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Equal Opportunity Office

Equal Opportunity Office / Divisions / DBE Program

DBE Program

Picture of a Florida Roadway
DBE Program Overview
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program

The Florida Department of Transportation's DBE Program, administered by the Equal Opportunity Office, is intended to remedy past and current discrimination against disadvantaged business enterprises, ensure a level playing field and foster equal opportunity and non-discrimination in DOT-assisted contracts, improve the flexibility and efficiency of the DBE program, and reduce burdens on small businesses.


Should I apply?

  • Is the owner a member of a socially and economically disadvantaged presumptive group (Black Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific and Subcontinent Asian Americans, and women)?
  • Is your firm a for-profit business at least 51%-owned by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s) who also controls the firm?
  • Is the disadvantaged owner a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident of the U.S.?
  • Is your firm a small business that meets the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) size standard and does not exceed $23.98 million in gross annual receipts?
  • Is your personal net worth (PNW) less than $1.32 million? 

If you answered "Yes" to all of the questions above, you may be eligible to participate in the United States DOT DBE program.



Why should companies become certified as a DBE?

This is a unique certification that applies to DOT only. The Department is committed to utilizing DBEs in its transportation program and has established a race neutral goal of 9.91% for the utilization of DBEs on all contracts.  Additionally, the Department encourages all prime contractors and consultants to use FDOT DBEs.


The goals are met by utilization of DBEs as subcontractors/subconsultants or prime contractors/consultants on projects. Managerial and technical supportive services are provided to DBEs to enhance their ability to perform on transportation projects. The Department offers DBE Supportive Services providers to assist DBE firms in these areas.


To see the providers and services, please click here.



How does a company become certified as a DBE?

Companies must complete the State of Florida, Department of Transportation, DBE Unified Certification Application.

When completing these applications it is very important to read instructions carefully, print in ink or type, answer each question completely, provide all requested documents, answer "N/A" to questions or supporting documents that do not apply to the applicant firm, and make certain the application is signed and notarized by a notary public who is not an owner, officer or director of the firm.

Please contact the Equal Opportunity Office at (850) 414-4747 to request an application or obtain online.


click here for more information on becoming certified with FDOT.

click here for the application.



The decision to approve or deny an application will take no longer than 90 days after a complete application, including all the supporting documentation and other information requested, has been received.  Applications that are not complex and do not have any major issues or concerns will usually be processed sooner, while those that are complex and have issues that need a more detailed review will take longer and may required the full 90 days.



If your firm engages in or that intend to engage in road, highway or bridge planning, design, construction or maintenance related goods and services: submit your DBE application to FDOT, regardless of your location in Florida.


If your firm engages in or intends to engage primarily in airport related goods and services, include concessions, submit your DBE application to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Certifying Member located closest to your primary place of business or with the FAA Certifying Member whom you have an on-going contractual relationship.


If your firm engages in or intends to engage primarily in transit related goods and services, include concessions, submit your DBE application to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Certifying Member located closest to your primary place of business or with the FTA Certifying Member whom you have an on-going contractual relationship.


To see a list of UCP certifying member, please click here



The purpose of the UCP is to provide "one-stop shopping" to applicants for certification, such that an applicant is required to apply only once for a DBE certification that will be honored by all recipients in the state. In the past, a firm would be required to apply for certification as a DBE with each agency with which the firm wants to work.  Under UCP, the firm applies one time with the state transportation agency, and if approved, that certification is shared by all other federal recipients in the state.



When a DBE application is received, within the first seven days the application is reviewed to determine if the application is complete and that all requested documentation is attached.


If the application is not complete, a letter will be sent to the applicant requesting the additional information that is required to make the file complete.  It is extremely important to provide all the information requested.  A checklist that accompanies the application provides a detailed list of all the information needed.  If you do not have an item on the checklist, state the reasons this information is not available.

Once the application is complete and all the supporting documentation has been received, the application will be thoroughly reviewed and an on-site visit to your office will be scheduled.  Usually the Equal Opportunity Office staff member conducting the on-site visit will have multiple visits in the same geographical area.


After the on-site review is conducted, the staff member conducting the review will complete a write-up that summarizes the on-site review information along with the other supporting documentation provided with the application.  When this analysis is complete, the application file is submitted to the DBE Certification Manager who thoroughly reviews the file and makes a recommendation to certify or deny the firm to the Manager, Equal Opportunity Office who makes the final decision.


If certified, the DBE Certification Manager will update the DBE Certification Directory and send a certification letter to the applicant.  If denied, the DBE Certification Manager will send a denial letter to the applicant stating the reasons for the denial and explaining how the applicant can appeal the decision.



The objectives of the DBE Program are:


To ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts in the Departments highway, transit, and airport financial assistance programs;


To create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for DOT-assisted contracts;


To ensure that the Departments DBE program is narrowly tailored in accordance with
applicable law;


To ensure that only firms that fully meet 49 CFR Part 26 eligibility standards are permitted to participate as DBEs; to help remove barriers to the participation of DBEs in DOT-assisted contracts;


To assist the development of firms that can compete successfully in the market place outside the DBE program; and


To provide appropriate flexibility to recipients of federal financial assistance in establishing and providing opportunities for DBEs.



Administered by the Florida Department of Transportation Equal Opportunity Office
(850) 414-4747

Federal Program and State Program

Applies to DOT only

Nationwide Firms

$23.98 Million Avg. Receipts

Federal Program

Road and Bridge Construction/Consultant

9.91% Goal


Business Directory

This application is a search engine for the FDOT's Business Directory. Firms in the following certification categories can be found in the Directory.


UCP-DBE Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise as certified by member agencies in the Florida Unified Certification Program
MBE Minority Business Enterprise as certified by the State of Florida
OBE Non-certified Business

click here for the DBE Directory


The Department is required to maintain a database of all firms that are doing business with or seeking to do business on DOT-assisted contracts. The list must include all firms that bid on prime contracts or bid or quote subcontracts on DOT-assisted projects, including both Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and all other subcontractors. The information on the Bid Opportunity List should be completed for each sub contractor or sub-consultant that the prime contractor or consultant has contacted or who has contacted the prime contractor or consultant on a specific Department of Transportation contract or proposal. This information should be mailed, faxed or e-mailed to the Equal Opportunity Office. You may also submit the Bid Opportunity List with your bid or proposal package.