Culture, Commerce, Community & Commitment
Chamber of Commerce
Criteria to Become a CERTIFIED Minority Business Enterprise
A minority-owned business is defined as being owned, capitalized, operated and controlled by a member of an identified minority group. The business must be a for-profit enterprise which physically resides in the United States or one of it territories. Identified "Minority groups" are generally defined as having an ethnic background consisting of Asian, Black, Hispanic, East Asian Indian and/or Native American. Some applications require US Citizenship, some applications accept legal residents. Some applications require a 75% ethnic heritage others will accept as little as one fourth. Note: Non-For-Profit companies DO NOT qualify for any certifications.
Ownership by minority individuals means the business is at least 51% owned by such individuals or, in the case of a publicly-owned business, at least 51% of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals. Further, the management and daily operations are controlled by those minority group members. Non-For-Profit agencies DO NOT qualify for ANY certifications.
Generally, the identified minority groups are as follows:
Subcontinent Asian Indian: persons with origins from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the surrounding countries.
Asian Pacific Americans: persons with origins from Japan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Samoa, Guam, Burma, Singapore, Brunei, Republic of the Marshall Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Hong Kong, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru, the U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific, the Northern Marianas [Republic of Palau].
Black Americans: persons with origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
Hispanic Americans: persons with origins of Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean Basin only. Brazilians should be listed under Hispanic designation for review and certification purposes.
Native American - A person who is an American Indian of a North American Tribe, Eskimo, Aleut or Native Hawaiian, and regarded as such by the community of which the person claims to be a part. You must provide quantifiable proof of your heritage such as a Native American Blood Degree Certificate (i.e., tribal registry letter, tribal roll register number).
Certification is done at the local or regional level. Some certification offices that certify for the private sector do charge a non-refundable application fee. Certification must be renewed each year. Private sector certifications require an annual renewal fee.
KC Source Link - Not sure who provides the assistance your business needs? Find the right resource quickly!
National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development - presenters of the annual Reservation Economic Summit, they mean business for American Indians
National Congress of American Indians - the largest and oldest American Indian national organization, includes complete listing of tribes
Preparing My Business.org
Small Business Administration SBA- refer to this site for the 8A program, SDB forms and lots of other information geared to assist any small business
Small Business Administration SBA – has a new online course: emphasizes business planning and market research as essential steps to take before going into business; informs Native American entrepreneurs about the legal aspects of starting a business, including thetype of ownership (legal structure) and licensing; and provides key information on seed money for starting up, raising capital, and borrowing money. In addition, there is a section on how to estimate business start-upcosts that can help assess the financial needs of going into business. The course is available from the SBA’s Online Small Business Training web page under Online Courses for Starting Your Business at:
U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency
Disclaimer: The criteria listed above are the MINIMUM basic requirements for certification, and in no way guarantee your company will be a successful candidate for certification. Additionally each certifying agency may have different criteria standards and eligibility rules. Other criteria and standards exist for each industry, annual sales, number of employees, etc., etc. If you are applying to a local government entity, we have found on occasion, that the length of time it takes to acquire certification can be inconsistent and the final status of an application can be offset by other determining factors.
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*Photo by NABO-NAU