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African American Owned Business Definition

African American ownership is a company level diversity certification. African American is one of the specific racial groups covered by the minority ownership certification. Minority certifications can be issued by the local, state or federal governments and thus requirements for eligibility will vary dependent upon the issuer.

Generally, this certification is non-industry specific but requires that the company is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by one or more African Americans. There may be additional requirements related to the size of the organization.

Organizations wishing to become certified based on their minority ownership status should contact the organization responsible for issuing the certification for details on the process of becoming certified. For national certifications, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) or the Federal Government's Small Business Association's SBA 8(a) program are two options. At the state level, governments usually have an office or division for minority business enterprise certification.

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