). An on-site visit must be conducted and a final review is necessary to evaluate whether your firm qualifies in meeting program guidelines. Out of State and Rapid applications might take less processing time.

  1. What does an on-site visit entail?

An on-site visit is a verbal and visual verification of the M/WBE owner’s ability to fulfill certification requirements. There is no need for preparation; the interviewer will bring the M/WBE’s file to the visit. Any additional documentation that may be needed can be provided on-site or gathered for later submission. This visit also allows the applicant an opportunity to get acquainted with program staff, ask questions specific to their individual circumstances or needs and voice concerns.

Re-Certification

  1. How do I get an annual update affidavit?

Upon your anniversary, OEO will e-mail you the annual update affidavit to the e-mail address on file. If you have not received this form or have changed your e-mail address, please e-mail Janet Carter at janet.carter@oa.mo.gov to update your e-mail address and/or have a new form sent to you. If we do not have an e-mail address on file, OEO will fax it, if a fax number is available or as last recourse OEO will mail it to the address on file.

  1. How do I re-certify my M/WBE?

The month before your expiration date, OEO will e-mail you the re-certification package. If you have not received the package or have changed your e-mail address, please e-mail Janet Carter at janet.carter@oa.mo.gov to update your e-mail address and/or have a new form sent to you. If we do not have an e-mail address on file, OEO will fax it, if a fax number is available or as last recourse OEO will mail it to the address on file.

  1. What help is available with the re-certification process?

If you need help with the re-certification process, please call our office at 1-877-259-2963 or 573-751-8130, our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

Denial and Appeal Process

  1. What happens if my application is denied?

If you are denied certification, you have two options: you may wait six months and reapply or appeal the determination to the Commissioner of the Office of Administration (OA). You have twenty-one (21) calendar days from receipt of your denial letter to appeal. The Commissioner’s decision is final. If your denial is upheld on appeal, you may reapply in six months (180 days) from the date of the official notification of the denial being upheld.

  1. How do I appeal a denial?

An appeal must be presented in writing to the Commissioner’s Office within twenty-one calendar (21) days from receipt of your denial letter. Please mail your appeal to:

Commissioner’s Office
Capitol Building,
Room 125
201 West Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102

  1. If I was certified, do I remain certified during the appeal process?

No. As soon as a denial is issued the M/WBE status is removed. In order for that status to be re-instated the denial must be overturned by the commissioner’s office.

Doing Business with the State of Missouri

  1. May I bid on state projects prior to my certification?

Yes. Your M/WBE status does not preclude you from bidding on state contracts or bidding with prime contractors for subcontracts. Certification is not necessary for doing business with the State of Missouri, however M/WBE certification, carries with it significant advantages, especially for smaller, less-established firms.

  1. Do the participation targets remain constant in all contracts?

No. Executive Order 05-30 establishes that “all state agencies shall continue to make every feasible effort to target the percentage of goods and services procured from certified M/WBEs to 10% and 5%, respectively.” The Division of Purchasing and Materials Management (DPMM) and Facilities Management, Design and Construction (FMDC) have the authority to set target recommendations for each project based on the availability of M/WBE firms to perform the work.

  1. What types of contracting opportunities are available with the State of Missouri?

There are various types of opportunities for contracting with the State of Missouri, and these opportunities change constantly. For the most recent listing of available opportunities please visit,

http://www.oa.mo.gov/purch/vendorinfo/upbidops.html for subcontracting opportunities or https://www.moolb.mo.gov/BidList/bidbytype.asp?bidnum=0&rtype=agcyo for a listing of bids available by agency.

  1. How does the State of Missouri keep track of the participation of an M/WBE in a contract?

As a requirement of the contract, the prime contractor must submit payment verification forms to the Department of Purchasing and Materials Management every month. These forms are utilized by DPMM to keep track of the M/WBE participation on each contract. These forms are available for public viewing at
http://oa.mo.gov/purch/webimaging/Homepage.htm.  This link will take you to the “AWARDED BID & CONTRACT DOCUMENT SEARCH PAGE”.  Once on that page, follow the directions that will take you to the “Select a saved search” screen, click on the dropdown arrow and select “Search by Contract Number”. Enter your contract number and click on “Execute” in the top left hand corner of the screen. Clicking on “Execute” will take you to the different forms available for that contract number.  Look for the form “MBE-WBE-BSW Participation Report” for each month submitted.
NOTEAll vendors are required to submit this form monthly to indicate their MBE-WBE-BSW participation.

How can suspected abuse of the M/WBE program be reported?

Reports of fraud and abuse or if there are third parties who have reason to believe that an enterprise has been wrongfully granted certification, either as a M/WBE or joint venture, they may file a third party challenge with OEO. Challenges by third parties are not considered an appeal. Any allegations of suspected abuse of Missouri’s M/WBE program or to obtain forms to report the suspected abuse, please call OEO via our toll-free hotline at 1-877-259-2963.

  1. How will M/WBE contract compliance be monitored?

If there is a complaint about the performance of a M/WBE, the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) has authority to conduct on-site inspections and an administrative review of a certified firm at any time without prior notification. If for any reason a minority or women-owned subcontractor is not performing in accordance with the requirements of their contract, the prime contractor may request permission to remove or substitute that particular M/WBE with another certified business. The prime contractor must first however notify OEO of their intent to remove a M/WBE subcontractor during the course of the contract. Supporting documentation must be furnished by the prime contractor stating the reasons why the participating business should be removed. OEO may then schedule a meeting with all parties to discuss the potential removal of the M/WBE subcontractor/supplier. It will be the responsibility of OEO to recommend disqualification after the review process.