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How to Get Minority Owned Business Certification

Minority-Owned Business Certification

A minority-owned business certification has lots of perks as it opens up a gateway to immense opportunities such as local, state, federal, and corporate contracts. 

Corporations and governments spend the right proportion of their contract budget to support minority-owned businesses. It ensures that all communities can do proper business in the United States. 

To get formally recognized as a minority-owned business, the business entity needs to get an official certification. The certification proves that the concerned business is established credibly and it has all the official documentation to commence business with other private and public entities.  

In this article we have explained the process of getting minority owned business certification without hassle.


Benefits of minority owned business certification: 

Business support – Corporations in the USA realize the great purchasing power of U.S. minorities. They want minorities to buy their services and products and in return, they support their businesses. 

Sustainable economic growth – Federal officials are of the view that minority-based businesses help to develop a sustainable economy in the country. The benefit of having a minority-owned business certification is that you can win federal contracts. 

Some other benefits are:

  • Access to government grants and contracts 
  • Enhanced business partnership opportunities 
  • Technical, training, and management guidance 
  • Networking opportunities 

Continue reading to learn how to get minority owned business certification and how it helps to get more contracts. 


NMSDC Certification 

If you are planning to get your business certified, firstly, you need to know about the National Minority Supplier Development Council. It is the most prominent and largest certification body for minority-owned businesses. The mission of NMSDC is “to serve as a growth engine for NMSDC certified minority businesses and enable our members to advance economic equity”. It is dedicated to assisting Black, Asian, Native Americans, and Hispanic suppliers across the global corporate supply chain. 

Founded in 1972, NMSDC has a backbone of 23 regional affiliated nationwide. It has a network of 15000+ certified minority-owned businesses. The council ensures to connect these business entities with 1500+ giant corporate members.

A few names of these giant corporate members of NMSDC are – Apple, Accenture. Delta Airlines, Google, Facebook, IBM, Nike, Microsoft, Walt Disney Company, Bank of America, UnitedHealth Group, and many more. These companies provide direct contracts to the minority-owned businesses as certified by NMSDC.


Apply on 58Joralemon

The process of getting certified by Cocolevio’s 58Joralemon app involves 5 steps. After gathering your documentation:


  1. Fill in the required information about the organisation and its owners.
  2. Upload the required documents as requested.
  3. Complete the payment in-app to submit the application which is just 50$
  4. Your application and documentation are reviewed & verified. You will be notified for any questions or corrections needed.
  5. Certification decision is communicated via email or in-app notification.

Applying can take as little as 15 minutes and Most certification decisions communicated within 7 business days only*


How to get minority-owned business certification?

Are you ready to get an NMSDC certification for your owned minority business? Follow the steps below to know the certification process in detail:

What are the criteria for getting minority owned business certification?

Below are some of the eligibility criteria for getting minority-owned business certification:-

Business criteria: Before starting, an entity needs to meet the business criteria whether it is eligible for the certification or not. The criteria include the below factors –

  1. The business owner must be a U.S. citizen.
  2. Business must be located in the U.S.
  3. Business must be operated and controlled by 51% minority-owned shares

Documentation criteria: Next step required preparing all the documents. Below are the documents required to meet the eligibility criteria. 

  1. Articles of incorporation
  2. Certificate of incorporation
  3. Stock certificates 
  4. Bylaws (executed and attested)
  5. Stock ledger 
  6. Amendments (if applicable)

Application process: Now in the very next step, the business entity owner needs to look for the closest regional affiliate. Select the nearest affiliate to your business headquarter. Now, visit the official website of the affiliate and fill out the online application form. 

Fee payment: After filling out the online application, the owner needs to pay the application fees online through a credit card. 


Related Article:  Why you should certify your diverse business


What is the cost of minority owned business certification?

It is around $350-$1,200, depending on the region and where you apply.

Documents upload: Upload all documents required and submit the application. 

Schedule the date: Now, the owner needs to schedule a site visit and interview that is performed by the certification specialist of NMSDC.

This certification process usually takes up to 90 days to get completed. After receiving all the application materials, NMSDC Certification Committed reviews it. When the committee approves it, it is finally submitted to NMSDC Board for final approval. If it gets rejected, the minority business can again submit an appeal letter addressing the concerns. Once the application is approved, a notification email is sent to the applicant. 


Where to get minority owned business certification (Federal and local certifications)

Apart from NMSDC certification, you can also look for other certifications from organisations like Small Business Administration (SBA) or from other states and cities in which your business is located. 

The certification offered by SBA is known as 8(a). 8(a) certifications make the minority businesses eligible for federal contracts which are reserved for such kinds of businesses. The federal government aims to offer a minimum of 5 percent of contracts for businesses with 8(a) certifications. As per federal regulations, all companies with 51% minority ownership are eligible for 8(a).

Eligibility criteria for Minority Owned Business Certification:

Below are the eligibility criteria for 8(a):

  1. The individual applying for the certificate must be an American citizen 
  2. The business must be a minority-owned small business 

Note – There are separate eligibility requirements for the businesses owned by Native Alaskans, American Indians, Native Hawaiians, or Certified Development Companies 

Documents Required for Minority Owned Business Certification:

Below are the documents required for applying for 8(a):

  • Business tax returns for the past 3 years 
  • Personal tax returns for the past 3 years 
  • Financial statements of the business for the past 3 years 
  • Balance sheet including profit and loss statements of the business for the past 3 years 
  • Bank agreements including statement or signature card
  • Lease agreements
  • Documented proof of contributions, transfer of assets for the past 2 years 
  • Incorporation documents including articles of incorporation and certificate of incorporation
  • DBA filings 
  • Meeting minutes 
  • Bylaws
  • Stock ledgers and certificates  

Minority Owned Business Certification Application process:

Below are the steps to apply for 8(a)

  1. View the SBA online course 
  2. Prepare all the copies of government documents 
  3. Get a free D-U-N-S number 
  4. Get a user ID for SBA General Login System
  5. Start the online application for free 

State certificates 

Some states have their certification process as well. For example, Ohio has its process for Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certification. Minority-owned businesses certified in Ohio can get contracts from boards, state agencies, and commissions. Ohio State aims to award 15% contracts to MBEs. Many other states also offer such certifications. 

City-level certificates 

Chicago, on the other hand, is a prime example of city-level certification. It has its Minority and Women-Owned Business (M/WBE) Certification Program. These certifications enable minority and women-owned businesses to bid on large city projects. Such certifications are valid for five years. Austin, Memphis, Austin, New York City, and Houston also offer similar certifications. 


Conclusion: Now, when you have understood each aspect of minority business certification in the USA, it’s time to look for the easiest process to get the certificate quickly in a hassle-free way. For this, Cocolevio is the best online platform ever in the USA. Cocolevio’s product 58joralemon application provides women-owned business and minority-owned business certificates with a minimal application charge. The process is transparent and hassle-free on its website

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