Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Civil Rights

Committed to equality in transportation service

DBE certification process

Eligibility requirements

image of two construction workers

Business owners who would like to classify their business as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) must meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements include belonging to a socially and economically disadvantaged group and having U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status.

Should I apply?

  • Is your firm 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 requirements and does not exceed $23.89 million in gross annual receipts?
  • Is your firm organized as a for-profit business?

If you answered “yes” to all of the questions above, you may be eligible to participate in the DBE program.


  • Individual owners applying for DBE certification must have a personal net worth that does not exceed $1.32 million.
  • Firms applying for DBE certification must be at least 51% owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
  • The individual(s) applying for DBE certification must control the firm’s managerial and day-to-day operations. The eligible owners must have legal authority, technical expertise and ability to control the firm.
  • The firm must be an independent business that is organized for-profit and is legally licensed to do business in the State of Minnesota. Out of state firms must first be certified in their home state before applying for DBE certification in Minnesota, and must obtain a Certificate of Authority to transact business as a foreign corporation from the Minnesota Secretary of State.
  • If you are a member of one of the following groups, you are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged:
    • Women
    • Black Americans
    • Hispanic Americans
    • Asian Pacific Americans
    • Sub-Continent Asian Americans
    • Other individuals found to be disadvantaged by the SBA
    • Native Americans
    • Tribally-owned enterprises
    • Alaskan Native Corporations (ANCs)


Complete the DBE certification application and follow instructions for submittal.

Recertification / no change affidavit

Complete the affidavit of DBE eligibility and follow instructions for submittal. This form must be completed and submitted annually to prove that your business continues to meet DBE eligibility requirements.


Appeal your DBE status or challenge a determination by the MnUCP that you no longer meet the program requirements.