• Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Certification


  • Certification Designation: DBE
  • Race Conscious: NO
  • Gender Conscious: NO
  • Re-Certification: Annual
  • Graduation: None
  • Approval Timeline: 30-60 Days
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: www.laucp.org


The U.S. Department of Transportation's  disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program provides a vehicle for increasing the participation by DBEs in state and local procurement. Each DOT-assisted State and local transportation agency is required to establish annual DBE goals, and review the scopes of anticipated large prime contracts throughout the year and establish contract-specific DBE subcontracting goals. Three major DOT operating administrations are involved in the DBE program. They are the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.  The legal basis for the DBE program appears in  46 CFR Part 23 and 46 CFR Part 26.

The main objectives of the DBE Program are:

  • To ensure that small disadvantaged business enterprises ( DBE) can compete fairly for federally funded transportation-related projects. 
  • To ensure that only eligible firms participate as DBEs. 
  • To assist DBE firms in competing outside the DBE Program. 

A list of the Louisiana's eighty-five (85) recipients that have been afforded the opportunity to participate in the planning, development and implementation of Louisiana’s Unified Certification Program is included in the PDF overview of the LAUCP DBE program.


To be certified as a LAUCP DBE, a firm must be a small business owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Additionally:

  • An eligible DBE must be an independent business where ownership and control by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual is real, substantial and continuing. Individuals who are members of the following groups and are U.S. citizens may be reputably presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged: Women, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans, African-Americans and other minorities found to be disadvantaged in the U.S. Small Business Act (15 USC 637);
  • The DBE owner must share in the risks and profits of the business commensurate with his/her ownership interest and the owner 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 owner from making a business decision without the cooperation of vote of the non-DBE owner(s). IF non-DBE members of the firm are disproportionately responsible for the operation and decisions of the firm, the firm is not eligible for certification.  


Each firm wishing to be certified as a DBE must complete and submit the DBE application and supporting documents identified on the application checklist and complete an on-site visit by the certifying agency.  The certification process takes, on average, between 30- and 60-days. 

Certifying agencies make the determinations based upon on-site visits, personal interviews, reviews of licenses, stock ownership, equipment, bonding capacity, work completed, resume of principal owners and financial capacity.


The certification application is also available online at:

Agency co

ntact information is included in the PDF Overview above.