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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

Please start by answering no more than four multiple choice questions, and we will use your responses to direct you to the DBE page with the DBE/ACDBE information and forms relevant to your specific and current needs and circumstances. It should only take about one minute or less to answer these four (or less) questions:

 

New Applicants
Out Of State Firms Applying for DBE/ACDBE Certification via the Interstate Application Process

The Interstate Application Process allows an out of state DBE/ACDBE applicant that is already DBE/ACDBE certified in its home state to, instead of applying for DBE/ACDBE certification as if it were a new, in-state applicant, to instead apply via a process that may be simpler for the applicant.

All Interstate Certification Process out-of-state applicants must submit:

  1. A complete copy of the DBE/ACDBE 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/ACDBE 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/ACDBE 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. For SBSD, this affidavit is the Interstate Certification Affidavit form, which must be included with your DBE Interstate Certification application submission. The form is below:

The DBE/ACDBE Interstate Certification Process has several steps:

  1. Collect a copy of each document that your firm submitted to your firm’s home state to become DBE/ACDBE certified, as well as copies of documents submitted to your home state to remain DBE/ACDBE certified (i.e., No Change Affidavits, Notices of Change, updates tax returns, etc.). If your firm did not retain copies of these documents, you may be able to request a copy of your firm’s entire home state DBE/ACDBE certification file from your home state. If you cannot obtain a copy of your firm’s entire home state DBE/ACDBE file and did not retain a copy of all documents submitted to your home state to become and remain DBE/ACDBE certified, then you cannot apply via the Interstate Certification Process and will need to refer to the section for Out of State Firms that Are Opting Out of the Interstate Certification Process
  2. Complete the Interstate Certification Affidavit form, found below:
  3. Refer to the instructions in the first paragraph of the DBE Document Checklist for which documents to upload to the correct section. The Checklist is below and uploading an entire copy of the home state file as one bulk upload is NOT acceptable:
  4. For a step by step of how to use the Certification Application Portal, see the Instructions .pdf at the page here: Application Portal Instructions. You do NOT need to read through the entire .pdf as many sections may not be applicable to you. Clicking on a section in the Table of Contents in the .pdf will take you directly to whichever relevant section you need. Here are the headings for sections most relevant to DBE certification:
    • Launch of the New Application Portal
    • Old Application System vs. New Application Portal
    • Registering and Logging into the New Application Portal
    • I Need to Start the SWaM/DBE Application or Recertification Process for an Application that is Not Already in My Application Queue
    • Respond to a Document Request that Asks You to Upload the Requested Documents
    • Applying for DBE/ACDBE Certification
    • Submitting the Annual Submission Requirement for Currently-Approved DBEs Documents
    • Submitting the Notification of Change Requirement for Currently Approved DBEs Documents
  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 what appears to be a complete file, we will request a copy of your firm’s onsite from your home state and will verify with them that there are no documents on file with them that you failed to submit to us.

If you need assistance in applying for DBE/ACDBE certification or submitting the DBE/ACDBE annual submission requirement documents, please contact one of our regional offices for appointments with one of the Transportation Business Development Specialists. Click here for office contact information.

In-State Firms Applying for DBE/ACDBE Certification -OR- Out of State Firms Applying for DBE/ACDBE Certification that Are Opting Out of the Interstate Certification Process

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. Get the Application Form (Affidavit of Certification) and the Personal Net Worth Statement notarized.
  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
    • If you are an out of state firm that chooses to opt out of the Interstate Process, whether because you cannot obtain a complete copy of your home state application file, or for some other reason, you must, in addition to all of the above documents, also submit a letter that is signed and dated by the owner and stating that the firm is opting out of the Interstate Process. In this case, the letter should still be uploaded to the space for the DBE Interstate Certification Affidavit, and your application will be processed as if it were an in-state new applicant, with the exception that a copy of the onsite report will be obtained from your home state. Please find an Interstate Opt Out Letter template which you can complete here:
  4. Refer to the instructions in the first paragraph of the DBE Document Checklist for which documents to upload to the correct upload space (Upload the Interstate Opt Out Letter, if applicable, to the upload space for DBE Interstate Certification Affidavit). The Checklist is below:
  5. For a step by step of how to use the Certification Application Portal, see the Instructions .pdf at the page here: Application Portal Instructions. You do NOT need to read through the entire .pdf as many sections may not be applicable to you. Clicking on a section in the Table of Contents in the .pdf will take you directly to whichever relevant section you need. Here are the headings for sections most relevant to DBE certification:
    • Launch of the New Application Portal
    • Old Application System vs. New Application Portal
    • Registering and Logging into the New Application Portal
    • I Need to Start the SWaM/DBE Application or Recertification Process for an Application that is Not Already in My Application Queue
    • Respond to a Document Request that Asks You to Upload the Requested Documents
    • Applying for DBE/ACDBE Certification
    • Submitting the Annual Submission Requirement for Currently-Approved DBEs Documents
    • Submitting the Notification of Change Requirement for Currently Approved DBEs Documents
  6. 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:
  7. 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 need assistance in applying for DBE/ACDBE certification or submitting the DBE/ACDBE annual submission requirement documents, please contact one of our regional offices for appointments with one of the Transportation Business Development Specialists. Click here for office contact information.

Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) In-State Firms Applying for DBE Certification

The ANC DBE Certification process has several steps:

  1. Complete the Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) DBE Application Form. The Form is below:
  2. Get the ANC DBE Application Form notarized.
  3. Collect copies of the ANC Required Supporting Documentation.
  4. Refer to the instructions in the first paragraph of the ANC DBE Required Supporting Document Checklist for which documents to upload to the correct section. The Checklist is below:
  5. For a step by step of how to use the Certification Application Portal, see the Instructions .pdf at the page here: Application Portal Instructions. You do NOT need to read through the entire .pdf as many sections may not be applicable to you. Clicking on a section in the Table of Contents in the .pdf will take you directly to whichever relevant section you need. Here are the headings for sections most relevant to DBE certification:
    • Launch of the New Application Portal
    • Old Application System vs. New Application Portal
    • Registering and Logging into the New Application Portal
    • I Need to Start the SWaM/DBE Application or Recertification Process for an Application that is Not Already in My Application Queue
    • Respond to a Document Request that Asks You to Upload the Requested Documents
    • Applying for DBE/ACDBE Certification
    • Submitting the Annual Submission Requirement for Currently-Approved DBEs Documents
    • Submitting the Notification of Change Requirement for Currently Approved DBEs Documents
  6. 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:

If you need assistance in applying for DBE/ACDBE certification or submitting the DBE/ACDBE annual submission requirement documents, please contact one of our regional offices for appointments with one of the Transportation Business Development Specialists. Click here for office contact information.

Currently Approved DBE/ACDBEs
Annual Submission Requirement for Currently Approved DBE/ACDBEs

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 120 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.

The documents required for the DBE/ACDBE annual submission are below:

  1. If there are no changes, please submit the Virginia Unified Certification Program Affidavit of No Change form.
    • If there have been material changes (circumstances affecting firm’s ability to meet size, disadvantaged status, ownership, or control requirements of the DBE/ACDBE program, or if the firm is requesting to change its NAICS codes (whether requesting additional NAICS code(s), requesting to have NAICS code(s) removed, or requesting changes to NAICS code(s) it already has), then instead of the No Change form, then INSTEAD submit the DBE Notice of Change Affidavit
  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.
      • We always expect vendor’s to submit the most recent tax returns for the firm and any affiliates (or in the case of new applicants, also for the disadvantaged owner(s)). What we consider the most recent tax return is based on if the taxes are due to the IRS yet. Therefore, for firms submitting in January, February, March, and up until approximately mid-April, those taxes are for the tax year two years prior, whereas for firms submitting on or after approximately mid-April through December, those taxes are for the previous year.
        • For example: If annual documents are being submitted on February 20, 2020, the most recent taxes would be for tax year 2018. The table below should provide illustrative guidance to you to assist with determining what taxes are required to be submitted with the DBE/ACDBE annual submission:
          • Current date of annual submission being submitted Tax year required
            January 2020 2018
            February 2020 2018
            March 2020 2018
            April 1 thru approximately April 15th (dependent on IRS Tax Due Day) 2020 2018
            April 16 (dependent on IRS Tax Due Day) thru April 30 2020 2019
            May 2020 2019
            June 2020 2019
            July 2020 2019
            August 2020 2019
            September 2020 2019
            October 2020 2019
            November 2020 2019
            December 2020 2019
      • Please note that this is based on the date of submission to us, not necessarily  the anniversary due date, unless the documents are actually submitted on the anniversary due date. If you have any questions, please contact us.
      • If you filed an extension for the most recent tax year, you MUST submit all of the following:
        • The IRS extension form for the most recent tax year that is on extension
        • The year-end income statement (also sometimes called the Profit & Loss Statement) of the year that is on extension
        • AND the tax returns for the three years prior to the tax year that is on extension
          • EXPIRED EXTENSIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED

The DBE/ACDBE Annual Submission process has several steps:

  1. Complete the Virginia Unified Certification Program Affidavit of No Change form from above
  2. Get the DBE No Change form notarized
  3. Collect copies of the DBE Annual Submission Documentation from above
  4. For a step by step of how to use the Certification Application Portal, see the Instructions .pdf at the page here: Application Portal Instructions. You do NOT need to read through the entire .pdf as many sections may not be applicable to you. Clicking on a section in the Table of Contents in the .pdf will take you directly to whichever relevant section you need. Here are the headings for sections most relevant to DBE certification:
    • Launch of the New Application Portal
    • Old Application System vs. New Application Portal
    • Registering and Logging into the New Application Portal
    • I Need to Start the SWaM/DBE Application or Recertification Process for an Application that is Not Already in My Application Queue
    • Respond to a Document Request that Asks You to Upload the Requested Documents
    • Applying for DBE/ACDBE Certification
    • Submitting the Annual Submission Requirement for Currently-Approved DBEs Documents
    • Submitting the Notification of Change Requirement for Currently Approved DBEs Documents
  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:

If you need assistance in applying for DBE/ACDBE certification or submitting the DBE/ACDBE annual submission requirement documents, please contact one of our regional offices for appointments with one of the Transportation Business Development Specialists. Click here for office contact information.

Notification of Change Requirement for Currently Approved DBEs

Once you are certified as a DBE/ACDBE, you must inform us in writing of any change in circumstances affecting the firm’s ability to meet size, disadvantaged status, ownership, or control requirements of the DBE/ACDBE program or any material change in the information provided in your application form. If you are requesting to change your NAICS codes (whether requesting additional NAICS code(s), requesting to have NAICS code(s) removed, or requesting changes to NAICS code(s) you already have), then this also qualifies as a material change.

If there have been changes, such as to the firm’s physical address, mailing address, phone number, email, etc., then this is NOT a material change, and considered a minor change.

Whether a material change or a minor change, you must provide written notification within 30 days of the occurrence of the change. The documents and process differ depending on if it is a material change or a minor change.

The documents required for a DBE/ACDBE notice of material change submission are below:

  1. If there have been changes to the firm’s ownership and/or control, other significant changes, or if the firm is requesting to change its NAICS codes, submit the  DBE Notice of Change Form. Please find the DBE Notice of Change Form that you must complete here:
  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/changed NAICS codes.

The DBE/ACDBE Notice of Material Change Submission process has several steps:

  1. Complete the DBE Notice of Change form from above
  2. Get the DBE Notice of Change form notarized
  3. Collect copies of any relevant supporting documentation regarding your firm’s change, as well as the DBE Notice of Change form from above
  4. For a step by step of how to use the Certification Application Portal, see the Instructions .pdf at the page here: Application Portal Instructions. You do NOT need to read through the entire .pdf as many sections may not be applicable to you. Clicking on a section in the Table of Contents in the .pdf will take you directly to whichever relevant section you need. Here are the headings for sections most relevant to DBE/ACDBE certification:
    • Launch of the New Application Portal
    • Old Application System vs. New Application Portal
    • Registering and Logging into the New Application Portal
    • I Need to Start the SWaM/DBE Application or Recertification Process for an Application that is Not Already in My Application Queue
    • Respond to a Document Request that Asks You to Upload the Requested Documents
    • Applying for DBE/ACDBE Certification
    • Submitting the Annual Submission Requirement for Currently-Approved DBEs Documents
    • Submitting the Notification of Change Requirement for Currently Approved DBEs Documents
  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. The Notice of Change form should be uploaded to the Notice of Change space  on the Required Documents upload page and any relevant supporting documents should be uploaded to the corresponding Required Documents space. If a document does not fit a document type, please contact our office for which space to upload the document to.
  7. After uploading the necessary documents click the Submit or Resubmit button.

The documents required for a DBE/ACDBE notice of minor change submission are below:

  1. If it is at or less than 120 days from your firm’s DBE/ACDBE anniversary date -OR- it is NOT at or less than 120 days prior to your DBE/ACDBE anniversary date BUT you failed to submit a DBE/ACDBE annual submission that is now past due: 
  2. If it is NOT at or less than 120 days from your firm’s DBE/ACDBE anniversary date AND no annual submissions are past due: 
    • There are generally no documents required for a DBE/ACDBE notice of minor change

The DBE/ACDBE Notice of Minor Change Submission process has several steps:

  1. Changes to such things as contact information can be made online through the Certification Portal
  2. For a step by step of how to use the Certification Application Portal, see the Instructions .pdf at the page here: Application Portal Instructions. You do NOT need to read through the entire .pdf as many sections may not be applicable to you. Clicking on a section in the Table of Contents in the .pdf will take you directly to whichever relevant section you need. Here are the headings for sections most relevant to DBE/ACDBE certification:
    • Launch of the New Application Portal
    • Old Application System vs. New Application Portal
    • Registering and Logging into the New Application Portal
    • I Need to Start the SWaM/DBE Application or Recertification Process for an Application that is Not Already in My Application Queue
    • Respond to a Document Request that Asks You to Upload the Requested Documents
    • Applying for DBE/ACDBE Certification
    • Submitting the Annual Submission Requirement for Currently-Approved DBEs Documents
    • Submitting the Notification of Change Requirement for Currently Approved DBEs Documents
  3. 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:
  4. Click the Edit button.
  5. After making the necessary edits/updates, click the Submit or Resubmit button.

If you need assistance in applying for DBE/ACDBE certification or submitting the DBE/ACDBE annual submission requirement documents, please contact one of our regional offices for appointments with one of the Transportation Business Development Specialists. Click here for office contact information.

Request to Withdraw from the DBE/ACDBE Certification Program for Currently Approved DBEs

Once you are certified as a DBE/ACDBE, if you decide that you no longer wish to be DBE/ACDBE certified, you may request to withdraw from the DBE/ACDBE program by having the disadvantaged owner(s) that own at least 51% of the firm submit a letter that they sign and date, and which is notarized, that states that the firm wishes to withdraw from the DBE/ACDBE program. Please find a DBE/ACDBE Withdrawal Letter template which you can complete here:

The Request to Withdraw from the DBE/ACDBE Certification Program process has two steps:

  1. Complete the DBE/ACDBE Withdrawal Letter from above
  2. Click the link below to email the DBE/ACDBE Withdrawal Letter to us:

If you need assistance in applying for DBE/ACDBE certification or submitting the DBE/ACDBE annual submission requirement documents, please contact one of our regional offices for appointments with one of the Transportation Business Development Specialists. Click here for office contact information.

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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