Who is eligible


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Who is eligible


To qualify for an MBE Certification, a business must be at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by an American ethnic minority group member that is a U. S. citizen, physically located in North or South Carolina, Central/Eastern/Western Virginia and authorized by the State and County to do business. Minority status constitutes anyone belonging to one of following ethnic groups:

  • African-American: A U.S. citizen having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
  • Asian-Indian: A U.S. citizen whose origins are from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Asian-Pacific: A U.S. citizen whose origins are from Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific or the Northern Marianas.
  • Hispanic-American: A U.S. citizen of true-born Hispanic heritage, from any of the Spanish-speaking areas of the following regions: Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean Basin. Brazilians shall be listed under Hispanic designation for review and 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).

(*) Note: NMSDC’s definition of Sole Proprietorship is a company owned/operated 100% by one (1) individual or married couple. Split ownership does not constitute Sole Proprietorship.

Does an applicant have to be a U.S. Citizen to qualify for MBE Certification


Does an applicant have to be a U.S. Citizen to qualify for MBE Certification


Yes. An applicant must be an U.S. citizen either by birth or naturalization and must have the appropriate documentation. A permanent resident or a “Green Card” holder does not qualify.
 

I am a resident alien/green card holder. Am I eligible for NMSDC minority-owned business enterprise (MBE) Certification?

No. The NMSDC guidelines require that an applicant must be a U.S. citizen. Green card holders are not U.S. citizens.
 

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What are the locations of the Carolinas-Virginia MSDC offices


What are the locations of the Carolinas-Virginia MSDC offices


  • Charlotte Office
    9115 Harris Corners Parkway, Suite 440 - North Carolina/South Carolina
    Charlotte, North Carolina 28269
    Phone (704) 549-1000 Fax (704) 549-1616
     
  • Richmond Office
    707 East Main Street, Suite 1375 – Virginia
    Richmond, VA 23219
    Phone (804) 663-7782 Fax (804) 308-8089

What are NAICS codes


What are NAICS codes


Major corporations use NAICS codes and key word to identify business opportunities. If your NAICS code is not precise and concise, you will miss out on potential business opportunities. Please be smart about the selection of your code(s). Major corporations are not looking for a “jack-of-all-trades.” They are looking for functional experts. North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is an industry classification system that groups establishments into industry sectors based on the activities in which they are primarily engaged. The NAICS code is a comprehensive system covering the entire field of economic activities, producing and non-producing. This system replaces the former Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) designations. Corporate America as well as some local, state, and federal government entities use NAICS codes. You are required to identify your business NAICS designation code. The NMSDC and corporate buying groups use NAICS codes to identify certified MBEs. You may use up to 6 separate NAICS codes. Six-digit NAICS codes are required.

Locate your NAICS code

You can locate the NAICS code at your local public library or on the Internet. The Website address is www.naics.com
 

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What is the cost of the Certification application process


What is the cost of the Certification application process


(*)Note: Expedited processing is based on the submission of a complete application and all supporting documentation at the time of request.

(*)Note: If your certificate is not renewed prior to the expiration date a late fee ranging from $100.00- $250.00 will be added in addition to your re-certification application fee. If your application is 90 days past due, you will be required to submit a new certification application in lieu of a recertification application. 

Does Carolinas-Virginia MSDC certify WBE or SDBE


Does Carolinas-Virginia MSDC certify WBE or SDBE


Women Owned Business Enterprises (SDBE)

No. Carolinas-Virginia MSDC Certification is ethnicity-based rather than gender-based. A Certification applicant must fall into one of the above ethnic minority categories to qualify. The Carolinas-Virginia MSDC does not certify “non-minority” female-owned businesses.

SMALL-DISADVANTAGED Owned Business Enterprises (SDBE)

No. Carolinas-Virginia MSDC Certification is ethnicity-based rather than income-based or wealth-based. Most public sector (local, state or federal government, etc.) entities operate within the SDBE arena.

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I’m already certified by the State, why do I have to fill out your application


I’m already certified by the State, why do I have to fill out your application


State certifications are for pursuing and conducting business with various government entities: agencies, cities, counties, etc. The certification issued by the Carolinas-Virginia MSDC is for conducting business with the over 3,500 corporate members of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). In order for minority businesses to be affiliated with the Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council and have access to our corporate members and to be eligible for the many programs and services offered, it is necessary to complete the certification process.

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What are the Annual Fees required for Carolinas-Virginia MSDC Certification


What are the Annual Fees required for Carolinas-Virginia MSDC Certification


Certification fees are good for 12 months. Your MBE certificate will have an anniversary date. Certification anniversary dates are always the last day of the month that your firm was certified and will not be permitted to change. See chart below for annual recertification fees:

(*)Note: If your certificate is not renewed prior to the expiration date a late fee ranging from $100.00- $250.00 will be added in addition to your re-certification application fee. If your application is 90 days past due, you will be required to submit a new certification application in lieu of a recertification application. 
 

When are the annual fees required?
Recertification dues are non-refundable are due with the recertification application.


If my current certificate expires, is there a penalty fee?

Yes. If your certificate is not renewed prior to the expiration date a late fee ranging from $100.00- $250.00 will be added in addition to your re-certification application fee. If your application is 90 days past due, you will be required to submit a new certification application in lieu of a recertification application.
 

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Who makes up the membership of the Certification Committee


Who makes up the membership of the Certification Committee


The Certification Committee is made up of Carolinas-Virginia MSDC Corporate Members (no MBEs are on this committee). The Committee’s role is to analyze and evaluate each applicant against national NMSDC Certification standards, then make recommendations to the Board of Directors for applicants to be certified that meet the appropriate standards.

What does the Certification Committee look for in an application? 

Answer: The Certification Committee is looking for legal ownership structure, involvement in the day-to-day management and operational control. Normally, the ownership structure and managerial control are straight forward with questions concerning operational control issues.
The “ethnic minority” must be a U.S. citizen who is an African-American, Hispanic-American, Native- American, Asian-Pacific American or Asian-Indian American. “Ownership” by an ethnic minority individual means the business is at least 51% owned by such individuals or, in the case of a corporation or a Limited Liability Company, such individuals own at least 51% of the shares or units and shall have numerical control of the corporation’s Board of Directors or the LLC’s Board of Managers.

The ethnic minority owners shall possess the title(s) and power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of the business and to make independent, unilateral day-to-day business decisions as well as other major decisions on matters of management, policy, and operations.
The business shall not be subject to any formal or informal restrictions, for example, by-law/operating agreement provisions, partnership agreements or Charter requirements for cumulative voting rights or other arrangements that prevent the ethnic minority owners from making a decision for the business “without the cooperation or vote of any owner who is not a minority.”

In summary, the “certifiable MBE” must demonstrate operational and managerial control of the firm and its Charter Board (e.g., Board of Directors for a corporation or Board of Members/Managers for a Limited Liability Company). This control shall “be real, substantial and continuing and shall go beyond the pro forma ownership of the business as reflected in the ownership documents. If the owners of the business who are non-minorities are disproportionately responsible for the operation and management of the business, then the firm is not controlled by minorities and shall not be considered a certifiable MBE.”

How long does it take/Process Steps/Conditions


How long does it take/Process Steps/Conditions


MBE Certification process can be completed within a 31-day timeframe. This is the objective of the Certification Committee and staff. However, this timeframe is usually not the norm. The norm is closer to 45 to 90 days. This added time is needed to get requested (additional explanations) information from the applicant. If the documentation presented does not demonstrate that the applicant meets the national Certification requirements, the applicant will be contacted formally. The time it takes to be certified is dependent on the firm’s legal structure, the complexity of its ownership structure and the physical location of the firm. However, the process has some built-in statutory activities that must take place. If the application package is not complete, the process will take longer.

(*)Note: Annually, Certified MBEs have to be re-certified prior to their anniversary date (last day of the month that they were originally certified). The Annual Recertification non-refundable. The process includes a submission of the Recertification Application and Minority Business Information System (MBISYS) Database Profile Form. IMPORTANT!! Please start the recertification process 60 to 90 days before the expiration of your anniversary date.

Steps in the MBE Certification Process

Please note the following seven (7) steps must be completed “in full” to obtain valid Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification:

  1. Submit a “COMPLETE” signed application and nonrefundable APPLICATION FEE to the Carolinas-Virginia MSDC office (Applications are stamped in).
  2. For an application to be COMPLETE, it must include all required support DOCUMENTATION and support EXPLANATION. If your application is INCOMPLETE, you will be formally notified by fax or email requesting either additional information or an explanation. (NOTE: You need to have both an operational fax number and email address). If your application is complete, you will also be notified.
  3. Certification Committee REVIEW (1st Tuesday of each month) and recommendation for site visit or denial of applicant.
  4. SITE VISIT with principals (at least 51% must be present).
  5. APPROVAL of an MBE application must be done by the Carolinas-Virginia MSDC Board of Directors.
  6. Applicants will be formally notified of APPROVAL. In addition, the applicant will receive a Minority Business Information System (MBISYS) Database Profile Form that is critical that you review, as this is how a corporation will “view” you in the MBISYS system.
  7. “OFFICIAL” Carolinas-Virginia MSDC WELCOME LETTER from President and MBE Certificate will be emailed. Following the email distribution, the originals will be mailed.

Conditions

Certification offers numerous benefits. However, there are some “Conditions of New MBE Certification:” 

  • First, an annual re-certification fee must be paid with submission of your recertification application. If your MBE Certification lapses, you will be required to repeat the entire “Certification process.”
  • Second, you must notify (within 30 days) the Carolinas-Virginia MSDC of any changes in ownership, control or operations in your firm. This includes name changes. Annually, you are required to submit a Recertification Application.
  • Third, your initial Certification “anniversary date” is very important. Sixty (60) to ninety (90) days prior to your Certification’s anniversary/expiration date, we recommend you start the recertification process. You will receive an annual reminder to recertify, but ultimately, you are responsible for the timely processing of your Recertification. Your ownership of this Recertification process ensures there is no lapse in your MBE benefits! Your anniversary date will not be “moved or changed” and will remain with your organization throughout the Certified MBE process.

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What happens if my firm does not get certified/appeal process


What happens if my firm does not get certified/appeal process


An applicant business that believes it has been wrongly or incorrectly denied Certification as an MBE or wrongly or incorrectly decertified, may file an appeal with the Carolinas-Virginia MSDC Board of Directors within thirty (30) days of denial or termination of Certification. The appeal must be signed and dated. The Certification Committee will review and make a recommendation. The applicant will be notified in writing by the President of the Board’s decision. The decision of the Board is final.

If my application’s appeal is denied, is there a reapplication process? 

Answer: Any applicant whose application for Certification or Recertification is denied and such denial is affirmed, may after one year, reapply for Certification upon the submission of information indicating a change in status or other circumstances that prevented Certification or which caused a denial or termination of Certification.

What documents should I submit


What documents should I submit


If incorporated, you must provide the following:

  • Non-refundable processing fee
  • Fill out the current Carolinas-Virginia MSDC Application (Please fill out all applicable fields. If field is not applicable please write N/A, print, sign & date the application & return with documentation below)
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Stock Certificates (front and rear) and Stock Ledger**
  • Minutes to Board of Director’s meetings and Shareholder’s meetings.
  • Bylaws (executed and attested) – basically, who is the president and how will the stock be held?
  • Amendments (if applicable)
  • Any agreement(s) pertaining to the ownership, operation, and control of business
  • Business cards for all principals with appropriate corporate titles
  • Resumes for all principals
  • Copy of Driver’s Licenses of all principals
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship (Birth certificates or U.S. Passports only) of all principals
  • Corporate Bank Resolution Agreement(s) including Bank Signature Card
  • Business Location Lease Agreement(s) (Security Deeds, if home-based)
  • Equipment Lease Agreement(s) if applicable
  • Insurance Agreement(s) if applicable
  • Copy of the business’ executed cancelled check (front and rear)

** Stock Certificates — For incorporated businesses, provide a copy of all Stock Certificates. Certificates should reflect the total stock distribution (e.g., who owns what quantity of shares). If some of the shares have not yet been issued, provide a statement (signed, dated and attested by the appropriate corporate officers) of the number of shares that are outstanding.


If your business is a partnership, you must provide the following:

  • Non-refundable processing fee
  • Fill out Carolinas-Virginia MSDC Application (Please fill out all applicable fields. If field is not applicable please write N/A, print, sign & date the application & return with documentation below)
  • Partnership Agreement (executed and attested)
  • Amendments to the Partnership Agreement (if applicable)
  • Any additional agreements pertaining to the partnership ownership, operation and control of business
  • Minutes of partnership meetings
  • Business cards for all partners
  • Resumes for all partners
  • Copy of Driver’s Licenses of all partners
  • Proof of Citizenships (Birth certificates or U.S. Passports only) of all partners
  • Bank Resolution Agreements including Bank Signature Card
  • Business Lease Agreement(s)
  • Equipment Lease Agreement(s)
  • Insurance Agreement(s)
  • Copy of executed cancelled check on partnership’s bank account (front and rear).
     

If your business is a Limited Liability Company (LLC), YOU MUST PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING:

  • Non-refundable processing fee
  • Fill out Carolinas-Virginia MSDC Application (Please fill out all applicable fields. If field is not applicable please write N/A, print, sign & date the application & return with documentation below)
  • Certificate of Organization
  • Articles of Organization
  • Unit Certificates (front and rear) for all principals and Unit Ledger Book
  • Operating Agreement (executed and attested)
  • Amendments (if applicable)
  • Any agreements pertaining to the ownership, operation and control of LLC
  • Business cards for all principals with appropriate LLC titles
  • Resumes for all principals
  • Copy of Driver’s Licenses on all principals
  • Proof of Citizenships (Birth certificates or U.S. Passports only) on all principals
  • Bank Resolution Agreements including Bank Signature Card
  • Business Location Lease Agreement(s)
  • Equipment Lease Agreement(s)
  • Insurance Agreement(s)
  • Copy of executed cancelled check on the LLC’s bank account.
  • Minutes to Board of Managers’ Meeting


If your business is a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), YOU MUST PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING:

  • Non-refundable processing fee
  • Fill out Carolinas-Virginia MSDC Application (Please fill out all applicable fields. If field is not applicable please write N/A, print, sign & date the application & return with documentation below)
  • Certificate of Limited Liability Partnership
  • Articles of Organization
  • Operating Agreement(s)
  • Unit Certificates
  • Any Amendments
  • Any agreements pertaining to the ownership, operation and control of LLP
  • Business cards for all partners
  • Resumes for all partners
  • Copy of Driver’s Licenses on all partners
  • Proof of Citizenship (Birth certificates or U.S. Passports only) on all partners
  • Bank Resolution Agreements including Bank Signature Card
  • Business Location Lease Agreement(s)
  • Equipment Lease Agreement(s)
  • Insurance Agreement(s)
  • Copy of executed cancelled check on the partnership’s bank account.


If your business is a part of a Joint-Venture (JV) Partnership: 

  • None! Neither the Carolinas-Virginia MSDC nor the NMSDC certifies JVs (Call Carolinas-Virginia MSDC for clarification).

What financial statements are required & tax information


What financial statements are required & tax information


The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) requires one (1) full year (e.g., twelve (12) months – no exceptions) of financial statements be submitted regardless of the length of time you have been in business. If your business has been in operation for less than one year, prepare pro-forma statements (projected statements) to complete the remainder of the year. Financial statements include the following: Balance Sheet, Profit & Loss Statement, and Statement of Cash Position.


What financial statements should I submit if my company is a start-up business or operating less than 12 months? 

If your company has been in business for less than a year, provide a copy of the following:

  • Beginning Balance Sheet & Source and Use Statement
  • Actual Profit and Loss Statement for the length of time you have been in business
  • Actual Cash Flow Statement for the length of time you have been in business
  • Pro-forma (projected) Profit and Loss Statement for the remaining months equaling twelve (12) months.
  • Pro-forma (projected) Cash Flow statement for the remaining months equaling twelve (12) months.
  • Ending Balance Sheet * If your Business runs on a Fiscal year, submit documents for a twelve (12) month period coinciding with the fiscal year period
  • (*) If your Business runs on a Calendar year, submit financial statements for the previous Calendar year
  • (*) If your Business has been operating for less than twelve (12) months (e.g., 2 months ), submit actual financial statements for the two-month operations and pro-forma for the remaining ten (10) months, totaling twelve (12) months.


What tax information should an applicant firm submit?

NMSDC policy requires submission of your Business Tax Return for the two preceding years. If you have been in business for more than a year and have not filed taxes, submit a copy of the previous year’s tax return and a copy of your Automatic Extension Agreement for Start-up Businesses. Please write a letter indicating you are a start-up business and have not filed taxes and submit two years of personal tax returns.
 

If I have not yet filed my Federal or IRS tax return from the prior year, may I submit the most recently filed return?

The tax return from the prior year is required for recertification, (i.e., if the calendar year is 2012, then the requirement is to send a complete copy of the 2011 tax return). If the applicant has not filed a tax return with the IRS, then a copy of the IRS Extension File will be accepted as a document for review.
 

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Are MBEs permitted to use the CVMSD logo / guidelines


Are MBEs permitted to use the CVMSD logo / guidelines


No. CVMSDC does not permit the use of its logo to MBEs for any reason. However, current CVMSDC certified MBEs of record are permitted to mention that CVMSDC is their certifying entity or that their business is an existing certified minority business enterprise with CVMSDC.

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What is the role of the Carolinas-Virginia MSDC in the Certification process


What is the role of the Carolinas-Virginia MSDC in the Certification process


As an affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, each affiliate regional council follows national Certification standards as established by our Fortune 500 Corporate Members. Thus, the regional councils are certifying for their corporate members and following their requirements. In addition, “it is the responsibility of each and every applicant to prove that its firm meets the Certification requirement rather than the regional council’s Certification Committee to prove that the applicant does not meet the criteria.” Since each regional council’s Board of Directors charge their Certification Committees to “analyze and evaluate” the applicant’s ownership, day-to-day management, and absolute control of the organization as presented, the Certification Committee shall offer no assistance. It is neither the Committees’ nor the staffs’ responsibility to assist an applicant in completing the Certification application. The Certification staff and Committee shall review what an applicant presents and make an appropriate recommendation to the Board of Directors based on those facts. There are no right or wrong answers, only verifiable answers.

However, since applicants come into the Certification process with different levels of business expertise and tacit corporate or LLC operational knowledge, some applicants may need assistance with the Certification package. Please be reminded that in most communities (or within a close proximity) there are sources of support for new or newly created firms. For example, either your firm’s professional advisors – legal and accountant team — or Board of Directors if incorporated or Board of Managers or Members if a Limited Liability Company — are potential sources. In addition, if your firm is located near either a public-supported college or university, the college or university may have a “Small Business Development Center” or a “Minority Business Development Center.” Either the SBDC or MBDC is a perfect consulting source. To make the most of the Certification timeline, the Certification Committee suggests that each applicant evaluate the need for assistance before the applicant submits the firm’s package.

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What happens after a firm becomes certified


What happens after a firm becomes certified


Upon payment of dues, a Certificate and Welcome letter will be submitted to the newly certified supplier. In addition, a User-Name and Password will be issued for access into the Carolinas-Virginia MSDC database available on our Website. Certified suppliers will obtain access to networking with MBEs, government agencies and corporate representatives affiliated with the Council. A listing of Carolinas-Virginia MSDC members, including contact names and e-mail addresses, will be available. All new certified suppliers will be invited to upcoming Carolinas-Virginia MSDC/NMSDC sponsored networking and procurement functions.
 

How can a firm capitalize on being a certified supplier of the council? 
There are several ways to take full advantage of all the Council offers. However, active involvement and participation are keys to capitalizing on your certified supplier opportunities.

  1. Become an active participant in Carolinas-Virginia MSDC committees. Committee structures exist to assist Carolinas-Virginia MSDC in the execution of its annual operations and provide certified suppliers with a direct opportunity to network with other MBE, government and corporate affiliates. The following committees are available for certified supplier participation:
    • MBE Input Committee
    • Foothills Regional Advisory Committee
    • Metrolina Regional Advisory Committee
    • Triad Regional Advisory Committee
    • Piedmont Regional Advisory Committee
    • Midlands Regional Advisory Committee
    • Central Virginia Regional Advisory Committee
    • Eastern Virginia Regional Advisory Committee
    • Western Virginia Regional Advisory Committee
       
  2.  Target specific corporation(s) you would like to do business with. Research the company’s business and develop a strategic approach for conducting business. Every corporation is currently buying from someone! Who are your competitors
  3. Participate in educational seminars offered by the Council, bi-monthly luncheons, National conferences and all other Carolinas-Virginia MSDC/NMSDC networking functions.
  4. Provide the Council with feedback on your networking success stories. Our monthly newsletter highlights certified suppliers who have had recent success in obtaining contracts and developing successful partnerships.
  5. Update our office on any changes regarding the operation of your business. Communication to certified suppliers is driven by updated information contained in our database. Please keep us informed of any changes.
  6. Continue to impact the successful operations of your business by offering quality, timely, and professional services.
     

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Other basic questions an applicant firm should consider


Other basic questions an applicant firm should consider


The market is a buyer’s market. This means the buyer has plenty of choices. Notice how many rebates, discounts, and promotions are being used to entice consumers to purchase. So, if you are thinking about being certified, first think about the business and industry you’re working in and the industry your potential customers are in.

  • What is your business model?
  • How will you make money?
  • How will it create value for your potential corporate customers?
  • What added-value can your firm create for your potential corporate customer?
  • What is your potential customer’s supply chain economics?
  • Are you familiar with your potential corporate customer’s management system? Is it explicit-based? Is it tacit-based? Is it a combo (explicit/tacit) based?

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