DBE certification process
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certification benefits your business through marketing, training, and contract opportunities. Businesses who meet the eligibility requirements in the federal regulations may apply for certification as Disadvantaged Business Enterprise.
Who should apply?
- Small, for-profit business
- At least 51 percent owned by persons who are socially and economically disadvantaged
- Women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Native-Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans and Subcontinent Asian-Americans are presumed to be socially disadvantaged. Other individuals may qualify as disadvantaged on a case-by-case basis.
- U.S. citizens or lawfully admitted permanent residents of the U.S.
- Those with a net worth less than $1.32 million
- Those with a technical expertise in the areas the business performs work and who control the day-to-day operation of the business
If your business meets these requirements, you may be eligible to participate in the DBE program.
How do I become certified?
- Complete the application
- Submit your completed application to a member agency of the Minnesota Unified Certification Program
- Your application will be reviewed by a specialist from a certifying agency
- Your place of business will be visited by a specialist from a certifying agency
- Your business’ eligibility will be voted on by the MnUCP
- You will be notified of the MnUCP’s decision
Why get certified?
- Gain exposure for your business by being included in the state directory of certified DBEs
- Expand opportunities to work on contracts with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Council, the City of Minneapolis, and the Metropolitan Airport Commission
- Become eligible for additional small business certification opportunities, such as the state’s Targeted Group Business program
- Receive credit toward DBE goals on projects with federal government funding
- Access to free training and business development opportunities
- Market your business through networking events
Annual renewal / no-change affidavit
Certified DBEs need to complete the Affidavit of DBE eligibility (PDF) annually to show your business continues to meet DBE eligibility requirements.
To challenge your company’s DBE Certification decision by the MnUCP, contact the USDOT Departmental Office of Civil Rights. The MnUCP also has processes to appeal determinations. Contact a DBE Specialist if you have questions about this process.