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 of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 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.
The mailing address for any DBE certification application materials is:
101 N. 14th Street, 11th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
Out Of State Firms
All out-of-state applicants must submit:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. If you do not have a record tracking number because you have not previously applied online for Virginia DBE or SWaM certification through the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (formerly the Department of Minority Business Enterprise or DMBE), please generate a certification record tracking number by going to this link: generate a certification record tracking number. Once you have the tracking number, please write it at the top of the first page of your Interstate Certification Affidavit.
The DBE Certification process has several steps:
- If you have not previously applied online for Virginia DBE or SWaM certification through the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (formerly the Department of Minority Business Enterprise or DMBE), please begin the Application Process by generating a certification record tracking number by going to this link: generate a certification record tracking number. Otherwise, proceed with the next steps below.
- Complete the DBE Uniform Certification Application Form, and the Personal Net Worth Statement.
- Get the Application Form (Affidavit of Certification) and the Personal Net Worth Statement notarized.
- Collect copies of the Required Supporting Documentation.
- Send the Application forms package, plus the supporting documents in to us at the address at the bottom of this page.
- 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
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.
- If there are no changes, please submit the Virginia Unified Certification Program Affidavit of No Change form.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.