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Disadvantaged Business Enterprise

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:

https://www.sbsd.virginia.gov/certification

Out Of State Firms

All out-of-state applicants must submit:

  1. A complete copy of the DBE  Uniform Application form, all supporting documents, and any other information you have submitted to your home state or any other state related to your firm’s certification. This includes affidavits of no change, updated tax documents, and any notices of changes that you have submitted to your home state, as well as any correspondence you have had with your home state’s UCP or any other recipient concerning your application or status as a DBE firm.
  2. You must also provide any notices or correspondence from states other than your home state relating to your status as an applicant or certified DBE in those states. For example, if you have been denied certification or decertified in State C, or subject to a decertification action there, you must inform us of this fact and provide all documentation concerning this action.
  3. If you have filed a certification appeal with US DOT, you must inform us of this fact and provide your letter of appeal and DOT’s response.
  4. You must submit an affidavit sworn to by the firm’s owners before a person who is authorized by State law to administer oaths or an unsworn declaration executed under penalty of perjury of the laws of the United States. This affidavit must affirm that you have submitted all the information required by items 1-3 above and the information is complete and, in the case of the information required item 1, is an identical copy of the information submitted to your home state.

The Interstate Certification Affidavit must be the first page of your DBE application packet.

Please begin the certification process at www.sbsd.virginia.gov/certification.

In-State Firms

The DBE Certification process has several steps:

  1. Complete the DBE Uniform Certification Application Form, and the Personal Net Worth Statement, found above.
  2. Get the Application Form (Affidavit of Certification) and the Personal Net Worth Statement notarized.
  3. Collect copies of the Required Supporting Documentation.
  4. Refer to the instructions in the first paragraph of the DBE Document Checklist for which documents to combine in order to upload to the correct section. The Checklist is below:
    • DBE Document Checklist
    • The copy of the business owner(s) government issued photo ID from the Additional Documents SBSD requires for DBE Certification, is not on the Checklist, but should be included in the Application Materials section
  5. Click on the link below to go to the Application Portal:
  6. Follow the Directions on that page for Registering, or if you have already registered in the new Application Portal, log in with your username and password
  7. Click “+Add New Application”
  8. If you already have a certification record tracking number for your application:
    1. Click “Yes” when it asks “Has your firm ever applied for SWaM or DBE certification in the past?”
    2. Enter the Tax ID and certification number that was previously associated with your application and click Submit
      • -Otherwise-
    3. Click “No” when it asks “Has your firm ever applied for SWaM or DBE certification in the past?”
  9. Click on the edit icon (pencil) on the green side of your business’ application in your Application Queue or if you answered “No” to “Has your firm ever applied for SWaM or DBE certification in the past?”, you will go straight to filling out the application information
  10. Select all of the Certification types that you are applying for, and deselect any Certification Types that you are not applying for (Unlike in the past, if you do not select any SWaM Types, or if no SWaM types are already selected, we will not consider your firm for those SWaM types, even if you may  qualify)
  11. Update any out of date information and fill in any uncompleted required fields and click Next
    • If Next cannot be clicked, click the Save button, enter an update reason in the box that pops up (i.e., apply for certification, reapply, etc.), Submit, then the Next button will be able to be clicked
  12. Upload all of the required documents to their respective Upload sections and click Submit or Resubmit
  13. Once we have a complete file, we will arrange for an Onsite Visit to your Company
Additional Documents SBSD requires for DBE certification:
  • All business owners relied on to qualify the applicant firm for DBE certification must submit a copy of their government-issued photo ID (i.e., Driver’s license, Passport, Permanent Resident Card, Certificate of Naturalization, etc.)
  • 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

All Firms

Respond to a Document Request that Asks You to Upload the Requested Documents:
  1. Click on the link below to go to the Application Portal:
  2. Follow the Directions on that page for either Registering, or if you have already registered in the new Application Portal, log in with your username and password
  3. Click “+Add New Application”
  4. Click “Yes” when it asks “Has your firm ever applied for SWaM or DBE certification in the past?”
  5. Enter the Tax ID and certification number that was previously associated with your application and click Submit
  6. Click on the dark blue or light blue side of your application in your Application Queue to be brought to the Requested Documents Upload screen
  7. Upload the Requested Document(s)
  8. Click the Resubmit button
If you need assistance in applying for the DBE certification, please contact our regional offices for appointments with the Business Development Specialists. Click here for office contact information.

Annual Submission Requirement for Currently Approved DBEs

Once you are certified as a DBE, you are required to submit, annually, the following documents to our office prior to your anniversary date. We aspire to send all certified vendors an email reminder 60 days prior to your anniversary date. However, this is not always possible and should not be relied upon. We strongly recommend that your DBE anniversary date be added to your internal company calendar to keep track of the date by which your annual update is due. Please keep your email address current with us.

  1. If there are no changes, please submit the Virginia Unified Certification Program Affidavit of No Change form.
  2. Last year’s signed and dated Federal business taxes for your firm and ALL affiliates. If your firm and/or any affiliates’ taxes are filed under your personal taxes, then the signed and dated Federal personal taxes must be submitted as well. Please do not send State tax returns.
  3. Refer to steps 1-12 from In-State Firms above
  4. The No Change Affidavit should be uploaded to the Application Materials section and the taxes to the Tax Returns section, then click Submit

Electronically submit the Annual Submission package to us by uploading via the new application system: SBSD Certification Application System.

The No Change Affidavit should be uploaded under the tab for Application Materials and the taxes should be uploaded under the tab for Tax Returns.

Notification of Change Requirement for Currently Approved DBEs

Once you are certified as a DBE, you must inform us in writing of any change in circumstances affecting firm’s ability to meet size, disadvantaged status, ownership, or control requirements of the DBE program or any material change in the information provided in your application form. You must provide the written notification within 30 days of the occurrence of the change.

  1. If there have been changes to firm’s ownership and/or control, other significant changes, or firm is requesting additional NAICS codes, submit  Notice of Change Form.
  2. You must attach supporting documentation describing in detail the nature of any changes and/or supporting the addition of your request for any new NAICS codes.
  3. Refer to steps 1-12 from In-State firms above
  4. The Notice of Change form should be uploaded to the Application Materials section and any relevant supporting documents should be uploaded to the section corresponding to the document type. If it does not fit a document type under one of the sections, please contact our office for which section to upload the document to.

Electronically submit the Notice of Change package to us by uploading via the new application system: SBSD Certification Application System.

The Notice of Change should be uploaded under the tab for Application Materials.

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.

Title 49 – Transportation, Part 26 – Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Department of Transportation Financial Assistance Programs.

Request for copies of DBE file by Company Owner.

 

Address:
101 N. 14th Street, 11th Floor Richmond, VA 23219
Phone:
1(804) 786-6585
Email:
sbsd@sbsd.virginia.gov
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