To qualify as a minority-owned business, a minority or woman must own the business.
A minority business application is used in the United States to apply for any of the various opportunities offered to minority-owned businesses, including women-owned businesses. The application requires the applicant to prove that the company belongs to minorities by listing specific information that can be corroborated. Examples of questions about the minority business application include the type of business, how long it has been in operation, and the names of key owners. Owners will need to provide proof of their minority status, such as a minority nationality.
Low interest loans are the most common opportunity given to minority-owned businesses.
Typically, to qualify as a minority-owned company, a minority or woman must own a majority of the company, which is usually defined as 51% ownership. People who are considered members of a recognized minority group include women, blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Hawaiian Americans, and Asians. Sometimes an interview may accompany the minority business order to ensure that people listed as owners qualify as members of a minority group and are, in fact, involved in the actual operation of the business. Having a qualified minority just as a figurehead, or merely as a monetary donor, is typically not adequate for approving a minority business application. Alternatively, income can be used as a minority qualification, and applicants must provide proof of income that meets the stated guidelines.
Low interest loans are the most common type of opportunity offered to minority companies. They arose because minorities traditionally had difficulty obtaining business financing due to low income, lack of employment history, or few assets to pledge against the loan. A minority business application is specifically designed to be considered for minority funding, using non-traditional criteria for consideration.
Other special opportunities that a minority business app can be used for include loans or grants to start or expand a specific program within the company, mentoring a successful entrepreneur in the community, and networking to introduce minority business owners to influential business leaders. There are even special programs that teach minority business owners how to submit applications to work with the federal government in some way, as this is a long and tedious process that can make any business owner give up and get frustrated.
When evaluators see such a minority business application, they understand its importance to the parties involved and the need to use specific criteria for its consideration. There is no universally accepted form. Minority business applications are recognized by their titles, the types of questions asked for verification, and the criteria used to evaluate the applications.