Skip to Content

Program Eligibility

Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)

A minority owned business that is a continuing, independent, for profit business which performs a commercially useful function, and is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned and controlled by one (1) or more minority individuals who are impeded from normal entry into the economic mainstream because of past practices of discrimination based on race or ethnic background. Recognized ethnic minorities are as follows:

African American

A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.

Hispanic American

A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

Native American

A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America.

Asian American

A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands.

Woman Business Enterprise (WBE)

A woman owned business that is a continuing, independent, for profit business which performs a commercially useful function, and is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned and controlled by one (1) or more women; or in the case of any publicly owned business, at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the stock of which is owned and controlled by one (1) or more women and whose management and daily business operations are under the control of one (1) or more women.

Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (SDVBE)

Tennessee Service-Disabled Veteran owned mean any person who served honorably on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States with at least a twenty percent (20%) disability that is service-connected meaning that such disability was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty in the active military, naval or air service. “Tennessee service disabled veteran owned business” means a service-disabled veteran owned business that is a continuing, independent, for profit business located in the state of Tennessee that performs a commercially useful function.

Tennessee Service-Disabled Veteran owned means a service-disabled owned business that is a continuing, independent, for profit business located in the state of Tennessee that performs a commercially useful function, and

    1. is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned and controlled by one (1) or more service-disabled owned veterans;
    2. In the case of a business solely owned by (1) service-disabled veteran and such person’s spouse, is at least fifty percent (50) owned and controlled by the service-disabled veteran; or
    3. In the case of any publicly owned business, at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the stock of which is owned and controlled by one (1) or more service-disabled veteran and whose management and daily business operations are under the control of one (1) or more service-disabled veteran.

Small Business Enterprise (SBE)

Effective July 1, 2013, the definition of a small business has expanded to include the following definition: "Tennessee small business" means a business that is a continuing, independent, for profit business which performs a commercially useful function with residence in Tennessee and has total gross receipts of no more than ten million dollars ($10,000,000) averaged over a three-year period or employs no more than ninety-nine (99) persons on a full-time basis".

Small Business Guidelines(pdf format)

Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury
Office of Small Business Advocate