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Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

Apply for DBE Certification (PDF)

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide a vehicle for increasing the participation of minority business enterprises in state and local procurement. The DOT DBE program is implemented by recipients of DOT Federal Financial Assistance. The Office of Economic and Small Business Development works to certify local firms under the DBE program and to establish annual DBE participation goals for Broward County's aviation and transit projects.

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DBE FAQs

What is a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)? 
How can I benefit from a DBE Certification?
How can I apply for a DBE Certification? 
What is the State of Florida Unified Certification Program (UCP)? 
Does the State of Florida UCP Process Out-of-State DBE Applications?
How do I renew my firm's DBE Certification?
Where do I mail my completed DBE application and/or Renewal Documents?

What is a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)? 
A Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, or DBE, is a small business owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged according to the guidelines in the Federal DBE Program (49 CFR Part 26). Membership in certain race and ethnic groups identified under "minority-owned business enterprise" may meet the presumption of socially and economically disadvantaged. Women are also presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged by this federal program. Examination of economic disadvantage also includes investigating the firm's average gross receipts (not to exceed $22.41 million) and the firm owner's personal net worth (not to exceed $1.32 million).  

Some minority and women-owned firms may not qualify as a DBE due to gross revenue or net worth requirements. A firm owned by a non-minority male can be certified as a DBE if social and economic disadvantage is proven, in accordance with 49 CFR Part 26. Tribally-owned concerns can also be DBE certified if the enterprise meets the requirements in 49 CFR Part 26.

How can I benefit from a DBE Certification?
A DBE certification allows firms to bid on projects funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which include local airport and mass transit projects. DBE certification must be secured in order for a firm to participate in the Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) program. NOTE: Size limits for the ACDBE program are higher.

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How can I apply for a DBE Certification?
To apply for a DBE certification, a firm must complete and submit a DBE Certification Application

What is the State of Florida Unified Certification Program (UCP)?
The Florida UCP provides “one-stop shopping” to applicants for DBE certification, which means that applicants only need to apply once for a DBE certification which is honored by all UCP Members in the state. Florida's UCP maintains an electronic DBE Directory of all certified firms.

We will accept and process a DBE Certification Application only from firms located in Broward County. If you are interested in applying for DBE certification and are not located in Broward County, you should contact your local UCP Certifying Member.

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Does the State of Florida UCP Process Out-of-State DBE Applications?
The Florida UCP will not process a new application for DBE certification from a firm that is based in another state, unless the firm has already been certified in that state. When a certifying UCP member processes an out-of-state application, a full certification application file with all supporting documentation will be created including a copy of the Site Visit Report obtained from the applicant's home state or from the state's UCP if it is in place, before the firm is included in the State of Florida DBE Directory.

How do I renew my firm's DBE Certification?
To remain DBE and/or ACDBE certified, you must submit (1) a DBE Affidavit for Continuing Eligibility and (2) a DBE Personal Net Worth Worksheet each year before the anniversary date of the existing certification. The documents must be submitted to the Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development accompanied by:

  • Corporate Business and Personal Tax Returns for the previous year,
  • Current Business Tax Receipts, and
  • All current professional licenses, if applicable.

Where do I mail my completed DBE application and/or Renewal Documents?
Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development
115 S. Andrews Ave., Room A-680
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Attention: Certification Section

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