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Guide to business certification requirements

Learn about the requirements for getting certified with the Equity and Inclusion Unit.

Through the information below, you can find out:

  1. what type of business certifications you qualify for, and
  2. what documents you need to include in your application. 

Eligibility criteria / required documents

Eligibility criteria / required documents
Small Business Enterprise (SBE) 
  • Must be an independent business
  • Gross receipts, when averaged over a three-year period, do not exceed gross income limitations for that particular industry, as defined by the Small Local Business Enterprise Office.
Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE)
  • Must be an independent business which is a Small Business Enterprise, as defined above
  • Main office must be physically located in the City of Boston, as defined by the SLBE certification regulations
Veteran-owned small business 
  • Must have a Certification Letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)

Must be a business organization beneficially owned by one or more minority group members as follows:

  • The business must be at least 51% beneficially owned by minority group members.
  • The minority owners must show that they have control over management.
  • The firm has not been solely established for the purpose of taking advantage of a special program which has been developed to help minority-owned businesses.
Woman Business Enterprise (WBE)

Must be an independent business organization which is beneficially owned by one or more women as follows:

  • The business must be at least 51% beneficially owned by a woman.
  • The woman owner must show that she has control over management.
  • The firm has not been solely established for the purpose of taking advantage of a special program which has been developed to help woman-owned businesses.

BY TYPE OF CERTIFICATION 

All certifications
  • Copies of full Federal Tax Returns from the last three (3) years, OR as many years as you've been in business if less than three (3) years
  • If your business has not yet filed a Federal Tax Return, please include a financial statement, including balance sheet and income statements
  • Current resumes for your company’s principal stakeholders showing relevant experience
  • Documentation of how owners acquired the business. Please provide at least one (1) of the following:
    • Canceled check
    • Bank receipt
    • Stock certificate
    • Loan agreement
  • Government issued form of identification for each business owner such as a driver's license, passport, passport card or birth certificate
Veteran-owned small business 
  • Certification Letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

BY TYPE OF BUSINESS 

Corporations
  • Articles of Incorporation and all amendments thereto
  • Corporation By-Laws and amendments thereto
Sole Proprietorship
  • Business Certificate from your local City Clerk’s Office
Partnership
  • Partnership agreement, including buy-out rights and profit sharing agreement
Limited Liability Company
  • Articles of Organization
  • Operating Agreement (if applicable)
Non-profit
  • Federal Tax Exempt Form 501 c(3) 
  • Articles of incorporation and all amendments thereto
  • List of Board of Directors or Trustees and ethnic and gender affiliation of each Board or Trustee member

Certification application

After you find out what certifications you qualify for and get your documents together, you can apply online:

GET CERTIFIED
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