How to Get Certified
- Review certification criteria below to ensure that your business qualifies.
- Gather required documentation. Documentation requirements are listed directly below.
- Complete the online registration form in full. You’ll have as long as you need to complete the application and can save each session as you go.
- Application fee must be paid online via credit card.
- Upload the required documentation via the online certification/recertification application.
- Schedule site visit and interview. These will be performed by a NMSDC Certification Specialist.
- Wait for final approval from both Committee and Board Members.
More information about Certification Criteria can be found here.
- United States citizen.
- Minority businesses must be at least 51% minority-owned operated and controlled.
- Must be a profit enterprise and physically located in the U. S. or its trust territories.
- Management and daily operations must be exercised by the minority ownership member(s).
(documents will vary by business types – below is a sample for corporations)
- The History of Business
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Articles of Incorporation
- Stock Certificates and Stock Ledger
- Minutes to Board of Director’s meetings as well as Shareholder’s meetings
- Bylaws (executed and attested) and Amendments (if applicable)
- All agreement(s) pertaining to ownership, operation, and control of the business
- Business cards that list appropriate corporate titles, copies of resumes, copy of driver’s licenses and proof of US Citizenship (Birth certificates or U.S. Passports only) for all Principals
- Corporate Bank Resolution Agreement(s) to include Bank Signature Card(s)
- Business Lease Agreement(s) (and Security Deeds if home-based)
- Proof of general liability insurance and in some cases bonding
- Copies of the businesses’ cancelled checks
What you should know about the application process.
- The Certification process can take up to 90 days.
- Before you begin the online application, you will need to register on our site.
- When completing the application, feel free to take as long as needed.
- Your information will be saved for your next session and is completely confidential.
- The processing of your application will begin when payment is received.
- Application and documents are reviewed for completeness.
- The Certification Committee meets regularly to review applications for MBE Certification.
- The Certification Committee must approve the application before it can be submitted to the Board for final approval.
- The Board will review the Certification Committee’s recommendation and make the final decision.
- If your application is approved, you will be notified via e-mail and postal mail.
- If the Board rejects your application, you may submit a letter of appeal.
Our standardization process
- Certification Policy and Procedures Manual is firmly adhered to by its 24 Regional Affiliates for the certification of minority-owned businesses.
- Certified MBEs will be recognized by all national corporate members of the NMSDC Network as nationally certified. This means that MBEs will be able to subscribe to a Regional Affiliate and enjoy fee-based, value-added services and support that are unique to their specific market.
- NMSDC’s rigorous certification process requires that minority businesses in our Network are at least 51% minority-owned, operated and controlled. Eligibility is established by conducting a series of screenings, interviews and site visits. This distinguishes NMSDC from other organizations or entities who publish directories allowing for “self-certification” as their standard.
- Stringent standardization also identifies bona fide minority businesses, helping purchasing agents report expenditures as well as vendor utilization rates. These procedures help measure overall performance and progress.
Conducting Site Visit.
ChicagoMSDC will perform a site visit to review your business premises and conduct a personal interview of the owner(s). This step is performed by a Certification Specialist and the applicant.
The Certification Committee meets regularly to review applications for MBE Certification. The Certification Committee must approve the application before it can be submitted to the Board for final approval.
The Board will review the Certification Committee's recommendation and make the final decision. If the Board rejects the application, you may submit a letter of appeal. If approved, you will be notified by e-mail and postal mail.
You can apply for an MBE Certification online. Before you can apply online, you must first register.