Veteran-Friendly Business Enterprise

The City of Toledo contracts with businesses owned or partially staffed by veterans. Eligilbe business must either be at least 51% owned by veterans or persons on active service, or staffed by at least 10% veterans or persons on active service. Click the button below to apply.

Apply to be a VBE

Certified Businesses


To be qualified to apply, the business must be a for-profit business located within the United States and all applicants must be U.S. citizens. For out-of-state applicants you must provide your current valid state MBE-WBE certification and/or your state DOT DBE certification to be eligible to apply. In order to be considered for MBE-WBE status, a business must be at least 51% owned and controlled, and day-to-day operations managed by a U.S. citizen(s) and a member(s) of one or more of the following minority groups: Latino, Hispanic, Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian, or Alaska Native.

The following documentation is utilized to determine race/ethnic background: birth certificate, U.S. passport, U.S. military records or tribal role numbers assigned by the Bureau of Indian Affairs or other official documentation that states ethnic identification.

The business must have been in business for at least one year prior to applying for certification to be able to supply the required Federal business taxes.

Business owner(s) must:

  1. possess requisite knowledge of the business and industry in which he or she is applying.
  2. have day-to-day control over the business. In order to be viewed as controlling a firm, a socially and economically disadvantaged owner cannot engage in outside employment or other business interests that conflict with the management of the firm or prevent the individual from devoting sufficient time and attention to the affairs of the firm to control its activities.
  3. exercise final authority over all aspects of daily operations, including but not limited to, operations, financial and business management, human resources and policy decisions.
  4. possess all licenses and permits required by law to perform the scope of work within the work services offered.

Companies holding a state of Ohio DAS MBE-WBE certification may utilize the reciprocal application when applying for MBE-WBE certification for the first time with the City of Toledo. The reciprocal status is honored for the time indicated on the state of Ohio certification (up to 2 years). Upon expiration of the state of Ohio certification, your company will be asked to fill out our application and provide documentation to become fully certified with the City of Toledo.

Please note that MBE-WBE certification review and approval may take up to 8 weeks. When the business is approved, a certificate will be issued and the business will be listed on our MBE-WBE list by business services offered.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) or Women Business Enterprise (WBE) certification?

In order to be considered for MBE or WBE status, 51% of a company needs to be owned, managed, and controlled by a minority or women and be a U.S. citizen. The following ethic groups and races are discerned as minorities:

  1. Black
  2. Native American/Alaskan Native
  3. Hispanic or Latino
  4. Asian/Pacific Islander

What are the ethnic definitions?

The basic racial and ethnic categories for Federal statistics and program administrative reporting are defined as follows:

  1. American Indian or Alaskan Native. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America, and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.
  2. Asian or Pacific Islander. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands. This area includes, for example, China, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, and Samoa.
  3. Black. A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
  4. Hispanic or Latino. A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

How is the ethnic background determined?

Examples are: a copy of the birth certificate, U.S. passport, U.S. military records or tribal role numbers assigned by the Bureau of Indian Affairs or other official documentation that states ethnic identification.

How do I receive a certification application or recertification short form?

You can download the application and recertification forms at the top of this page, or visit the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

How will I be listed?

You will be listed according to your specialty and then we will list what services or construction work you can provide in detail. If you have very different services to offer we will not list you under different categories, but we will put the different service areas in bold print for easier reference. You will only be placed on one list; either the Minority Business Enterprise list or the Women Business Enterprise list. If you are a minority female, you will be listed under the Minority Business Enterprise list unless you notify us in writing that you want to be listed as a Women Business Enterprise instead.

How long will it take for me to be certified with the City of Toledo?

If you meet the requirements and turn in all completed documentation it takes approximately 1 to 3 weeks, however, it may take up to 8 weeks. Incomplete applications and/or incomplete or additional paperwork requests will result in delays.

All applications are reviewed and subject to the approval by the Director of Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The Director renders the final decision on all applications. There is no formal appeal process for denied applications.

What does the certification process entail?

Submit a completed, notarized application. All application areas must be answered. You must also provide:

  1. Current tax records, current business financial statements, and bank signature cards.
  2. Work resumes.
  3. Ethnic documentation
  4. Any relevant licenses.
  5. Proof of Insurance and proof of Worker’s Compensation.
  6. Additional documentation as needed.

Corporations are the only business structure that needs to provide the following documents:

  1. Articles of Incorporation, by-laws, minutes, shares ledger, corporate tax returns and stock certificates.
  2. Any partnership agreements.

What if I am just recertifying?

We ask that you return your completed recertification short form one month prior to your expiration date so we may maintain accurate listings and files. We require a 2-page recertification every two years if no changes in structure/control or ownership have taken place and every 4 years your business will be asked to submit current documents to our office along with your recertification form.

When your notarized recertification forms have been received, a new certificate will be issued which will be honored for two years. Make sure you indicate your current business phone number and/or business cell number, fax number, current business address, and current company email address and your business specialties.

Please note that additional business services cannot be added once a certification has been issued. Your company must certify the new business area or work type separately. Also, if changes in structure or control have occurred, you must notify us in writing and fill out a new MBE/WBE certification application, along with the requested documentation, to determine if the new structure and/or ownership still qualifies for MBE-WBE status.

Are there any other agencies that provide services to MBE’s?

The Minority Business Assistance Center provides technical, professional and financial support to MBE’s in the State of Ohio. The Toledo Chamber of Commerce is another great resource to utilize if you are a new company that is trying to get your business started.