What’s the big deal about being a certified woman-owned, minority-owned or disadvantaged business?

In short, the big deal is better opportunity.  Diversity business certifications, such as MBE and WBE, are valuable because they permit certified businesses to bid on exclusive contracts to provide goods or services to large or publicly-traded corporations and federal, state, and local governments.  Depending on the bid requirements, these contracts are otherwise unavailable for award to non-minority, male-owned, or other non-disadvantaged businesses.

Although the criteria for certification may seem on its face to be a simple inquiry, mature businesses with complex ownership, a history of successions or acquisition, private lending, or joint venture arrangements may be rejected when corporate contracts appear to impermissibly constrain current ownership and control.

If your business is considering certification, we can help by conducting pre-application document reviews and amending or redrafting agreements that do not accurately reflect the current ownership or control of your business.  We also assist already-certified businesses structure deals with the goal of avoiding inadvertent fraud or loss of certification.

Finally, we help businesses plan successions.  Transfers of ownership from father to daughter or from husband to wife (or ex-wife) can represent an opportunity for uncertified, mature businesses to experience otherwise unattainable new growth.  We can also help certified businesses plan changes of ownership–whether intergenerationally or by divestment–to avoid loss of existing certifications and thus business value.

In short, if certification as a women-owned, minority-owned, or disadvantaged business is a good fit for your firm, Susan Billeaud can help you not only through the initial certification process but even more as you grow!

(To learn more about the advantages and requirements of minority- and women-owned certification, please see our white paper, Perils and Pitfalls of Business Planning for WBE and MBE Certification.)


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