MBE WBE Certification Tips

Excerpt from Prado & Renteria CPAs article “Pitfalls to Avoid During the City of Chicago’s Certification Process” Negocios Now – Supplier Diversity, October 2021

Pitfalls to Avoid During the City of Chicago’s Certification Process

Preparation is crucial when adhering to the strict City of Chicago Certification program’s guidelines. To ensure a seamless process, we recommend that an applicant confirm their eligibility, qualifications and documentation before completing and submitting the online application. The online application is available on the City of Chicago’s procurement services website.

We recommend that an eligible applicant, gather and organize their information to prevent a delay or an application rejection with the Certification program. An applicant may organize each of the major qualification requirements as listed below.


To support the eligibility requirement of 51% ownership by eligible individuals ensure that your documentation includes the following:

  • Substantiates where and/or how start-up funds/ expansion capital was initiated. This includes the initial capital contribution to start the business and/or to open the first bank account. Other items include: articles of incorporation, operating agreements, and stock certificates.
  • Consistency of with the Applicant’s firm name among various documents
  • Three/five years of tax returns were submitted and signed as required


Business owners will need to refer to the Business Licenses, Professional Licenses, and Identification of relevant NAICS Code Numbers

  • Clear description of critical functions and who is responsible
  • Proof that the company is located in one of the six county regions (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will County)
  • Complete contracts for each NAICS code with: signature & executed by qualifying owners, and corresponding proof of payments.

Qualifying Individuals Are Making Critical Business Decisions

It’s valuable for qualifying individuals that

  • No outside secondary employment takes the majority of the MBE/WBE enterprise’s time each day
  • Point of contact responds to requests for information in a timely manner

We Can Help

Prado & Renteria seeks to enhance our support towards minority and women-owned businesses through our new service of Professional Declaration of Eligibility (PDE). The City of Chicago’s MBE and WBE Certification Processing can be expedited with a Professional Declaration of Eligibility conducted by a certified public accountant.

Learn more about our MBE WBE Certification Process at our dedicated page

Request Your Free Consultation

Our team will conduct a quick analysis of your company’s candidacy for MBE and/or WBE certification to determine the next steps.

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