Minority Certification

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Minority, Disadvantaged, Disabled, and Small Business Certification Programs

If you are a minority business owner in the State of Florida, there are numerous state programs and initiatives available to help your business grow and succeed.

In 2009, the Florida Legislature found that "there is evidence of a systematic pattern of past and continuing racial discrimination against minority business enterprises and a disparity in the availability and use of minority business enterprises in the state procurement system" and "based upon statistical data profiling this discrimination, the Legislature has enacted race-conscious and gender-conscious remedial programs to ensure minority participation in the economic life of the state, in state contracts for the purchase of commodities and services, and in construction contracts".

Who is a Minority?

Minority Certification

What Agencies can bid minority status?

  • All state schools and universities, Department of Education
  • Environmental Protection
  • Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Hospitals & State run healthcare
  • Law Enforcement, Department of Corrections, Juvenile Justice
  • Elder, Community & Military Affairs
  • Lottery
  • Veterans Affairs
  • Department of Revenue
  • Governor's Office
  • Children & Family Services
  • Financial Services
  • Persons of Disabilities


Benefit of Certification

First Tier Referrals

Are given to minority, women, and service-disabled veteran businesses that are certified by the state. This means they are the first tier of businesses referred to state agencies seeking to include supplier diversity as a part of their purchase order and contract opportunities.

Vendor in the Spotlight

Designed to highlight certified minority, women, and service-disabled veteran business enterprises by industry to a target audience of purchasing agents and decision makers. Certified vendors make presentations at the monthly Diversity Working Group Meeting to introduce their companies and capabilities to several state entities at one time.

OSD Link Newsletter

Created in February 2008, is a fresh tool to keep certified minority, women, and service-disabled veteran business enterprises connected with important initiatives, events, and updates on various topics of interest.

Special E-Mails

Special emails and other information are disseminated to vendors who appear in the state's database as certified minority, women, and service-disabled veteran business enterprises. This information could vary from contract opportunities to special events, networking activities and technical assistance training.

Strategic Alliances

With major corporations are encouraged as a part of the Office of Supplier Diversity's "Matchmaking" efforts. Vendors certified by the state of Florida have "first stop" status as OSD strives to assist in developing business relationships, which potentially will lead to contract opportunities.

Online Directory

On the Office of Supplier Diversity's website lists only state Certified Business Enterprises. The directory makes certified minority, women, and service-disabled veteran business enterprises available by alpha and commodity code listings to state and local governmental entities, as well as the general public and private-sector corporations.


Simplified for certified minority and women businesses who have registered in MyFloridaMarketPlace.com and completed the certification process. A signed Affidavit for Recertification is required to be submitted on an annual basis to reduce duplicated efforts.

Special Discounts

Special discounts including gratis admission to events may be offered to state minority, women, and service-disabled veteran business enterprises who participate in educational, outreach and matchmaking activities coordinated by the state government and the Office of Supplier Diversity. These activities could include regional workshops, seminars and the Office of Supplier Diversity's annual Matchmaker Conference and Trade Show.

Requirements for Certification

  • Must be a Minority
  • 51% Own and Control the Business
  • Responsible for the business on a full-time basis
  • Must be a US Citizen
  • Resident of the State of Florida
  • If a professional license is required, the minority owner must carry the license
  • The business must be operating or attempting to operate by submitting bids
  • Must be classified as a small business
  • Must operate in Florida

Important Laws & Rules

  • If your business is required to have a professional license, the individual seeking minority status, MUST hold that license
  • No transfer of stock or ownership can occur within 2 years prior to Minority Certification
  • If you own a business and your partner is a non-minority, do not attempt this process on your own
  • If denied, you cannot re-apply for 6 months. Please consider the decision to handle this on your own very carefully

Like every state or government program, cutting through the red tape is a hassle.

More than any other licensing process, Minority Certification can be time-consuming, arduous, and overwhelming. The good news is that API has successful experience with this certification process.

State of Florida Certification Programs:

  1. Office of Supplier Diversity - Certification programs to do business with cities, counties, school districts, hospitals, water management districts, certain private sector, and quasi-government entities.
  2. Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Equal Opportunity DBE Program - Certification program to engage in road, highway or bridge planning, design, construction or maintenance related goods and services.
  3. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) DBE Program - Certification program to engage primarily in airport related goods and services, including concessions.
  4. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) DBE Program - Certification program to engage primarily in transit related goods and services, including concessions.


Let API Handle All Your Minority Certification Needs!

Our company has experience and knowledge for State Contractor Certifications and Qualifications. We also assist in  Bonding, Liability Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation or Exemptions.

It’s easy: just call API to file for you.