At District Offices, we receive a lot of inquiries from businesses that are looking to lease coworking space in order to fulfill the requirements needed to become a DC Certified Business Enterprise (CBE). Let’s take a look at why CBE status is so sought after for DC small businesses, and how a coworking space can help achieve it.
What is a Certified Business Enterprise (CBE)?
Certified Business Enterprises are businesses headquartered in the District of Columbia that have been certified by the Department of Small and Local Business Development. Only for-profit organizations can apply for a CBE. LLCs, partnerships, corporations, and sole proprietors are all eligible for CBE status.
Attaining CBE certification offers a major leg up to local businesses as it gives them preferred status when it comes to DC government procurement and contracting opportunities. The various local agencies have a mandate to direct funding to small business enterprises – helping to build capacity and stimulate the local economy.
However, a business needs to meet several requirements to obtain a CBE. Its principal office needs to be located in the District of Columbia, and its CEO and highest-level managerial employees must work from this office. Additionally, the business must meet one of a list of requirements proving that the business is “local.” To do so, the business must show that it generates 50% of its gross receipts in DC, has 50% of its assets located in DC, or that 50% of its staff or the owners of more than 50% of the company are local.
It’s not just DC-incorporated businesses that are eligible for CBE status. Businesses incorporated in another state who register as foreign entities with the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and who meet the requirements can also become a Certified Business Enterprise.
How a Coworking Space Can Fulfill the CBE “Office” Requirement
Leasing an office at District Offices can help small businesses fulfill the principal office requirement – without the overhead associated with leasing an HQ in the heart of DC. Given that CBE status needs to be recertified every three years, choosing a coworking space as a primary headquarters can offer significant savings and flexibility over time.
When businesses lease with us, they get an official DC address and their name on the door, helping to meet the “office” and “local” requirements for the CBE. Additionally, our coworking spaces offer features such as meeting rooms, conference rooms, and a suite of on-site amenities across our buildings in central locations, which businesses can leverage. Our facilities can help businesses meet the managerial function requirement.
The ease at which businesses can spin up a primary office location at District Offices is also enormously beneficial for foreign entities looking to quickly get boots on the ground in order to achieve CBE status. Our flexible, affordable, turnkey office solutions allow businesses to move quickly so that they can easily and readily check the boxes needed to apply for CBE.
If your business is looking to become a Certified Business Enterprise but needs to meet the “office” requirement, contact District Offices. Our team can work with you to help you through the CBE process.