Who Can Be Certified

Any industry qualifies for certification. Basically, there are three qualifying factors used to determine eligibility for DBE certification: gross receipts, control-ownership and personal net worth. If you wish to review the extensive list and learn more about the basic rules of the program, please read Title 49, Code of Regulations, Part 26.

Gross Receipts. Your business size must fit into the small business/disadvantaged category as defined by federal government standards—the Small Business Administration’s 13 CFR, Part 121. That means to be considered for DBE certification, the average of your last three consecutive year’s gross should total $22,410,000 million or less.

Control & Ownership. DBE certification is granted to businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. For example, a business where perhaps a minority or female individual has at least 51% ownership or where a non-minority individual can be certified as disadvantaged per the guidelines. Other individuals who are not disadvantaged can be involved in the ownership of a business—but they cannot have a majority ownership or percentage of ownership that would compromise the disadvantaged owner’s ability to control the business on a daily basis.

Personal Net Worth. Your personal net worth must be less than $1,320,000—not counting primary residence or assets and liabilities involved with your business. A notarized statement of your personal net worth is required. (In a community property state such as Nevada, you only count your portion of property held jointly with your spouse.)

Why should I consider DBE certification?
The main reason to get certified is so you can bid on projects in a fair, competitive environment. When you are certified in Nevada with the Nevada Department of Transportation, you will also be certified with the Regional Transportation Commissions of Washoe and Clark counties as well as Airport authorities in Las Vegas and Reno—hence, the Nevada Unified Certification Program.

Projects are not all highway construction related. Other project types could include right-of-way services (buying land to put highways on), demolition, property appraisals to estimate value on land we consider buying, consulting services, graphic/web design, etc.

You can discover the latest contracts open for bids right on our site. The project is described along with additional information, such as who is bidding on the job. We also offer training opportunities via the small business development center with offices in Las Vegas and Reno, among other places. Typically offered free of charge to DBE-certified firms, training covers everything from construction-related topics to general business subjects, such as how to be a savvy businessperson. And the good news is anyone on your staff can take the training. For your convenience, we also have Spanish-speaking personnel available.

What are the steps to certification?

  1. Submit a completed  Online DBE Application for the Unified Certification Program.
  2. Participate in an on-site review. We come to your business for the on-site review—a DBE program requirement. The review takes about 45 minutes to an hour and all of the principals of the business must be present.
  3. Wait while your application and on-site review is presented to the Nevada Unified Certification Program for certification.

Once certified, you will be placed on the DBE list distributed to all contractors bidding on Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) projects. You will also be certified with the Regional Transportation Commissions of Washoe and Clark counties as well as with the McCarran and Reno-Tahoe airports. Check out our current DBE list.

Broaden your business opportunities.
Apply for your DBE certification today.