Become a Certified MBE

The National MSDC’s rigorous certification process, administered by the Northwest Mountain MSDC, requires that minority business enterprises (MBEs) 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 that 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, ultimately benefiting both businesses and their diverse suppliers. Learn about the benefits of MBE certification ›


Getting Started


Certification Criteria

To become a certified minority business enterprise (MBE), your business must meet the following requirements. Both current and historical facts are considered in determining ownership qualifications and participation in the management and operations of the company.

  • Your business is a for-profit enterprise.
  • Your business is physically located in the United States or its trust territories.
  • Your business is at least 51% ethnic minority owned. Ethnic minority owned is defined as any business having owner(s) belonging to the following minority groups: African-American, Hispanic-American, Native American, Asian and Pacific Islander American (Asian-Indian included).
  • The minority/ethnic owner(s) of the business are U.S. citizens.
  • The minority/ethnic owner(s) of the business must be active in management and daily business operations.


Required Documentation

A complete list of required documentation for your business type will be provided during the pre-certification workshop. 


Application Process

Applying for MBE Certification at Northwest Mountain MSDC, consists of the steps below. The Certification process can take up to 45 days.

  • Register for login credentials to start your online application ›
  • Complete the online certification application
  • Upload required documentation as directed. 
  • Pay for your application fee. The processing of your application will begin when ALL required documents have been submitted, and application fee paid in full.
  • Your application and supporting documents are reviewed for completeness.
  • Northwest Mountain MSDC will perform a site visit to review your business premises and conduct a personal interview of the owner(s).
  • Certification committee review. The certification committee meets once a month to review applications for MBE certification. The certification committee must approve the application before it can be submitted to the board of directors for final approval.
  • Board of directors review. 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. 

Application Fees

Fee Category by Revenue (in Millions) Class 1 (less than $1M> Class 2 ($1-10M) Class 3 ($10-50M) Class 4 ($50M+)
New Certification $300 $550 $850 $950
Re-Certification (annually) $250 $500 $800 $900


Contact Certification Manager Nguyen Tang at:, or call (253) 243-6959.