Unlike SWaM certification that is a Virginia state program (which we discussed earlier here), DBE certification is a Federal program. But like the SWaM program, the DBE program seeks to increase the participation of certified companies in government projects. In the case of DBE certification, such projects are ones funded by the US Department of Transportation and other federal sectors. These projects typically include heavy construction, such as building and designing roads, bridges, railroad, port, and airport. "DBE" stands for "Disadvantaged Business Enterprise."
To be certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, your company must be majority owned and controlled by someone that is "socially and economically disadvantaged." There is a presumption that you meet this criteria if your company is owned and controlled by a women or someone who is Asian American, African American, Hispanic American, Eskimo and/or Aleut, or Native American. In addition, the owner of the company has to have a personal net worth of less than $1.32 million. A personal financial statement for the owner will be required as part of the application process.
More information, including the application form and supporting instructions can be found here.If you want to have both SWaM certification and DBE certification, all you need to do is complete the DBE application. Once your DBE application is approved you will automatically also be SWaM certified (but not vice versa so don't do the SWaM application thinking it will also get you DBE certification). Like the SWaM application, there is no fee for applying for DBE certification.Spread the Word