Frequently Asked Questions
The Minority and Women’s Business Opportunity Office (MWBOO) is committed to assisting businesses with all inquiries related to MBE/WBE certification for new, existing, and MDOT registered companies. To render proactive assistance, we provided a FAQ list that may assist with some clarification about our processes before contacting our office.
- How long does it take to process certification for a new or existing business?
MWBOO is not able to provide a concrete timeframe for completion given the extensive review we conduct for each application submitted. Often, the timeframe can range from 30 to 90 business days or longer given the in-depth nature of the review. Therefore, please allow some time for processing.
- I have a MBE/WBE certification with the State of Maryland. Can I apply for certification in Baltimore City?
Yes. MDOT certified businesses with a functioning location within the Baltimore City geographical market area are welcome to apply for MBE/WBE certification. In addition, if all other required documents that are submitted meet sufficiency, MWBOO may be able to approve a MDOT certified business for certification.
- How can I submit my certification application?
The acceptable form of application submission is online at https://cityservices.baltimorecity.gov/mwboo
- Is licensing required for my business area of expertise?
Depending upon the type of services rendered, some businesses do require Maryland State issued licenses (i.e. construction, insurance brokerage, professional engineering, etc.). Please be sure to know the qualifications required for your business in order to ensure proper licensing is accompanied with your new or renewal application documents. Please click here to see the listing of servicebased businesses that MUST be licensed in Maryland and required for Baltimore City’s MBE/WBE program.
- I need to bid on a contract, but my certification has not been updated. Can I receive an extension or expedited processing for bidding purposes?
MWBOO understands the importance of businesses being able to bid on new contracts. While we work diligently to process applications as efficiently as possible, our office always contends with some minor delays given the extensive review conducted on each application. Extensions for bidding purposes are discretionary and can only be approved by management. Therefore, a formal request such as this can be submitted to [email protected].
- My business headquarters is in Miami, Florida and we have an office located in Montgomery County, Maryland. Can we still be approved for MBE/WBE certification in Baltimore City?
Unfortunately, foreign entities or out of state businesses must have a fully functioning business site with staffing in the geographical market areas shown below:
• Baltimore City
• Baltimore County
• Anne Arundel County
• Carroll County
• Harford County
• Howard County
• Queen Anne’s County
- I have a virtual address within the market area but not an actual building or location. Is this acceptable?
Unfortunately, this is not acceptable. All businesses must have a fully operational and functional business location with staffing in the market area. MWBOO does conduct random site visits as well as investigations to verify/confirm the validity of every business. Failure to meet this requirement may result in businesses being denied certification or existing certification being revoked.
- What if a wife is listed as 51% owner of a business but her husband is the primary license holder and decision maker?
MWBOO strongly encourages that proper ownership reflects a fair proportion of control. Failure for a business to demonstrate this balance may result in certification denial for a new company or revoked certification for an existing business.
- We need to designate our business with the proper code that will identify the services and/or goods we offer. What are the codes called and how to select them for my business?
MWBOO identifies the services and/or goods for a business by using NAICS codes which are the classification codes issued by the Federal SBA. All NEW BUSINESSES applying for certification in Baltimore City’s MBE/WBE program must select its own NAICS codes to define their specialization of services. Our staff will not make these designations for a new business and failure to list this on the application will result in delays with processing or denial of your application. To acquire the NAICS codes, please feel free click on the SBA website: https://www.naics.com/search/
- We need to add new NAICS codes to our business certification profile. How do we add these services?
In order to add new NAICS codes for your business, you will need to request an Expansion of Services (https://cityservices.baltimorecity.gov/mwboo/documents/ExpansionofServic...) Please read the application carefully and submit all the required documents. Please be sure to submit to our office via email with all attachments to the following [email protected]. We cannot specify a timeframe for completion but please allow up to 90 business days or longer for processing.