Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program - Guide to the Application Process

This US DOT video explains the intent of the DBE Program.


Becoming certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) or Small Business Concern (SBC) can be beneficial for a small business.

The information below and in the DBE and SBC Guides tell you more about these programs and may help you decide if these programs are right for your firm.


What is the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

ADOT has established a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program in accordance with the regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), 49 CFR Part 26

As a condition of receipt of funding, ADOT has signed an assurance that it will comply with 49 CFR Part 26. It is ADOT’s policy to ensure that DBEs, as defined in Part 26, have an equal opportunity to receive and participate in USDOT-assisted contracts. It is also the policy of the department to

  • ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of USDOT-assisted contracts.
  • create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for USDOT-assisted contracts.
  • ensure that the DBE program is narrowly tailored in accordance with relevant law.
  • ensure that only firms that meet 49 CFR Part 26 eligibility standards are counted as DBEs.
  • help remove barriers to the participation of DBEs in USDOT-assisted contracts.
  • assist in the development of firms that can compete successfully in the marketplace outside the DBE program.

Explore the links above to locate information about the DBE program.

Below are some resources that explain more about the DBE program.

A video, made by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which discusses the DBE program in more detail can be found on Youtube.

The DBE program is mandated as part of 49 Code of Federal Regulation, Part 26, which can be found in the electronic code of federal regulations.

ADOT’s DBE Program Plan for Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) projects can be found in the BECO section of the ADOT website.

The DBE program plan for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) projects can be found in the BECO section of the ADOT website.

Information about the airport DBE program plan for contracts funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can be found on the FAA website.

What is the Small Business Concern (SBC) component of the DBE Program?

Promotion of small businesses is an important component of the Federal DBE Program. Through ADOT’s SBC Program, small businesses can receive many of the same resources, services and opportunities as DBEs. Additionally, ADOT encourages prime contractors to provide subcontracting opportunities to SBCs. However, unlike DBEs, there are no contract goals for SBC participation at this time. You do not need be a member of a disadvantaged class to benefit from SBC registration.

Registration as an SBC is a much simpler process than becoming certified as a DBE and has fewer restrictions. Note that, by becoming a certified DBE, a firm will automatically be registered as an SBC. Visit the SBC Guide to learn more about the benefits and requirements of SBC registration.

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