Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification, allows eligible businesses to take part in DBE programs as defined by different states. These programs strive for promoting the inclusion of economically or socially disadvantaged organizations, such as minority-and women-owned businesses, while distributing government-subsidized contracts.

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They help minority businesses in availing significant financial assistance. With the DBE Certification Program, minority business entrepreneurs can expect to receive liberal funding from the federal government. ADEB entities and WMBE entities take the maximum advantage out of this program. State or local government usually offers this kind of program. This certification program is popular as a statewide procedure.

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Criteria of the Certification

Most of the states have a registry where the names of qualifying businesses eligible for a DBE are included. These states make a point to outline the criteria for certification. For instance, the Transportation Department of California has DBE requirements that pertain to personal net worth, revenues, management, control, and ownership of a business.

Things to keep in mind

If you want to obtain a DBE certification, you will need to submit documents that prove you own a minimum of 51% share of your small business. You also need to prove that your business firm is economically as well as socially disadvantaged. Groups, which are presumed to be economically or socially disadvantaged, are eligible for a DBE provided they can prove that they are socially or financially disadvantaged.


According to the Transportation Department, of all funds, that are allocated to the mass transit, research, transportation technology, and government-subsidized highways, at least 10% of the fund must be allocated to DBE.

Size Requirements

Companies looking to earn profit from their businesses but are termed "small" are qualified as DBE. The size of the small business is not to exceed $22.41 million dollars.

Probable Groups

Groups who are presumed to be socially or economically disadvantaged include Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Pacific Americans, and Subcontinent Asians.

Mistakes to avoid for obtaining DBE certification

A company wanting to acquire its DBE certification must make sure that it does not make the following errors:

  • Ensure that any transfer of shares/stocks or ownership does not coincide with the submission of a DBE application. Be sure to avoid transfer shares/ownership/stock as gifts or with little or no funds exchange.
  • If the S&ED individual has no experience in the field of business, make sure that they obtain certifications, formal training, or degrees in the field of business. Try not to give the previous workforces substantial ownership interests in the DBE business.
  • If the company ownership is transferred to an S&ED individual from a non-disadvantaged one, it is better for the former owners not to remain with the firm.
  • Avoid discrepancies among any Partnership Agreement, and Operating Agreement, and Articles of Incorporation, etc.
  • Make sure that the S&ED individual stays in the same location as the main place of business of the DBE firm.

The DBE specialists at 8acertification.net can assist you with application revision and handle your denial appeal so that you can be well on your way to obtain your DBE Certification.