Minority Business Enterprise and Women Business Enterprise Certifications

Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Women Business Enterprise (WBE) certifications are for firms seeking contracting opportunities with state, county, city and special jurisdictions. Some of the jurisdictions include the city of Portland, Multnomah County, METRO and the Portland Development Commission (PDC). The eligibility criteria is based on Oregon Administrative Rule 123-200-0030.

Ownership and Control

Majority ownership is just one eligibility requirement for these certifications.

  • A minority or woman must own at least 51% of the business.Recognized minority groups for MBE certification include: Black American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian Pacific American, Subcontinent Asian American or a Woman
  • The minority or woman owner must have independent, managerial and operational control of the business which includes experience and training in the primary area of work for the business (e.g., excavating, paving).
  • If the state of Oregon requires individual licensing in the business' primary area of work, the minority or woman owner must hold the license (e.g., electrician, plumber, landscaper, truck driver, engineer, architect).

Contribution of Capital by Owners

The minority or woman owner(s) must have made a real and substantial contribution of capital or expertise to the business.

Independence and Size

The minority- or woman-owned business must not be dependent on a non-disadvantaged firm(s) or individual(s). Businesses must not exceed the size standards as defined by the Small Business Administration, North American Industry Classification System Codes (NAICS) size standards.


Apply using our e-Application system. This is the preferred application method as it helps ensure that your application is submitted in a complete packet, reducing processing time.

If you do not have the ability access the e-application process, you may file using a Word document. Mail the original application and required documentation to Business Oregon, OMWESB, 775 Summer St NE, Suite 200, Salem, OR 97301-1280.

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