Minority Business Certification Program

Minority Business Certification

The Minority and Small Business Development Division Link icon administers a Minority Business Certification Program for economically and socially disadvantaged minority and women-owned businesses to aid them in their development in terms of capacity and capability. Certification can be a valuable resource to the emerging business in helping to market the business and finding access to public procurement activities of educational institutions, governmental agencies and other units of government.

A minority business is a socially and economically disadvantaged small business concern organized for profit as defined under the Small Business Act, (15 U.S.C.S., Section 637[a]), and performing a commercially useful function. The business must have one or more minority or female owners with controlling interest.

Minority businesses not eligible to participate in the program include: charitable institutions or nonprofit enterprises, newspapers, magazines, radio or television broadcasting companies or similar enterprises through which editorial opinions are expressed or businesses that engage in lending directly or indirectly.

Certification confirms that a minority or women-owned business is a credible entity and attests to the fact that:

  • The owner is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States domiciled in Mississippi.
  • The owner is a member of an ethnic and disadvantaged group such as: Black American, Hispanic American, Asian-Pacific American, Native American, Asian-Indian American or Woman.
  • The business is organized for profit and whether the company is a corporation or a partnership, minorities or women should own and control 51 percent of the business, management and daily operations. 
    • Control is comprised of two parts; managerial and operational. The minority or women owner(s) must demonstrate responsibility for the critical areas of the operations and must be able to make independent and unilateral business decisions.
    • The minority or women owner(s) must demonstrate that he/she independently makes basic decisions in daily operations.
    • Ownership and control by minorities and women shall be real, continuing and shall go beyond the pro-forma ownership of the applicant as refelcted in ownership documents.
  • The business enterprise must have operations physically located in the state of Mississippi.


The certification program creates a database of minority and women-owned businesses. Products and services can be searched and identified for prospects for procurement and contracting opportunities. Certification is valid for three years.

To access the database select Minority Business Directory Link icon


Application and Roadmap for Applicants Document Word icon

Self-Certified Application PDF icon Alternatively, you can download the self-certified form, and send the completed form to the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration. This allows the State of Mississippi to update its vendor files with information on minority and women-owned businesses.