Office of Business Opportunity

Certification & Designations - Certification Process

Due to the volume of certification applications, the average processing time for local applications is 6 – 8 months. We are working diligently to process your application and appreciate your patience.

Before applying for certification, please review the certification requirements (.pdf, updated November 2015). View an illustration of the process (.pdf).

Basic Requirements:

  • The minority or female business owner must possess at least 51% ownership, management, and control of the business enterprise.
  • The minority, female, or small business owner must have the training and expertise to perform the work, and where required, have a license or certificate issued in his or her name.
  • The business must be for profit, independent, and currently functioning.
  • The business must maintain a significant and local presence in Harris, Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto, or Waller County.
  • The business must meet the Small Business Administration Size Standard(s) for its industry classification(s).
  • Persons with Disabilities Business Enterprise (PDBE) certification require applicants to submit a Disability Affidavit and an accompanying letter from a State of Texas certified medical doctor. The person with a disability will be required to meet the same criteria for certification as MWBE/SBE applicants. 
  • For Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification, applicant must have a personal net worth of less than $1,320,000 – excluding value of home and ownership interest in the business. There is no local presence requirement.

Certification Application and Forms   Certification Overview