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Why Minority Business Owners Benefit from Certification and Where to Begin

Certifying your business as “minority owned” can open up a wealth of opportunity. Many government agencies are required to give preferential treatment to these businesses, and many organizations, private and public alike, often prefer to do business with minority-owned operations when possible.

So how can your minority-owned business get started with this process?

Becoming a Certified Minority-Owned Business

There are a number of different certifications that are available, each with their own rules and requirements for attaining the certification. The following are among the options available today:

  • The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) offers a certification to for-profit enterprises of any size. The company must be located in the US and be owned, operated, and controlled by minority group members who are also US citizens. To apply for this certification you simply contact one of NMSDC’s 37 regional councils and they will help you through the process.
  • The Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program is another great certification to look into. It helps minority-owned businesses win contracts that are offered in the public sector. To get this certification, a small business must be owned and operated by a US citizen who is at a social and economic disadvantage. The SBA offers businesses an online tool to see if they qualify for the program.
  • The Department of Transportation has a “Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program” that is available for small businesses that are at least 51% owned by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual (which includes minorities). A minimum of 10% of DoT contract money needs to go to these types of businesses, so this could potentially help get very lucrative contracts for some businesses.
  • There are also a variety of state and local minority-owned business certifications available. The qualifications for these types of certifications will vary from state to state, but can be used to help attain business and government contracts within the state and region.

Remember, any minority-owned business can qualify for one or more of these certifications. Attaining the certification will be very beneficial for years to come. Please contact us today if you’d like to learn more!

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