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State Certifications

State-level certifications offer far easier qualification criteria than their Federal counterparts. For entities who have not been in business for a long time or aren’t making needed revenue, State Certifications will give you an opportunity at millions of dollars in set-asides.

Talk to a State Certification Expert

Certifications vary from state to state, but the main certifications you will find throughout the United States are as follows.

  • WBE
  • MBE
  • DBE

While the WBE (Women-Business Enterprise), MBE (Minority-Business Enterprise), and DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) State certifications are the most prevalent throughout the country, GSE is proud to provide services for other certifications such as:

  • MWBE
  • NWBC
  • DVBE
  • VBE

State Certification Benefits

Although state certifications range in eligibility requirements, the benefits of securing a certification within your state are all very similar. 

Above all else, State Certifications will give your business a leg up in State, Local, and Municipal spending. 

State Certifications also give firms access to purchasing networks that otherwise cannot be utilized. For the most part, an average entity can’t sell to corporate or nationally known companies. These giant corporations are often required to feature supplier diversity programs. These programs will give a percentage of their spending to certain State Certified companies just like yours.

More benefits of state certifications include:

  • Listed in National Supplier Databases
  • Training and educational programs exclusive to Women-owned businesses
  • Networking opportunities
  • Connections with buyers looking to meet subcontracting goals
  • Access to purchasing agents
  • Mentorship programs

Extra benefits can be seen based on the Certification you receive in your respective state.

WBE Certification

A Women-Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification is designed for companies 51% owned and operated by one or more women. Although the WOSB/EDWOSB Certification at the Federal level is ideal for women-owned businesses, the WBE state-level certificate can be the next best thing. 


The minimum requirements to qualify as a WBE with any program administered by a city, county or state are:

  • Owners are Women U.S. Citizens or legal residents
  • A for-profit business located in the United States
  • 51% owned by a woman, or a group of women who are verified owners
  • The top executive officer, responsible for daily operations, is a woman with technical expertise

MBE Certification

A Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification is a state-level designation for businesses 51% owned and operated by one or more American citizens considered an “ethnic minority.”

While Federal Government certifications receive the most set-aside funding, state-level certificates offer more accessible qualification criteria. This is ideal for businesses that do not yet meet the requirements for Federal Certifications.


The minimum requirements to qualify as an MBE Certified business with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) or a local MBE program administered by a city, county, or state are:

  • United States citizens
  • 51% owned, operated, capitalized, and controlled by a member(s) of a presumed minority group
  • The top executive officer responsible for managing daily operations has experience in the firm’s primary business specialization.

As an additive, legal residents with green cards are accepted by most MBE programs administered by a city, county, and state. 

DBE Certification

There are two types of DBE Certifications recognized in the United States. The Department of Transportation DBE and the State DBE. The U.S. DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification is recognized in every state of the union and could be one of the most profitable certifications possible of acquiring. 

Both DBE Certifications require your business to be owned, controlled, and operated by government-recognized disadvantaged groups. If you own a small business and fall within such a group, you could be missing out on Government Contracting opportunities.


Thanks to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) being in control of the DBE Certification, eligibility is almost identical in all states. The following requirements are needed to qualify for the DBE Certification:

  • A for-profit business 51% owned and controlled by one or more U.S. Citizens, or a legal resident (green card), who are socially and economically disadvantaged and fall into any of the following groups:
    • Asian-Pacific Americans
    • Hispanics (people of Spanish descent)
    • Subcontinent Asian Americans
    • African Americans
    • Native Americans
  • Annual average income must not exceed $26 million.
  • The top executive officer, responsible for daily operations, is a disadvantaged individual with technical expertise.

VBE/SDVBE Certification

As a Veteran-Owned Business, you have many options to improve your business via a Certification with Federal, State, or Local Government agencies.

A Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE) or a Service Disable Veteran Business Enterprise (SDVBE) are state-level designations for small businesses 51% owned and operated by a United States Veteran.


The minimum requirements to receive a Service Disabled or Veteran Business Enterprise Certification are as follows:

A United States Veteran must own or control:

  • 100% of the assets of a sole proprietorship
  • at least 51% of the equity interests in a partnership
  • at least 51% of the aggregate of all stock outstanding
  • at least 51% of the membership interests in a limited liability company
  • 100% of the control of a sole proprietorship
  • at least 51% of the control of a general partnership

What GSE Can Do for Your Business

Paperwork, complex language, and adhering to Government policies can be a nightmare when attempting to obtain State Certifications on your own. 

GSE is a third-party Government Contracting service that will help your business become certified the right way. With decades of experience helping businesses of all sizes get connected to Government spending, you won’t find a better team. We have the know-how to help you accomplish your goals. Call today to get started on the State Certification that is right for your firm.


From our Clients:

“We appreciate the expedience and attention to care and the consistency with follow up. Of course, there always many decisions to be made in business, our entire staff is very pleased to say using Government Services Exchange was one of the good decisions we have made.”

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“Just a note to thank Government Services Exchange for a job well done! The team’s expertise and leadership, deserve a bright spotlight! Their excellent guidance for our company, Steel Toad Consulting, is most worthy of attention.”


“GSE offers top-notch quality, service and rates. Everyone one on their staff is very professional, knowledgeable and willing to assist right away. We were not only able to update our current GSA contract, but enhance our opportunities through avenues we were not currently registered for.”

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