Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)A business that is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by a minority who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident. Minority groups include:

  • African Americans—Persons having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
  • Native Americans—American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, or Native Hawaiians.
  • Latino/Hispanics—Persons of trueborn Hispanic heritage from any of the Spanish-speaking areas of Latin America or the following regions: Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Basin.
  • Pacific Asians—Persons with origins from Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, China, Taiwan, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea, The Philippines, U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, or Nauru.
  • Subcontinent Asians—Persons with origins from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives Islands, or Nepal.

Women Business Enterprise (WBE)—A business that is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by a woman who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)—A small business that is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged U.S. citizen or permanent resident that has a personal net worth less than $750,000.

Small Business (SB)—A small business that is independently owned and operated, not dominant in the field of operation in which it is bidding on government contracts, and qualifies as a small business under the criteria and size standards set by the Small Business Administration.

Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB)—A small business that is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by a woman. This is a self-certification that can be done through the Small Business Administration.

Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB)—A small business that is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by a military veteran.

Service Disabled-Veteran Owned Business Enterprise (SD-VOSB)—A small business that is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by a disabled military veteran.

Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB)—A small business that is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged U.S. citizen. Minority-owned small businesses are automatically considered disadvantaged; some women-owned businesses may qualify if proof of social discrimination is submitted. Economically disadvantaged status of a SDB is based on the personal net worth of the owner.

Small Business Association 8(a)—The SBA’s 8(a) BD Program, named for a section of the Small Business Act, is a business development program created to help small disadvantaged businesses compete in the American economy and access the federal procurement market. To be recognized as an 8(a) contractor, the small business firm must be certified through the U.S. Small Business Administration. 8(a) certified firms are automatically considered a Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB).

Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone)—A small business that is certified as a small business by SBA standards, located in a historically underutilized business zone, owned and controlled by U.S. citizens, and has at least 35 percent of its employees residing in a HUBZone.