MBE Certification Process

MBE Certification is the process by which a business is verified as being minority owned, managed and controlled according to the criteria set forth by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).


MBE Certification process at-a-glance

In order to achieve Certified MBE status, all applicants must successfully navigate the MBE Certification process outlined below. We recommend that you review this process in full before embarking on your certification journey. Doing so will provide a realistic idea of what to expect throughout the certification process, and give you a better estimate of how long it will take to complete the process.

2. Schedule and attend a mandatory pre-certification briefing
The MMSDC holds monthly, pre-certification briefings at our organization’s headquarters in Detroit, MI and remote locations around the state. Currently, Pre-Certification Briefings are held online. You can sign up for a meeting date on our events page, and it is $25 to attend. These briefings cover information about the Michigan council, explain the certification process and provide a detailed review of the application itself. We intentionally limit the number of attendees at the briefings so that we can provide personalized service for all applicants and also answer any questions that may pertain to your particular business. We understand that it may be difficult for some prospective applicants to attend, but applicant data has shown that those who attend in-person pre-certification meetings produce more successful applications than those who do not. For this reason we now ask that all applicants begin the certification process by attending one of these meetings.
3. Submit application, checklist and processing fee
In order to be considered for approval, you must provide these four critical items as part of your submission:
  • The completed application form that has been filled out according to the guidelines provided during the pre-certification meeting.
  • All of the required document attachments requested within the application.
  • A non-refundable $350.00 application fee that will be used to cover the cost of MMSDC’s certification process. Please note that this one-time fee is separate from the annual dues fees you will incur if your business becomes certified.
Failure to provide any of these items, or failure to include all required attachments will prevent your application from being processed. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you take your time and work with the MMSDC staff as needed in order to make your submission as complete as possible.
4. Confirm application completeness or perform triage
Once your application has been received, our team of certification specialists will review it to ensure that all of the pertinent information has been included. If the content requirements have not been met, our team of certification experts will contact you via email to request the missing components. Your application will be on hold until the information is received. Please note this will impact your application processing time. This process usually involves clarifying submitted information, reformatting submitted information, or locating missing documents that were supposed to be included with the original submission.
5. Schedule a site visit
After your submission has been verified as complete, one of our certification consultants will contact you to schedule an in-person site visit at your place of business. This visit will be scheduled for a time that is mutually convenient for both parties. Currently, site visits are held online. The purpose of this visit is to verify that the data listed in your application aligns with the reality of your business operation. Please note that the majority minority owner must be present during the site visit.
6. Await MMSDC review of your application
Taking your complete application and site visit into account, our Certification Committee will meet to decide whether or not your business qualifies as a Certified MBE. If your application is rejected, you may appeal the ruling within 30 days. Otherwise, you are required to wait a period of one year before re-applying.
8. Receive approval letter and invoice
After the board has approved your certification, you will receive an electronic letter congratulating you.
9. Pay invoice
An invoice based on your gross annual sales (actual or projected) will also be included in this communication.  Payment is required in order to proceed. This invoice represents a recurring, annual fee that your enterprise will be required to pay to remain a Certified MBE.
10. Receive certificate and welcome letter
Once you receive your certificate and welcome letter, you are now a Certified MBE. Your company information will automatically be entered into our MBE database for corporate members to access. You will also now have access to the MMSDC’s full range of MBE programs and benefits.