DBE Certification Brochure

Overview of Small Business Programs

DBE Certification

  • Offered by Caltrans, as well as other agencies within the State
  • Certification is used on federally-funded contracts from the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration
  • Contracts can often be found with Caltrans, local governments, transportation agencies, and more
  • Please visit the Office of Business and Economic Opportunity website for further information: www.dot.ca.gov/hq/bep/business_forms.htm

Certified, Now What?

  • Be proactive: Contact a DSBL to learn more about procurement and contracting opportunities in a specific area
  • Market your firm: Draft a marketing email that includes important information, a link to your website, your certification ID number 
  • Educate yourself: Visit the Event Calendar to learn about training and networking opportunities: https://dot.ca.gov/programs/business-and-economic-opportunity/obeo-calendar

District Small Business Liaisons (DSBLs)

  • Outreach, promote, and advocate for SB, DVBE, and DBE participation on Caltrans contracts and procurements 
  • Provide free trainings, workshops, and networking opportunities for businesses
  • Visit the OBEO website at https://dot.ca.gov/programs/business-and-economic-opportunity to find the DSBL Contact List

Databases and Websites to Know

Cal eProcure: search for SB/DVBEs and view public procurement information www.caleprocure.ca.gov

DBE Database: search for DBEs https://dot.ca.gov/programs/business-and-economic-opportunity/dbe-search

Office of Business and Economic Opportunity (OBEO)

  • Oversees Caltrans’ DBE program
  • SB/DVBE Advocate
  • Assist SB and DVBE certified firms to identify and participate in purchasing and contracting opportunities by providing outreach, training, bidding opportunity availability, and prompt payment assistance

Small Business (SB) Program

Participation

  • Goal: 25% state-mandated
  • Applicable to state-funded contracts
  • No individual contract goals
  • 5% bid preference

SB Bid Preference

State-funded construction contracts allow for a 5% bid preference

  • SB contractor can request a bid preference, which is a reduction for bid comparison only, by 5% of the verified total bid of the low bidder OR $50,000 (whichever is less)
  • A non-SB contractor is eligible if it uses 25% or more of an SB firm in a bid

Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Program

Participation

  • Goal: 3% state-mandated; 5% committed to by Caltrans
  • Applicable to state-funded contracts
  • No Good Faith Efforts option 
  • Incentive for contracts over $5 million

DVBE Incentive

A reduction, for bid comparison only, in the total bid by the lesser of the following: 

  • A percentage of the DVBE achievement of the verified total bid of the low bidder
  • 5% of the verified total bid of the low bidder
  • $250,000

SB and DVBE Certification

  • Certifications offered by the California Department of General Services (DGS)
  • Accepted by all California state departments for state-funded contracting and procurement opportunities
  • Please visit the DGS website for further information: www.dgs.ca.gov/pd/ Programs/OSDS.aspx

SB/DVBE Option

  • Streamlined process that allows for state agencies and departments to contract directly with SB/DVBE certified firms for Goods, Services, Information Technology, and Public Works projects
  • Must obtain price quotes from at least two CA certified SBs OR DVBEs
Solicitation Thresholds: Goods, Services, Information Technology Public Works

Goods, Services, Information Technology

$5,000 $249,999
Public Works $5,000 $314,000

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program

Participation

  • Goal: 17.6% overall for Caltrans' FHWA assisted contracts
  • Applicable to federally-funded contracts
  • Individual contract goals
  • Must meet goal or demonstrate Good Faith Efforts through documentation