Department of Civil Rights

Velma J. Korbel, Director

350 S. 5th St., Room 239
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: (612) 673-3012
Fax: (612) 673-2599
TTY: (612) 673-2157

Office Hours:
8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday

Minnesota Unified Certification Program (MnUCP)

For the City of Minneapolis Small and Underutilized Business Program (SUBP), only firms certified under the MnUCP count towards meeting SUBP goals. 

What is the Minnesota Unified Certification Program?
The Minnesota Unified Certification Program (MnUCP) was established to provide a uniform certification program to be utilized by government agencies in Minnesota. The MnUCP certifies businesses as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) in accordance with federal regulations (49 CFR Part 26 and 49 CFR Part 23). 
Certifying Agencies
Certifying Agencies are government agencies that receive and process DBE applications to determine eligibility for participation in the MnUCP program.
The current MnUCP certifying agencies are:
Each Certifying Agency assigns Certification Specialists to sit on the Certification Application Committee (CAC). The Certification Specialist is responsible for processing the applications and conducting pre‐certification activities which includes: document collection, analysis of application data, and on site reviews. Once the Certification Specialist completes the pre-certification activities, the applicant firm is presented to the CAC. The CAC conducts meetings twice monthly to review and vote upon current DBE applications and related issues such as certification removals, NAICS code changes and 3rd party challenges. The CAC vote is binding on all certification decisions. 
Basic DBE Qualifications
Below are the minimum eligibility criteria to become certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise:
·         The firm is at least 51% owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s)
·         The disadvantaged owner is a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. 
·         The firm is a for-profit business
·         The firm’s annual gross receipts do not exceed $23.98 million and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) size restrictions
·         The disadvantaged owner’s personal net worth does not exceed $1.32 million
·         Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) is the term given to a firm that has been certified under the MnUCP.
·         Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) is a DBE whose majority owner(s) is a minority
·         Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) is a DBE whose majority owner(s) is a woman
·         Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals
(i) “Black Americans,” which includes persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa;
(ii) “Hispanic Americans,” which includes persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central or South America, or other Spanish or Portuguese culture or origin, regardless of race;
(iii) “Native American,” which includes persons who are American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, or Native Hawaiians;
(iv) “Asian‐Pacific Americans,” which includes persons whose origins are from Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (Kampuchea), Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands (Republic of Palau), the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Macao, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia, or Hong Kong;
(v) “Subcontinent Asian Americans,” which includes persons whose origins are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives Islands, Nepal, or Sri Lanka;
(vi) Women;
(vii) Any additional groups whose members are designated as socially and economically disadvantaged by the SBA, at such time as the SBA designation becomes effective.
Certification by Scope of Service
The MnUCP uses the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) established by the U.S. Census Bureau to categorize scopes of work (ex. painting, architect, plumbing, etc). DBEs are certified under specific NAICS codes. When a firm is certified, the certification is specific to the types of work that the disadvantaged owner(s) have the ability to control. The NAICS code assigned must be the most specific code available to clearly describe the goods or services the firm provides.
How to Apply for DBE Certification
Applications can be found on the MnUCP website. Completed applications can be submitted to any one Certifying Agency to be processed. More information can be found on the MnUCP website. 
If you need assistance completing the application, please visit the City of Minneapolis Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP) site for a list of organizations that provide free certification application assistance.
The MnUCP Online Directory
The MnUCP maintains an online directory of all DBE certified firms. This directory is utilized by government agencies and businesses looking for DBEs to participate on projects. 

Last updated Dec 4, 2017



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