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MBE/EDGE Certification

Along with the MBE/EDGE Research and Reporting Unit, this unit is responsible for helping implement the state’s procurement preference programs for socially and economically disadvantaged businesses, which are the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity (EDGE) programs. This unit certifies businesses into both the MBE and EDGE programs, helps maintains a list of MBE- and EDGE-certified businesses, and ensures that certified businesses are in compliance with the programs.

Along with the MBE/EDGE Business Certification Unit, the MBE/EDGE Research and Reporting Unit is responsible for helping implement the state’s MBE and EDGE procurement preference programs. This unit conducts research on and publishes reports regarding the MBE and EDGE programs, assists state agencies with planning for their utilization of MBE- and EDGE-certified businesses, manages a database of all MBE- and EDGE-certified businesses, and ensures that state agencies and other businesses are in compliance with the programs.

For questions or concerns, please contact our office at 614-466-8380. 

MBE and EDGE Requirements
How to apply for MBE and/or EDGE

Applying online

PLEASE NOTE:  All forms must be electronically submitted through the Ohio Business Gateway (OBG). Please reference the following instructions when filing forms to EOD. If you are logging into OBG for the first time, you will need a username and password. Click "New User" to create an account. If you need assistance logging in or have any questions, contact the office at 614-466-8380. 

Helpful Info/Tips:

  • The online application for MBE and/or EDGE is called the "Unified Application" on OBG. It will not show up in the listing of applications until after you log in and select "Equal Opportunity Division" from the drop-down list of services.
  • EOD will not receive an application unless the "check out" process is completed on the OBG website and the contractor receives a confirmation number. Please refer to the instructions above for how to properly check out a form on OBG.
  • Although the check out process includes a button that reads "Checkout (Ready to File and Pay))," there is NO FEE required to submit a form to EOD. 
  • A confirmation number will be provided if the form is successfully checked out on OBG.
  • EOD will receive an application the following business day.
  • EOD will be unable to process a MBE and/or EDGE application or cross-certification until supporting documentation is received in the office. The supporting document checklist will be a link on your confirmation receipt.

Joint Venturing

A joint venture is defined as “a legal organization that takes the form of a short term partnership in which the persons jointly undertake a transaction for mutual profit. Generally each person contributes assets and share risks. Like a partnership, joint ventures can involve any type of business transaction and the "persons" involved can be individuals, groups of individuals, companies, or corporations.” Some benefits of joint venturing include: access to new markets, increased capacity, risks and costs sharing, access to greater resources, opportunity to gain new capacity and expertise, allows access to gain new technological knowledge, saves money, and builds credibility with target markets.

To obtain MBE or EDGE certification of your joint venture, the first step is completion of the Unified Application through the Ohio Business Gateway (OBG). The materials required vary from those of a normal certification, specifically the addition of the joint venture agreement. Below are examples of some of the items that may be requested:

  • The joint venture agreement, containing all of the following:
    • Name of project and contract number, if known,
    • Location of project,
    • Bid date of project,
    • Type of project,
    • Description of job to be performed by other joint venture partners,
    • Percentage of the project to be subcontracted, if any, and actual work being done by the subcontractor, or goods and services to be performed or bought,
    • Approximate date contract will start if successful bidder and approximate completion date,
    • Type of equipment to be used on a project, or the goods and services to be supplied and performed.
  • The business relationship commercially benefits all parties to the joint venture;
  • The certified business owner must control at least 51 percent of the joint venture operations, including management decisions and policies. The minority business owner shall have an interest in the capital, assets, and profits and losses of the joint venture at least proportionate to their capital in the venture, but not less than 30 percent.
  • Name of the individual who has the power of attorney to act for and bind all of the joint venture partners;
  • Mailing address and street address of the joint venture;
  • New internal revenue service issued tax identification number of the joint venture;
  • Proof of bond or insurance, if required, that binds the joint venture and jointly and severally binds all members of the joint venture;
  • Work composition by expertise or trade of all joint venture partners;
  • Equipment to be used that is owned by the minority applicant;
  • Name of company from which joint venture will lease equipment;
  • Amount of contribution provided by each joint venture partner;
  • Narrative description of the business relationship of each party, including how management, business, and operational decision making will occur, the work composition of each party, the work to be performed by each party, and the source and use of shared resources and business equipment.

Are you eligible for cross-certification?

Are you currently certified by another regional or municipal small or minority business certification program? You may qualify for cross certification into either the EDGE or MBE program, depending upon the certification that you hold. See below for details.

If you are certified by an approved program, complete a cross-certification form via Ohio Business Gateway.

Post-Certification Information

Certified Business Toolkit

The Certified Business Toolkit provides you some helpful "tools" to help you maximize your MBE/EDGE certification. Check back as new tools and resources are added to help you and your business succeed.

Download Certificates

To view your MBE and/or EDGE certificate, please click on a link below. Once on the reporting website, select which search you need to perform (either MBE, EDGE, affirmative action, etc.). Then enter your FTID/FEIN# - without the dash - into the appropriate field and click search. When your result comes up, select to "view letter."  You can then print your certificate from your browser window. Contact the EOD Office at 614-466-8380 for questions.

Leadership Team

Business Certification Unit:
Todd McGonigle, EEO Program Manager

Certification Staff
Cathy Armstrong, EEO Contract Officer
Stacy Cornett, EEO Contract Officer
Paul Holliman, EEO Contract Specialist
Madie Hughes, EEO Contract Officer
Donald Stinson Jr., EEO Contract Officer

Research and Reporting Unit:
Cassandra Sellan, Program Administrator

Research and Reporting Staff

Bryan Hairston, Researcher
Joshua Todorovski, Researcher