Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certification (DBE)

  • Be a small business as established by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The firm’s annual gross receipts averaged over three years cannot exceed $28.48 million. Actual thresholds depend on the specific type of work the firm performs (See Application Forms for specifics).
  • Firms must be at least 51% owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Most minority classes and all women are considered socially disadvantaged. Owner’s whose personal net worth is less than $1.32 million (not including your primary residence and business) are considered economically disadvantaged. If the owner has the ability to accumulate wealth you may not meet the standard.
  • Owners must demonstrate they “control” the firm. That is have the final decision making authority, hold the highest position in the company, and have the knowledge, education, and /or experience in the specific type of work the firm performs. If the owner(s) have outside employment, you may not meet the standard for control. For more information please read the brochure.
  • Firms must be independent – i.e., the viability of the firm is not dependent on another firm. An independent firm cannot share personnel, equipment, or facilities.