Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification exists in the state of Louisiana in order to increase the amount of cooperation between businesses that are owned by ‘disadvantaged’ individuals and government transportation agencies. Certification enlists your business in a special directory, which lets government agencies quickly identify your business for partnership; qualifies your company to receive a variety of resources and training from the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization; as well as allows your company to participate in regular quotas, where government agencies are required to cooperate with a predetermined amount of small businesses that are owned by ‘disadvantaged’ individuals.
In order to qualify, the majority owner of the business must identify as a member of one of the federally recognized ‘disadvantaged’ populations, including but not limited to African Americans, women, and Hispanic Americans. Further, the majority owner must participate in the business directly, including managing daily operations and engaging in regular decision-making processes.
STATEWIDE CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS
Louisiana Unified Certification Program (LA UCP)
In order to apply for DBE certification in Louisiana, the state government has created a uniform application process. If certified through the LA UCP, your business qualifies for government contracts throughout the entire state of Louisiana—rather than having jurisdiction in fragmented areas. If the small business is located in the New Orleans area, applications should be sent to the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority. If the business is registered in another part of the state, applications should be sent to the Louisiana Department of Transportation.
To apply for DBE certification, you can download and fill out the application form. The top of this application form details individual requirements, which include but are not limited to:
– The business must be a for-profit business that operates in transportation-related work
– At least 51 percent owned by a socially/economically disadvantaged individual
– Owners of the small business must be legal residents or citizens of the U.S.
– The business cannot have gross receipts exceeding $23.98 million annually
– Must meet the Small Business Administration’s size requirements
You can find additional information and documents for the LA UCP here.
Local And Regional Programs
Louisiana Minority Supplier Development Council (LAMSDC)
The Louisiana Minority Supplier Development Council (LAMSDC) offers Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) certification and also helps businesses develop or enhance their minority vendor programs. Businesses that are at least 51% owned and operated by one or more ethnic minorities can get an MBE certification from this regional branch of the national organization called the Minority Supplier Development Council (MSDC). The MSCD offers minority business certifications for companies across all of Louisiana through its location in New Orleans. Eligibility is established by conducting a series of screenings, interviews and site visits.
Women’s Business Enterprise Council South (WBEC)
Women’s Business Enterprise Council South (WBEC) is a certifying partner organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, which provides Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certification. The WBEC can help small businesses that qualify to get certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). This nationally recognized certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Some of the benefits of WBE certification include invitations to networking events with supplier diversity representatives, contact information for supplier diversity representatives, and opportunities to attend corporate panels, procurement events, and education opportunities. To qualify, your business must be 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.
City of New Orleans Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD)
In partnership with the Sewerage and Water Board, New Orleans Aviation Board and Harrah’s New Orleans, the City of New Orleans’ Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD) administers the State and Local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (SLDBE) Certification Program. A business may qualify for the SLDBE Program if it is determined that the firm’s ability to compete in the business world has been restricted due to industry practices, limited access to capital and/or restricted credit opportunities that are beyond the firm’s control.
Eligibility is also determined by:
- Ownership – The firm must be at least 51% owned by a socially and economically disadvantaged person(s).
- Business Size – The firm (including its affiliates) must be a small business as defined by SBA standards. It must not have annual gross receipts over $23.98 million in the previous three fiscal years.
- Independence – The business must not be tied to another firm in such a way as to compromise its independence and control.
- Control – A disadvantaged owner seeking certification must possess the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of the firm. The owner must also have an overall understanding of, and managerial and technical competence and experience directly related to, the type of business in which the firm is engaged.
The SLDBE Program is a race and gender neutral program that does not presume social and economic disadvantage. Each applicant carries the burden of proof regarding their eligibility in establishing their social and economic disadvantage.
Under the DBE Program, the RTA has established participation goals for federally funded contracts by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). You may qualify for the DBE certification if:
- Your firm is at least 51% owned by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual (or individuals) who also controls the firm.
- The disadvantaged owner is a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States.
- To be considered economically disadvantaged, the individual’s Personal Net Worth, not including their primary place of residence or ownership in the business cannot exceed $1.32 million in compliance with the 49 CFR Part 26.67.
- Your firm is a small business that meets the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) size standard and does not exceed $23.98 million in gross annual receipts.
- Your firm is organized as a for-profit business.
For DBE certification, the State of Louisiana has developed a Unified Certification Program containing the definitions, requirements, processes, and forms to be used by a number of certifying agencies. The RTA is one of those certifying agencies.
Click here to apply: DBE Certification Application
The New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB) has established a DBE office and has appointed a DBE Liaison Officer (DBELO) to coordinate and administer the Program and Plan. The first step in the certification process is to complete and submit a DBE application to the DBELO at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. The DBELO then conducts a site visit to verify status and issue a decision.
The NOAB will certify only those businesses which are at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned and controlled by persons who are socially and economically disadvantaged. An eligible DBE must be an independent business where ownership and control by socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s) are real, substantial and continuing. Individuals who are members of the following groups and are citizens of the United States may be reputably presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged: Women; Hispanic Americans; Native Americans; Asian-Pacific Americans; Subcontinent Asian Americans; and other minorities found to be disadvantaged by the Small Business Administration (SBA)
The DBE owners must share in the risks and profits commensurate with their ownership interests, and must also possess the power to direct or cause the direction of the day-to-day management and major decisions of the firm. There cannot be any restrictions which prevent the DBE owners from making a business decision without the cooperation or vote of the non-DBE owners. If non-DBE members of the firm are disproportionately responsible for the operation of the firm, then the firm will not be certified.
Click here for more information: http://www.flymsy.com/dbe-program