Is your company majority-owned and managed by a woman and/or a minority? If yes, your business might be eligible for certification as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). This certification can potentially open doors to more opportunities and project access.

DBEs are small for-profit enterprises where socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least 51% of the business and control its management and daily operations. The groups presumed to be "socially and economically disadvantaged" include women, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans. Other individuals can apply and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, provided they demonstrate clear evidence of their social and economic disadvantage. The business must also meet Small Business Administration guidelines for size based on its industry (but not more than $30.72 million), with owners having a total net worth of less than $1.32 million (with some exceptions such as the owner’s primary home and ownership in the applicant business).

DBE certification is part of a federal program but is managed at the state level by agencies receiving financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Any interested company must first apply in its home state. Once certified in its home state, it can apply for DBE certification in other states via the interstate procedures, which this author will discuss in a future blog.

Consulting with an experienced attorney when applying can help make the process more streamlined and increase the chances of success. They can help you understand the certification process and the benefits to your business. They can also review your corporate documents to identify any potential issues that may hamper your application (they are quite common!). A knowledgeable attorney can also review your application before submission to help correct any potential problems. Once you apply, you cannot go back and change your materials.

If your business would like guidance with its DBE application, please contact Danielle Dietrich, Esq. at or 412-449-9141.

This blog is posted with the understanding that the author, publisher and distributor of this blog and/or any linked publication are not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters and, accordingly, assume no liability whatsoever in connection with its use.
By viewing Potomac Law Group’s blog posts, the reader (‘you”) understands that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and Potomac Law Group. The blog should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney, and you are urged to consult your own legal counsel on any specific legal questions you may have.

Pursuant to applicable rules of professional conduct, portions of this blog may constitute Attorney Advertising.

Related Attorneys

Media Contact

Marlene Laro

Recent News

Jump to Page

By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use