Business Opportunities

​Minority Business Enterprise - FAQs

What is the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program?


​The MBE program is a state procurement program developed to encourage minority-owned firms to participate in the state procurement process. The program creates contracting opportunities specifically for certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs).​

​What is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)?


A certified MBE is a company that has obtained their MBE certification through the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE). For more information on MBE certification, visit​

​How will the MBE program benefit my company?


As a certified MBE, you company will be eligible to satisfy MBE goals placed on contracts, whereas, non-certified companies cannot satisfy these goals. Because it is the prime-contractor’s responsibility to identify MBE sub-contractors to meet these goals, interest in using your company on a contract may increase.​

​How can my company participate in the MBE program?


The first step to participating in the program is to get certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) through the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE). Once you receive certification, it your company’s responsibility to identify opportunities to participate on contracts and build relationships with the prime contractors who are building teams to bid on these projects.​

​How does my company become a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)?


To become a certified MBE, you company must complete the MBE application process through the Maryland Department of Transportation Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE). To learn more about this process, visit​

​What are the benefits to becoming a certified MBE?


As a certified MBE, your company will be placed in the public database of state-certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs). Being on this list increases the chances that your MBE will be noticed by companies are looking for MBEs to work with them on private and public contracting opportunities.​

​Are state agencies required to use minority businesses on state contracts?


The state has established a 29% MBE goal. Each procurement agency is required to structure its procurement procedures to award a minimum of 29 % of the agency’s total dollar value of all procurement contracts to certified minority business enterprises. This goal does not apply to individual contracts; rather, it is an overall procurement goal to be achieved by the end of the fiscal year.​

Once certified, is my business guaranteed a contract?


No. Certification does not guarantee contract work to a MBE.

​How are goals set on contracts?


The Procurement Review Group (PRG) Administrator sets goals based on the type of work being requested and the availability of certified MBE companies to perform the work. The PRG Administrator uses the official database of certified MBEs on the MDOT website to identify companies that are certified with the proper NAICS codes to perform the work being requested.​

​Do all DGS contracts have MBE goals?


No. Goals are placed on individual contracts on a case-by-case basis following an evaluation and subsequent recommendations by the Procurement Review Group (PRG).​

​How would a business know if a MBE goal has been placed on a contracting opportunity?


The solicitation documents shall indicate the MBE goal, if any, placed on the specific contract.​

​How do I find information on state contracting opportunities?


All procurements in excess of $15,000 are solicited through the state’s online procurement system, eMaryland Marketplace. Companies can search the database of open opportunities or, by registering, companies can receive email notifications of opportunities when they are posted. To learn more about eMaryland Marketplace, review the eMM Frequently Asked Questions available on the homepage at​

​Does my business have to be certified as a MBE to participate on a state contract as a sub-contractor?


No. Certification is not required to participate on a contract as a sub-contractor; however, a non-certified MBE will not count toward satisfying and MBE goal on a contract.​

How do I become a sub-contractor on a state contract?

Prime contractors are responsible for identifying qualified sub-contractors to work on projects; however, the state does provide resources to help prime contractors identify potential sub-contractors:
  1. MBE Directory – As a certified MBE, your business will be listed in the public directory of certified MBEs. Prime contractors are encouraged to use this directory to identify certified MBEs.
  2. Pre-Bid Meetings – All prime contractors and sub-contractors are encouraged to attend all pre-bid meetings to discuss upcoming projects. Pre-bid meetings provide opportunities for prime-contractors to meet MBE companies.

Who is required to submit MBE documentation?


​MBE documentation must be submitted by all bidders at the time of bid submission. Following award of the project, the MBE Payment Summary Report, as well as the MBE Unpaid Invoice Report, are to be provided by the prime contractor on a monthly basis. In addition, all MBE subcontractors are required provide the MBE Unpaid Invoice Report on a monthly basis to the assigned Compliance Officer.​

​How can I find out which state agencies are achieving their MBE goal?


At the conclusion of each fiscal year, the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs (GOMA) compiles a report summarizing the MBE program for the preceding fiscal year. This report is posted to GOMA’s website at​

​Can a MBE prime contractor satisfy all of the MBE goals on a contract?


No. A MBE prime contractor may satisfy up to 50% of the established MBE goal. The remainder of the goal must be satisfied by certified MBE sub-contractors.​

​Where can I find laws and regulations regarding the MBE program?


Annotated Code of Maryland
State Finance and Procurement Article, Division II, Title 14, Subtitle 3 – Minority Business Participation

Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 21.11.03
Title 21 – State Procurement Regulations, Subtitle 11, Chapter 3 – Minority Business Enterprise Policies

​What is expected of the MBE sub-contractor once a contract is awarded?


All firms are expected to meet performance standards established by contract specifications. This relates to the quality of work done, the submission of reports and written information in a timely manner, and the firm's compliance with applicable regulations and laws. Once a MBE has been awarded a sub-contract, the MBE is responsible for submitting verification of all payments received to the contracting agency. This includes the payment amount and date received.​

​Can a MBE be the prime contractor on a contract with MBE goals?


Yes. However, a MBE prime is still responsible for identifying MBE sub-contractors to fulfill some or all of the established MBE goal.​

​What are the prime contractor’s responsibilities?


The prime contractor must first meet the MBE goals established on the contract by seeking out and using certified MBEs. Once work begins, the prime contractor is responsible for all project activities, including those of subcontractors.​

Regular monitoring assures that contractual items are performed in accordance with specifications. Monthly reports (such as payroll, cost, time estimation and progress reports) must be submitted by the prime contractor. When changes are needed, the general contractor must get approval from the agency project manager. Any changes in MBE participation must be approved.​

Human Trafficking GET HELP

National Human Trafficking Hotline - 24/7 Confidential

1-888-373-7888 233733 More Information on human trafficking in Maryland

Customer Service Promise

The State of Maryland pledges to provide constituents, businesses, customers, and stakeholders with friendly and courteous, timely and responsive, accurate and consistent, accessible and convenient, and truthful and transparent services.

Take Our Survey

Help Stop Fraud in State Government

The Maryland General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Audits operates a toll-free fraud hotline to receive allegations of fraud and/or abuse of State government resources. Information reported to the hotline in the past has helped to eliminate certain fraudulent activities and protect State resources.

More Information