The Certification Unit is responsible for certifying Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms according to Title 49 Part 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This is accomplished by a thorough analysis of the application with the supporting documents and on-site interview. Only small business firms that are independently owned and controlled in both substance and form by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged persons are certified. The entire process takes approximately 90 days once a complete application is received. If supporting documentation, signatures, or notarizations are missing, or if additional information is needed, the application is considered to be incomplete. Once certified, the firm will be listed in the NYS Unified Certification Program’s (NYSUCP) Directory of Certified DBEs when updated online every 24 hours.

DBE certification is a federal program. It is separate and distinct from the New York State M/WBE program. For more information on the state program go to: NY Business. The preceding external link opens a new browser window The DBE program has economic criteria; the M/WBE criteria is the size standard. The size standard is established by the Small Business Administration (SBA) The preceding external link opens a new browser window and varies according to the type of business activity. The gross income for the most recent three years is averaged and compared to the size standard established by the SBA for that business activity. If the calculated figure is higher than the SBA size standard, then the firm cannot be certified. Another criteria is Personal Net Worth (PNW). The DBE Program requires each individual owner of the firm applying as a DBE whose ownership and control are relied upon for DBE certification to submit a PNW statement certifying that his or her PNW does not exceed $1,320,000.

NYSDOT requires an original signature and notarization on the verification page of the application (photocopies or facsimiles are not accepted) and on the Personal Net Worth form.