Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)

In-State Firms Applying for DBE/ACDBE Certification

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification program is a Federal program. The purpose is to increase the participation of certified DBEs in projects funded by the US Department of Transportation and other federal sectors. Projects typically include heavy construction, such as building and designing roads, bridges, railroads, ports, and airports.

The Program is governed by the U.S. Federal Regulations in 49 CFR Parts 26 and 23.

The Virginia Unified Certification Program includes two certifying agencies:

  • The Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (DSBSD)
  • The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA)

There is no need to submit an application to both agencies. Federal DBE certification by either agency is fully accepted throughout Virginia.

If you plan to participate in the procurement process with one of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s state agencies that does not receive federal transportation funds, you need to apply for SWaM certification, not DBE certification. To apply for SWaM certification, please click here.

The DBE certification process differs depending on if you are an in-state or out-of-state firm.

All DBE applications and documents must now be submitted electronically by uploading via the new application system.

The DBE/ACDBE Certification process has several steps:

  1. Complete the DBE/ACDBE Uniform Certification Application Form, and the Personal Net Worth Statement, found below:
  2. Sign the Application Form (Declaration of Eligibility (DOE)) and the Personal Net Worth Statement.
  3. Collect copies of the Required Supporting Documentation, found at the end of the DBE/ACDBE Application form. Please be aware that SBSD requires some documents for DBE/ACDBE certification that either do not appear on the Supporting Documents Checklist, or that are shown as optional documents on the Supporting Documents Checklist at the end of the DBE/ACDBE Application form. The following are those documents:
    • All business owners relied on to qualify the applicant firm for DBE/ACDBE certification must submit a copy of their government-issued photo ID (i.e., Driver’s license, Passport, Permanent Resident Card, Certificate of Naturalization, etc.). If a Driver’s License is submitted as opposed to one of the other government-issued photo IDs from the aforementioned list, then the Birth Certificate must also be submitted
    • SBSD requires that the last three years of audited financial statements, if available –OR– the last three years’ year-end balance sheets and year-end income statements be submitted. If the firm is a new business, a current balance sheet should be submitted
    • Federal personal taxes must include ALL W-2s, 1099s, etc. used to complete the taxes in order to be a complete copy of the return
  4. Refer to the instructions in the first paragraph of the DBE Document Checklist for which documents to upload to the correct upload space. The Checklist is below:
  5. After reading over the sections relevant to you on how to use the Application Portal, click on the link below to go to the Application Portal:
  6. Once we have a complete file, we will arrange for an Onsite Visit to your company, or if your firm is an out of state firm that has opted out of the Interstate Certification Process, we will request a copy of your firm’s onsite from your home state.

If you’re not on the right DBE page, return to the initial DBE page here: DBE.

For a step by step of how to use the Certification Application Portal, see the Instructions .pdf at the page here: Application Portal Instructions.

DBE Information and Regulations

Additional Information and Regulations Governing DBE is below.

  • VDOT requires prospective bidders to be prequalified for all construction and maintenance contracts. The contractor prequalification is also necessary for subcontractors. Click here for more.
  • Title 49 – Transportation, Part 26 – Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Department of Transportation Financial Assistance Programs. Click here for more.
  • Title 49 – Transportation, Part 23 – Participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in Airport Concessions. Click here for more.
  • Request for copies of DBE file by Company Owner. Click here for more.
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