Certification Requirements

Businesses seeking certification must prove to be at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by an ethnic minority (Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American).

Definition of Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE)

An MBE is a for-profit enterprise, regardless of size, physically located in the United States or its trust territories, which is owned, operated and controlled by “minority group members”. Minority group members are United States citizens who are African-American, Hispanic-American, Native American, Asian-Pacific American and Asian-Indian American. 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.


A U.S. citizen having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Sub-Sahara Africa.


A U.S. citizen of true-born Hispanic heritage, from any of the Spanish speaking areas of Latin America or the following regions: Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean basin only. Brazilians, Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous peoples shall be listed under Hispanic designation for certification purposes

Native American:

A person who is an American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut or Native Hawaiian, and regarded as such by the community of which the person claims to be a part. Native Americans must be documented members of a North American tribe, band or otherwise organized group of native people who are indigenous to the continental United States and proof can be provided through a Native American Blood Degree Certificate (i.e., tribal registry letter, tribal roll register number).

Asian-Pacific American:

A U.S. citizen whose origins are from Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, Samoa, Guam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysian the U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific or the Northern Marianas.

Asian-Indian American:

A U.S. citizen whose origins are from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.