Minority Owned Business | MBE
The government strives to give every US citizen equal opportunities to grow as an entrepreneur. These include members of minority groups. If you’re a part of this group, the business that you own is considered an MBE (Minority Business Enterprise).
What is an MBE?
An MBE is a business that’s owned, funded, operated, and managed by a person who is a member of one of the recognized minority groups in the United States. Recognized minorities include US citizens whose line of descent is at least ¼ of the following:
- Black – African descent
- Hispanic – from Spanish-speaking regions such as Central America, Caribbean Basin, South America and Mexico
- Native American – Aleut, Native Hawaiian, American Indian
Aside from line of descent, the business must also meet other criteria:
- The minority owner should have a minimum of 51% ownership of the business, or 51% of the company’s stocks needs to be publicly traded.
- The company is for-profit.
- The headquarters of the company should be located in the United States.
Certification process for MBE
The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) handles certification of businesses such as an MBE. It’s the sole national organization that provides MBE certification in the US.
The process is performed at the regional level. There are 23 regional affiliate councils closely working with the NMSDC to facilitate processing of certifications in each region.
The steps for application are as follows:
- Review the criteria for certification and make sure that the company is qualified.
- Collect the required documentation:
- Business history of the company
- Stock Certificates
- Stock Ledger
- Articles of Incorporation
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Minutes of the Board of Director’s meetings
- Minutes of the Shareholder’s meetings
- Executed and attested Bylaws
- Amendments to the Bylaws (if applicable)
- Agreement/s related to the operation, ownership or control of the company
- Proof of identity of the Principals
- Professional driver’s license
- Birth certificate or US passport of the Principals to serve as proof of US citizenship
- Corporate Bank Resolution Agreement including bank signature cards
- Security Deeds if the business is home-based
- Business Lease Agreement
- Copies of cancelled checks
- Proof of insurance for general liability
- Do the online application. The required documents will also be uploaded online.
- Pay the application fee via credit card or online payment.
- Organize a company site visit with the NMSDC certification specialist. You’ll also be interviewed during the visit.
- Wait for the NMSDC certification committee and board members to issue the final approval.
The entire process takes 90 days to be completed. The NMSDC will only start processing your documents after you have paid the application fee. A letter of appeal can be submitted if your company gets rejected.
Benefits of getting certified as an MBE
The certification process is not just about getting labeled as an MBE. This also entitles you to a lot of benefits.
- Networking – you get a chance to meet other certified MBEs and venture into business opportunities together
- Marketing – you can present your business to different potential clients in one setting
- Customized education for executives – you can ask for technical assistance and training for leadership as a CEO of an MBE
- Chance to transact with the government – government agencies are normally mandated to enlist the services of a particular percentage of MBEs.
Do you think your company is qualified? Apply for MBE certification today!
If you feel that your business needs a huge boost for its growth, getting an MBE certification should be prioritized. You’ll enjoy a lot of benefits such as access to government contracting opportunities that are specially allotted for MBEs. The NMSDC is always open to answer any of your questions.
The City of Cincinnati, in the year 2012 sought to employ more minority owned businesses, JTM Construction and Demolition became the City’s “go-to” minority company. Visit our “About Us” page to learn more.