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Business & self-employment

Get certified as a Local Business Entity

Service overview

The Procurement Department offers a bid preference for certified Local Business Entities (LBE). LBEs are eligible for a reduced price on some City contracts. The City uses the lower bid when evaluating bidders. You can view a current list of LBEs online.

  • For bids of $1 million or less, there is a 10% preference discount for LBEs.
  • For bids more than $1 million, there is a 5% preference discount for LBEs.

Being certified as an LBE vendor does not guarantee that all bids will be evaluated with the LBE preference. LBE preference is only applied to sealed bids, not Professional Services contracts.


A company must be headquartered in Philadelphia to get a Local Business Entity Certification.

If the business is not headquartered in Philadelphia, it must meet two of these requirements and provide supporting documentation:

  • More than 60% of the business’ full-time employees live in Philadelphia. These employees must list Philadelphia as their address on the City of Philadelphia Annual Reconciliation of Employer Wage Tax.
  • More than half of the business’ full-time employees work in the city at least 60% of the time.
  • More than 75% of the business’ gross receipts reported on their Business and Income Receipts Tax (BIRT) come from Philadelphia.



In order to be certified as an LBE, you must submit the Local Business Entity Certification Application and all supporting documentation.

Permits and licenses

To get certified as a Local Business Entity (LBE), you need to have a Commercial Activity License and all other required licenses and permits. You must have these licenses and permits for 18 months before you apply. You can apply for a Commercial Activity License online using eCLIPSE.

Maintaining LBE status

If your company is awarded a contract based upon the LBE preference, the company must maintain its certification throughout the contract term.

Where and when


Email the completed LBE Certification Application to


You can also fax applications to (215) 686-4749.


Download and fill out the LBE application.

Fax or email the application to the Procurement Department.

You'll be notified of your status within 10 business days of application receipt.
Once certified, you will receive an email notifying you of your certification status.

The email address on your application will be used to communicate with you about your certification. You will also receive a letter in the mail, notifying you of your certification status.

If your application is deemed incomplete, we will email or contact you for additional information.

Renewal requirements

The LBE certification is valid for five years. However, you must submit a Continuing Eligibility Affidavit every year to keep your certification. All affidavits are due by July 31.

Since the affidavit requires a notary signature and seal, it should be mailed to:

Attention: Joseph M. Barnes, Procurement Inventory Control Supervisor
City of Philadelphia, Procurement Department
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Room 120
Philadelphia, PA 19102