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What does it mean when a minority-owned business is decertified as a minority business enterprise (“MBE”) in Baltimore City?

According to the Baltimore City Code, an MBE is decertified when a determination is made that the business no longer meets certification criteria.  In essence, when an MBE is decertified, a determination has been made that the MBE (1) is no longer is an independent, operating business; (2) is no longer at least 51% minority-owned by one (1) or more minority group members; or (3) no longer has an operating office in the Baltimore City Market Area.

Oftentimes, an MBE is decertified when a determination has been made that 51% minority owner no longer has the ability to direct the management, policies, and operations of the business or the ability to make day-to-day decisions concerning matters of management, policy and operations.  As a result, demonstrating necessary control is critical to maintaining certification as an MBE in Baltimore City.  Therefore, a business desiring certification as an MBE in Baltimore City should consider obtaining legal advice to ensure that it meets the necessary certification requirements and is able to maintain them once it is certified. 

By:  James R. Benjamin, Jr., Esq.                             
jbenjamin@pklaw.com