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Business Certification: Joint Ventures

A joint venture is a commercial collaboration in which two or more separate businesses — one of whom must be certified already by either the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program or the Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity (EDGE) program — legally join together for the purpose of obtaining a specific contract or undertaking a specific transaction, while at the same time remaining independent. Generally each member of a joint venture shares the risks of, has an interest in, and contributes assets to, the joint venture. Joint ventures can be formed in order to submit bids or proposals for a contract in any applicable procurement category (i.e., professional services, goods and services, or information technology services). An MBE-certified business cannot participate in a joint venture who submits bids or proposals for construction, architecture or engineering projects.

Joint Venture Eligibility

To have the joint venture certified either into the MBE or EDGE program, the joint venture must be controlled by the certified business owner. In addition, the certified business owner must 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 the interest must be at least 51 percent for MBE or 30 percent for EDGE.

Steps for Certifying a Joint Venture

To obtain MBE or EDGE certification of a joint venture, the applicant must complete an online application through the Ohio Business Gateway. In addition, the applicant must submit a copy of the Joint Venture Agreement to das-eod.bccu@das.ohio.gov . Among other things, the Joint Venture Agreement must include the following:

  • Name of project and contract number, in known;
  • Location, bid date and type of project;
  • Description of job to be performed by joint venture partners;
  • Percentage of the project to be subcontracted and of actual work being conducted by the subcontractor; and
  • Appropriate contract start and completion dates.

(For a comprehensive list of the items that the Joint Venture Agreement must contain, please click here for MBE and click here for EDGE.)

Upon receipt and review of the Joint Venture Agreement, EOD may require an on-site review by a state compliance officer.

Steps for Joint Venture

  1. Visit Ohio Business Gateway
  2. Log in using username and password (OH|ID)
  3. Ensure "Equal Opportunity Division" is among available service areas
  4. Ensure "Unified Application" is among available transaction types
  5. Ensure filing access (read, edit, submit) is available -- work with your account's Gateway filing administrator
  6. Select "Unified Application" and complete the form
  7. Click "File" button on the Summary page to see a confirmation page (and print completed application)
  8. Submit Joint Venture Agreement to das-eod.bccu@das.ohio.gov

Ohio Business Gateway Tutorial

Wondering how to locate the Unified Application on the Ohio Business Gateway? Click here for a PowerPoint tutorial developed to help you log in and add service areas (and forms) to your profile.

General Contact

4200 Surface Road
Columbus, Ohio 43228
Phone: 614-466-8380
Fax: 614-728-5628

Driving Directions

Tips Hotline: 1-888-623-8477 (MBE-TIPS)