DBE Certification Information

Before You Start The DBE Application Process

In order to apply for certification as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), your firm must meet the following eligibility criteria stated in 49 CFR Part 26.

The disadvantaged individual must be a U.S. citizen (or resident alien) and be a member of a socially and economically disadvantaged group.

The disadvantaged individual applying must have a personal net-worth (PNW) of less than $1,320,000. Items excluded from personal net worth calculation include an individual's ownership interest in the applicant firm and his or her equity in their primary. Also, if an individual demonstrates that he/she is able to accumulate substantial wealth, the individual's claim of economic disadvantage may be denied, even though the individual's PNW is less than $1.32 million.

Depending on the primary business activity, a firm (including its affiliates) must not have average annual gross receipts over the firm's previous three fiscal years in excess of $30,400,000 ($56,420,000 for airport concessionaires in general with some exceptions). Lower size standards may apply depending on business activity determination.

The firm must be a for-profit small business where socially and economically disadvantaged DBE owner(s) own at least a 51% interest, and have managerial and operational control of the business operations; the firm must not be tied to another firm in such a way as to compromise its independence and control.

The socially and economically DBE owner(s) must possess the power to direct or cause the direction to the management and policies of the firm and to make day-to-day, as well as long-term decisions on matters of management, policy and operations.

If state or local law requires the persons to have a particular license or other credential in order to own and/or control a certain type of firm, then the socially and economically disadvantaged persons who own and control a potential DBE firm of that type must possess the required license or credential.

If you are interested in applying to become a DBE, please visit our DBE System webpage:

Downloadable California Unified Certification Program (CUCP) DBE Application Forms

DBE and ACDBE Forms