The Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Certification program is a review process designed to ensure that a minority or women-owned business is actually owned, controlled and operated by the applicants and meets the eligibility criteria of the program.
In addition to increasing opportunities with the State of Arkansas, certification benefits include notification of training events, workshops, network opportunities and educational opportunities. Certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises will receive an official certificate and designation as a "Certified Minority and Women-Owned Business" in the Directory.
There is no cost to apply for certification as a Minority and Women-Owned Business. It generally takes 30-45 business days to complete the entire process once a complete application package has been received. Submitting an incomplete application package will delay the overall certification process.
4 Steps to Minority and Women-Owned Business Certification:
Step 1: Determine if your business is eligible.
You must be able to answer "yes" to the following eight questions:
- Is applicant at leat 51 percent minority or women-owned, operated and managed on a daily basis?
- Has the business been inoperation for at least two (2) years prior to applying for minority or women-owned business status?
- Does the business have a legal presence (license) to operate in Arkansas?
- Is/Are the majority owner(s) a legal permanent resident of Arkansas?
- Is/Are the majority owner(s) a U.S. Citizen?
- Is/Are the majority owner(s) of a designated group: African-American, hispanic-American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Service-Disabled Veteran or Female?
- Does Applicant hae proof of state and federal income tax returns as filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS Federal Transcript) and Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration for the previous two (2) years?
- Is enterprise a for profit business and generate less than $10,000,000 in revenue?
Step 2: Collect all supporting documents.
1. Completed, signed MBE/WBE application form
2. Proof of certification from qualifying organization*
3. Organization Information:
a. Sole proprietorships (assumed name documents)
b. Partnerships (limited partnership documents; partnership, buy-out, and/or profit sharing agreements; partnership or operating agreement required for businesses with two (2) or more owners, evidencing division of shares and profit distribution)
c. Corporations (provide filings in good standing; bylaws; board of directors and/or shareholdings documentation)
4. Copy of bank signature authorization card, form or letter signed by a bank official at your financial institution identifying the person(s) authorized to sign checks on the business’s account (signatory authority)
5. Federal Tax Identification Number and Dun & Bradstreet Number (DUNS)
6. Proof of Arkansas residency (State-issued driver’s license or identification card)
7. Evidence of United States citizenship or permanent legal resident alien status (United States passport, United States birth certificate, naturalization papers, permanent legal residence alien “green” card, or tribal card)
8. Copy of resume(s) of owner(s), board of directors, and other senior corporate governance/management
9. Company overview
10. Proof of state and federal business tax returns as filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS federal transcript) and Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration for the previous two (2) years
11. Copy of insurance**
12. Bonding information**
13. Copy of each professional license**
14. Veterans Administration adjudication letter, if applicant is a service-disabled veteran
15. Financial statements**
16. Service agreements**
17. Proof of capital and/or equity**
18. Business customer references
*Eligible minority and/or women-owned businesses certified by a qualifying organization need only to submit MWBE application along with proof of certification from the qualifying organization: (SBA) 8(a), Southern Region Minority Supplier Development Council (SRMSDC), Arkansas Department of Transportation or Department of Veterans Affairs.
**If required as a normal function of the business.
Step 3: Complete the certification application.
MWBE Certification Application (English)
MWBE Certification Application (Spanish)
Step 4: Send all documents and application to AEDC.
Mail or deliver hard copies of the completed application and all supporting documents to the Minority and Women-Owned Enterprise Business office of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. We will contact you regarding any missing or incomplete documentation.
The Commission shall review the documents, check the applicant's customer references and may schedule a pre-certification interview/site visit with the applicant. Vendor agreements, invoices, partnership agreements and articles of incorporation that relate to business with the State of Arkansas are subject to examination.
Arkansas Economic Development Commission
Attn: Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Division
900 W. Capitol Avenue, Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201
MWBE Notice of Change Affidavit (Spanish)
MWBE Re-Certification Affidavit (English)
MWBE Re-Certification Affidavit (Spanish)