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Can a joint venture be certified as a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) in the State of Maryland?

No.  A joint venture is an association of a DBE firm and one or more firms to carry out a single, for-profit business enterprise for which the parties combine their property, capital, skills and knowledge.  Because a joint venture consists of businesses brought together temporarily, the joint venture itself cannot be certified. 

However, with that said, a joint venture can receive DBE credit for a specific contract if the DBE partner of the joint venture meets the standards for an eligible DBE, and the DBE is responsible for a clearly defined portion of the work to be performed and shares in the ownership, control, management responsibilities, risks and profits of the joint venture.  With that said, the joint venture cannot serve as an instrument to meet contract goals in instances where the DBE is not given the opportunity to exercise independent judgments.

Certification of a business can be a viable tool for developing and maintaining business relationships. Businesses seeking certification as a DBE in Maryland may want to consider obtaining legal advice concerning eligibility requirements for certification prior to applying for certification. 

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

 

This information is provided for general information only.  None of the information provided herein should be construed as providing legal advice or a separate attorney client relationship. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney of your choice about your particular situation. While PK Law has taken reasonable efforts to insure the accuracy of this material, the accuracy cannot be guaranteed and PK Law makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy.