Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Civil Rights

Committed to equality in transportation service

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program


MnDOT's DBE Program was established by the federal government to ensure women- and minority-owned businesses have the opportunity to participate in contracts financed in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The MnDOT Office of Civil Rights administers the DBE program and sets goals for DBE participation on applicable MnDOT contracts. The participation goal is a percentage of the contract that is targeted for certified DBE firms to perform on the project. The DBE participation goal considers the location, scope of work to be performed and availability of DBE firms. To achieve the DBE participation goal, prime contractors must either meet the DBE participation goal or make good faith efforts to obtain the goal. Please note that not all projects are required to have DBE goals. Smaller projects do not have a DBE participation goal and are considered race-gender neutral contracts.


To become a certified DBE, a firm must be 51 percent owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual. Generally, socially and economically disadvantaged individuals mean women and specific minority groups; however, some exceptions do apply. Additional DBE certification criteria include:

  • Firm must be a for-profit, small business meeting SBA size standards
  • Qualified owner(s) must have a personal net worth that does not exceed $1.32 million
  • Qualified owner(s) must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident

More about DBE program eligibility requirements.

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