City of New Orleans

  • State and Local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (SLDBE) Certification

(New application and process for 2016)



  • Certification Designation: SLDBE
  • Race Conscious: NO
  • Gender Conscious: NO
  • Re-Certification: Bi-Annual
  • Graduation: None
  • Approval Timeline: 7-10 Days
  • Cost: Free
  • Website:


SLDBE Partner Agencies operate the State and Local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (hereinafter referred to as the ‘SLDBE Program’ or ‘the Program’) as a race and gender neutral disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program to provide for the participation of businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged persons to increase their participation in contracting opportunities with the City of New Orleans and partner agencies.

In 2003, the City of New Orleans joined with the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans (SWB) and the New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB) in a cooperative agreement to operate the SLDBE Program. Harrah’s Casino New Orleans became a partner agency in 2009.  Approval for the SLDBE program through any of the partner agencies qualifies a firm to bid and perform as an SLDBE firm for any of the partner agencies.


The SLDBE Program is a race and gender neutral program that does not presume social and economic disadvantages.  A business may qualify for the SLDBE Program if:

  • It is determined that the business’ 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 their control;
  • The business is owned, operated and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged person(s) and that person or those persons own, operate, and control at least 51% of the company;
  • The firm is an independent business (not a franchise) in which the ownership and control by a socially and economically disadvantaged person is real, substantial and continuing; 
  • The SLDBE owners share in the risks and profits commensurate with their ownership interests; 
  • The SLDBE owners possess the power to direct or cause the direction of day-to-day management and major decisions of the firm; and
  • There can be no restrictions in the bylaws, operating agreement or other document which prevents the SLDBE owner(s) from making a business decision without the corporation or vote of the non-SLDBE owner(s).


Each firm wishing to be certified as a SLDBE must complete and submit the SLDBE application and supporting documents identified on the application checklist and complete an on-site visit.  The certification process takes, on average, the new SLDBE certification process takes between 7- to 10-days if all of the required documents accompany the initial application submission.  

Any firm which believes that it has been wrongly denied certification as a SLDBE firm or as a Joint Venture, which includes a SLDBE firm certified under the program, may file an appeal of the denial.  The appeal shall be written, dated, signed and filed no later than ten (10) days after the date of the letter of notification certification denial.



The SLDBE application is also available online at:

Agency contact information is included in the PDF Overview above.