Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certification
A Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certification, commonly referred to as a DBE certification defines your business as being owned, operated and controlled by a disadvantaged group.
DBE certification may be the thing to catapult your business to success. If you are a small business owner, you could be missing out on a lesser-known revenue stream – “set-aside” contracts. Government agencies, along with corporations that do business with the government, are mandated by law or corporate policies to spend approximately 20% of their budget with small disadvantaged companies.
DBE requirements are uniform in every single state because they are under the direct jurisdiction of the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT). The DOT is responsible for setting DBE utilization goals and for the implementation of the entire program.
As a business owner, it is important to understand that a DBE business certification can allow you to be more competitive when it comes to government contracts, increasing your business’ revenue.
Even during a recession, the government must continue spending to fund its operations and stimulate growth. If you are seeking small business certification, it is important to decide who your target customer is to see if a DBE certification is best for you. You have to be certified as a small business in order for your DBE certification application to be accepted, so make sure that you go through that certification process first.
Can I Classify as a DBE?
A DBE is defined as a for-profit small business that is owned by a majority of at least one disadvantaged individual. In this definition, you are classified as a disadvantaged individual if you are African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-Pacific and Asian American, as well as if you are a woman. You may qualify even if you do not fall into these categories since eligibility is determined on a case to case basis during the dbe certification application process.
What Do I Need For My DBE Certification Application?
Currently, you have to create a Statement of Disadvantage as well as a Personal Finance Statement to apply for DBE business certification. The documents are required to prove that you belong to a disadvantaged group and that your personal net worth does not exceed $1.23 million. However, there are many other documents that you will need during the DBE certification application process. Having a DBE certification checklist is vital to making sure that you have a complete application. Here are a few things that you’ll need:
- Basic Contact Information
You’ll need to make sure that you have all of the basic contact information for your business to ensure that you can be contacted by the DOT.
- Other Certifications
Any other certifications that your business may have is important in determining whether or not your DBE certification application will be accepted.
- Business Profile
A short profile of what your business does, what services it provides, or what materials it produces is important.
- Majority Owner Information
Since the DBE certification is based on having a majority of the company owned by one of more disadvantaged individuals, this is possibly the most important part of the DBE certification checklist. If you don’t have this information figured out, it will not be possible to get a DBE certification.
You’ll have to discuss what your current inventory levels are in terms of equipment, vehicles, office space, and storage space in your DBE certification application. Make sure that you have this information prepped to share.
There are other items on the DBE certification checklist that we will be happy to share with you during the application process, and we are available to answer any questions you may have on the specifics of your DBE certification application.
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How BizCentral Can Help with Your DBE Application
Filling out the DBE certification application can be complicated and time-consuming. BizCentral is here to help you with both filling out and filing the DBE certification application. Our consultants can work with you to discover if you qualify, then they can assist with gathering the documentation discussed in the DBE certification checklist. They will also recommend the right agencies to make sure that you are submitting your DBE certification application to a properly vetted agency.
Turn to BizCentral to obtain your DBE Certification. Get in touch with us for a consultation about qualifications and requirements.