What is the fee for certification?
There is no fee.
Are there size or length-of-time in business requirements for certifiable companies?
There are no size or length-of-time in business requirements to apply for or to obtain the WBE or MBE certifications.
What is the processing time for certification?
The processing time is generally up to 3 weeks from the date all documentation has been received by Mississippi Development Authority.
What if I don’t have a document that is required?
Please submit a notarized letter, along with the other required documentation, stating which documents do not apply and why.
How am I assured of the confidentiality of my documents once I send them?
All submitted documents are treated with the utmost confidentiality. Only select Mississippi Development Authority staff members will have access to these documents. Mississippi Development Authority takes your privacy and the confidentiality of your information very seriously.
I am the only owner. Why do I need to have an annual meeting?
According to most by-laws, the shareholders of record are required to meet annually in order to be in compliance with their own by-laws. If you do not hold an actual meeting, it is to your benefit to have something on file that states you waived the annual meeting.
Can a woman/minority and a majority man own the company jointly?
Yes, a woman/minority and a majority man can own the company jointly; however, the woman/minority must be the majority owner (at least 51% ownership) and must demonstrate that management and control of the company, contribution of capital and/or expertise, and assumption of all profits and risks are commensurate with ownership percentage. A woman/minority must also hold the highest office as outlined in the company’s documentation.
What if my bank won’t give me a copy of my signature card?
In place of the bank signature card, a letter may be sent from your bank officer on the bank’s letterhead informing the Mississippi Development Authority of the authorized signatures on the bank account(s) and any stipulations placed on the account(s), e.g., two signatures required on all checks.
How long is a company’s certification valid?
The certification period is for three years from the date of issue. MBE/WBEs that wish to remain certified must recertify every three years. However, MBE/WBEs are encouraged to begin the recertification process 90 days prior to the expiration date.
How do I recertify my business and will my company have to re-submit all of the same documentation?
The recertification process is much simpler, and all the initial documents are not required. However, Mississippi Development Authority requests updated financial information, board meeting minutes, if applicable, and any supporting documents to support changes that may have occurred in either ownership or management of the business.
Is recertification automatic?
Recertification is not automatic. The owner is sent a courtesy reminder 90 days prior to the expiration date of the company’s certification. However, Mississippi Development Authority does not guarantee receipt of the reminder e-mail and recommends the MBE/WBE marks its calendar as a reminder to begin the process 90 days prior to its expiration date.
My company applied for recertification early – will the expiration date change?
No, the certification is valid for a period of three years. It is not a rolling 36 months.
I did not submit my application within the 90 days allowed, what do I do?
Start a new application. The system purges all files that have exceeded their expiration date of 90 days, a recertification application, and/or supporting documents have not been submitted. If you experience difficulty, please contact our office at (601) 359-3448.
Is my certification transferable if I sell my business to another woman?
No, certification is not transferable. Certification is granted solely to the owner that applies for and successfully completes the full certification process.