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Frequently Asked Questions 

 

Q. Do I need to be certified with CMS' Business Enterprise Program (BEP) as a minority owned business (MBE), female owned business (FBE) or disabled-person owned business (PBE) to bid on State of Illinois contracts?
A. No. Any qualified business can bid for contracts posted to the Illinois Procurement Bulletin (IPB). BEP certification is for diverse businesses to compete as sub-contractors.
 
Q.  How much does it cost to become BEP certified as a  FBE, MBE, or PBE?
A.  CMS’ BEP certification and vendor registration to the IPB is free of charge for all applicants.

Q.  I am already certified as a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE/FBE/MBE/PBE), does the state accept that certification?
A.  CMS has a BEP recognition application process. If you are currently certified with at least one of the entities listed below, you may complete the Recognition Certification Affidavit.
    • Illinois Unified Certification Program (IL UCP) (IDOT) 
    • Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council (CMSDC) 
    • Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) 
    • City of Chicago 
    • Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA) 
    • METRA 
    • PACE 
    • Cook County

Q.  How long does the BEP certification application take to process?
A.  It takes approximately 60-days to process and make a determination.

Q.  Where can I get assistance on completing the BEP certification application?

Contact the CMS Business Enterprise Program Office
or
Visit one of the statewide Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)