DBE Certifications in Washington
In the state of Washington, businesses and organizations that are majority owned by ‘disadvantaged’ members of the population qualify as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and can be awarded a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certification. This certification is exclusive to businesses that are at least 51% owned and operated by minorities who are at a social and economic disadvantage; this includes women, veterans or other minority segments of the Virginia population such as people with disabilities. Becoming certified offers many opportunities for your business such as assistance for business practice is included in a program promoted by state and federal governments and your business is considered a Small Business Enterprise. Businesses seeking certification must fit the specified requirements which are as followed.
- Your for-profit business or enterprise must be a majority of 51% owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged members.
- The owners of the business or enterprise must have a net worth below $1,320,000.
The Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) certifies small businesses that are owned and operated by economically and socially disadvantaged members of the Washington population such as minorities, women, and veterans. A minority is defined as an African American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Native Hawaiian, Hispanic American, Native American or Alaska Native. The Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises offers both state and federal certificates. If you are inquiring about projects funded by the Federal Department of Transportation, you must apply for a federal certificate.
Statewide Certification Programs
In order to meet the qualifications for application of certification, make sure your business or enterprise is in order with these guidelines. The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) serves to monitor and manage the Washington State Department of Transportations Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. The Office of Equal Opportunity encourages businesses seeking certification and can provide assistance and help. The main goal of the OEO and the OMWBE is to bolster participation of disadvantaged individuals in state-funded acquisition and contracting projects.
- Your business must be for-profit and licensed to do business in the state of Washington.
- Your business must be a small business based on the regulations set by the US Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA measures this in two ways:
- An overall business size standard of $23.98 million in gross receipts over a three-year average
- Your business’s size standard which is determined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. The Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) will assign your business NAICS codes based on the goods and services you indicate your service or business provides.
- Owners must operate both the day-to-day operations as well as the overall operations of the company such as policy changes or management and must be a legal US citizen.
The Office of Equal Opportunity also operates a program for Minority, Small, Veteran and Women’s Business Enterprise with the primary goal to increase activity of disadvantaged individuals in the Washington State Department of Transportation.
If your business fits the qualifications, click the links below to apply.
- Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise certifications
- Veteran Owned Business and Small Business certifications, via the Washington Electronic Business Solution (WEBS) system.
For additional resources regarding statewide projects, individuals are encouraged to utilize the DES Contract System which shows businesses projects that are currently in the works, contracts that have been award within the last 12 months and contracts that are set to expire within the next 12 months.
In addition to working with the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Office of Minority and Women Business Enterprise as well as the Office of Equal Opportunity work with the US Department of Transportation. The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) serves to monitor and manage the Washington State Department of Transportations Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. In becoming certified as a DBE means being apart of a program promoted both on a state and federal level, assistance and help for creating guidelines and practice and your business is considered a Small Business Enterprise.
To ensure that your business or enterprise qualifies as a DBE, read the guidelines below.
- Your business is for-profit.
- Your business must be at least 51% owned by an individual or group of individuals that are socially and economically disadvantaged.
- The individual or group of individuals who serve as owners and managers are socially and economically disadvantaged with a net worth below that of $1,320,000.
For additional resources regarding federal projects, individuals are encouraged to utilize the System for Award Management (SAM) which is a free program created by the US Government as a system to consolidate the capabilities of ORCA, EPLS, and CCR/FedReg.
Federal Small Business Enterprise
The Small Business Enterprise is designed to enhance participation of race-neutral DBEs and the general promotion of small businesses. The SBE program is only on federally aided contracts.
In order to ensure your business qualifies, read the guidelines below.
- If a business, enterprise or firm is interested in becoming an SBE, they must apply through the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise.
- Firms already certified as a DBE already are considered an SBE.