Local Business Enterprise (LBE)

LBE Policy
LBE Qualification Statement
LBE Directory

When does it apply?

  • Any procurement valued between $5,000 and $25,000*
  • Any City contract procured by competitive sealed bid or by Request for Proposal if the estimated contract value is over $25,000*
    * LBE is not applicable if State or Federal guidelines prohibit or restrict local preferences of this kind.

What is considered local?

“Local” is based on the Columbia-Newberry Combined Statistical Area (CSA). The CSA is defined by the Office of Management & Budget and may be modified at any time. As of October, 2011, the following counties are considered “local”:


My businesses is located in one of the local counties. How do I make sure it is considered a Local Business Enterprise?

  • A company must be certified PRIOR to bid openings. A business is NOT considered an LBE unless it has been certified by the LBE Compliance Team. You will need to follow the steps below to become certified.
  • How does my business qualify for the program?
  • Fill out the Qualification Statement. This form will need to be notarized.
  • Qualifying companies must meet all of the following to qualify:
  • Be independently owned and operated: Ownership of a local business must be directly independent provided that the interest is controlled by the local firm.
  • Be In good standing with State of South Carolina: Any LBE must be in good standing with the State of South Carolina regarding its payments of taxes and required business licenses.
  • Have a business license: Local business license within any of the 8 CSA jurisdictions. (See What is considered “local”?)
  • Have operated for at least one year within the 8 “local” counties: Local business must have presence within any of the 8 CSA jurisdictions for at least one year prior to applying for LBE Certification issued by the City of Columbia. (See What is considered “local”?)
  • Have 50% of employees residing within any of the 8 CSA jurisdictions: The applicant will need to attach a list of all owner/employee addresses (Street address, City, State & Zip) and submit with the Qualification Statement. Names are optional. This applies to full-time, part-time and contract employees.
  • Submit the notarized Qualification Statement to the LBE Compliance team.
  • Qualifications will be researched and verified by the LBE Compliance Team.

How long does my certification last?
Certification is valid for a period of 4 years from issue date. Thirty (30) days prior to expiration, you may submit documentation to re-qualify as an LBE.

I have more questions that are not answered here.
Contact the Office of Business Opportunities Compliance Team at 1401 Main Street, 4th FL, Columbia, SC 29201 or phone (803) 545-3950.