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Certification Process

To become a Certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), your business must meet all of the requirements. We maintain and uphold the national certification process and standards to ensure the integrity of each certification.

ChicagoMSDC

ChicagoMSDC’s certification standard is based on the applicant having the ability to provide the following requirements.  An application, documentation and site visit is required for all applicants from ChicagoMSDC to ascertain the requirements are met:

What are the criteria to apply for MBE Certification?

Ownership is established through the documents uploaded with your application. An example of the required document is listed below based on the legal organization of the applicant business:

  • 100% of the assets of a sole proprietorship
  • At least 51% of the equity interests in a partnership
  • At least 51% of each of the classes of voting stock and 51.0% of the aggregate of all stock outstanding determined by the percentage that would be distributed to the Minorities if the corporation was liquidated
  • At least 51% of the membership interests in a limited liability company

A Minority has control of the business if she / he is the final decision maker for all aspects of the business — financial, production, contracting, etc. — or she / he may have delegated that authority to an employee manager or another partial owner. A primary indication that a Minority actively participates in the management and has control of the business is that she / he meets one of the following criteria:

  • 100% of the control of a sole proprietorship
  • At least 51% of the control of a general partnership
  • A Minority owner is the general partner (or the managing general partner if there is more than one general partner) of a limited partnership or limited liability partnership
  • A Minority is the sole manager, able to appoint unconditionally the majority of managers of a manager-managed LLC or has 51% control of a member-managed LLC

Certification Process Overview

  1. Review certification criteria below to ensure that your business qualifies.
  2. Gather the required documentation. A sample of the documentation requirements are listed directly below.
  3. Complete the online application in its entirety. You’ll have as long as you need to complete the application and can save each section as you go.
  4. The application fee must be paid online via credit card.
  5. Upload the required documentation via the online certification/recertification application and hit submit upon completion.
  6. The application will go through a desk audit to ensure the accuracy of the application, all of the documentation is uploaded and completed, and the references are contacted.
  7. A site visit will be performed by a ChicagoMSDC Certification Specialist.
  8. The Certification Compliance Committee (CCC) will review the application, supporting documents and site visit. They will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors.
  9. The Board of Directors will make the final approval.
  • United States citizens.
  • Minority businesses must be at least 51% minority–owned, managed and controlled. For the purposes of ChicagoMSDC’s program, a minority group member is an individual who is at least 25% Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic or Native American. Minority eligibility is established via a combination of document reviews, screenings, interviews and site visits. Ownership, in the case of a publicly owned business, means that at least 51% of the stock is owned by one or more minority group members.
  • Must be a for 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).

*Additional minor eligibility criteria.
To learn more about the standardization process and some of the benefits of MBE certification, go to the link directly below.

Documents will vary by business types.

ALL BUSINESSES (SOLE PROPRIETORS) ARE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT:

  • Completed certification application
  • Signed, dated and notarized affidavit/declaration page
  • Fictitious Business Statement – DBA (if applicable)
  • Driver’s license or currently valid picture ID
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship (US passport, long form original birth certificate, driver’s license and voter’s registration card, naturalization certificate)
  • Proof of Ethnicity for Owner(s), Partners, Shareholders that includes race (Foreign passport, long form original birth certificate, parent’s birth/death certificate or child’s birth certificate)
  • Indian/Native Americans Blood Degree Certificate (i.e. tribal registry letter, tribal roll register number) [if applicable]
  • Two Years of Federal Tax Returns (Business)
    Current Financial Statements (P &L , statement of cash flows, balance sheet)
  • Notes Payable (if applicable)
  • Applicable Operating Business License and/or permits (if applicable)
  • Occupational Licenses (if applicable)
  • Lease Agreement if business premises are leased or rented Signature page of homeowners deed or mortgage receipt (if property is owned or home based)
  • Resume(s) of owner(s), partners, shareholders or key employees (to include current enterprise and the definition of role within)
  • Bank Signature Card (or letter from bank identifying signatures on the account and type of account)
  • Equipment Rental and Purchase Agreements (if applicable)
  • Current invoice receivables with corresponding proof of payment (at least two) (i.e. cancelled check, deposit slip, bank statement with matching amount)
  • Equipment owned or available (include description of equipment, year acquired, and current value)
  • Proof of Bonding Capacity (if applicable)
  • Proof of EIN
  • Certificate of Authority to Transact Business (Foreign Entity Certificate) (if applicable)
  • Non-refundable application processing fee based on annual gross revenue sales

FRANCHISES SUBMIT:

  • Franchise Agreement

PARTNERSHIPS SUBMIT: (If the company is a LLP or Ltd., applicants must submit the legal documents for all companies involved. For example, if the GP is a LLC, the applicant must submit documents for the Partnership and the LLC)

  • Articles of Partnership(for LLP|Ltd)
  • Certificate of limited partnership or certificate of formation(for LLP|Ltd)
  • Partnership Agreements (to include buy-out rights and profit sharing)
  • Proof of Capital Investment (i.e. both side of cancelled checks, initial deposits, bank statements)
  • Proof of Partnership purchase (i.e. both sides of cancelled checks, deposit slips, bank statements)

CORPORATIONS SUBMIT:

  • Assumed Name Certificate (filed with the Secretary of State) (if applicable)
  • Certificate of Corporation
  • Article of Incorporation or Certificate of formation (stamped copy from the Secretary of State)
  • Articles of Amendment or Certificate of Amendment (if applicable)
  • Corporate Bylaws or Governing documents
  • Proof of Capital Investment (i.e. both side of cancelled checks, equipment receipts, initial deposits, bank statements)
  • Minutes of 1st Organizational Board Meeting
  • Minutes of the last Board meeting
  • Minutes of the last meeting where officers were elected
  • Copies of both sides of all stock certificates issued (no specimen)
  • Copies of both sides of the next consecutive stock certificate not issued
  • Current Stock Ledger
  • Proof of Stock purchase (i.e. both sides of cancelled checks, deposit slips, bank statements)
  • Copy of the purchase or buy|sell agreement with the corresponding proof of payments)(if applicable)
  • Copy of any stock options or other ownership options outstanding as well as agreements which restrict ownership or control of minority owners (if applicable)

LLCs SUBMIT:

  • Assumed Name Certificate (filed with the Secretary of State) (if applicable)
  • Certificate of organization
  • Articles of Organization or Certificate of Formation (stamped copy from the Secretary of State)
  • Articles of Amendment or Certificate of amendment (if applicable)
  • Operating Agreement
  • Proof of Capital Investment (i.e. both side of cancelled checks, equipment receipts, initial deposits, bank statements)
  • Minutes of the organizational meeting or minutes of the meeting
  • Minutes of the last meeting where managers or members were identified and elected
  • Copy of both sides of all certificates of ownership issued (no specimen)
  • Copy of both sides of next consecutive membership unit certificate not issued
  • Copy of ownership transfer ledger or copy of membership transfer ledger
  • Proof of unit purchase (i.e. both sides of cancelled checks, deposit slips, bank statements)
  • Copy of the purchase or buy|sell agreement with the corresponding proof of payments)(if applicable)
  • Copy of any membership unit options or other ownership options outstanding as well as agreements which restrict ownership or control of minority owners (if applicable)

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 the site of the regional council where you are applying.
  • 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 once payment is received.
  • Application and documents are reviewed for completeness.
  • A site visit is conducted
  • The Certification Compliance Committee meets regularly to review applications for MBE Certification.
  • The Certification Compliance Committee must approve the application before it can be submitted to the Board for final approval.
  • The Board will review the Certification Compliance Committee’s recommendation and make the final decision.
  • If your application is approved, you will be notified by the Regional Affiliate.
  • If the Board rejects your application, you may submit a letter of appeal.

Online Registration Process

The registration process is an online process. If you are not a registered user, do not worry.  It only takes a couple of seconds to register. Please click HERE to register now. Once you have done that, please send email to Certification@chicagomsdc.org to secure your username with your MBE profile.

The Council appreciates the opportunity to serve you. For additional assistance, please call the office at 312-755-8880.