What is DBE WBE?


What is DBE WBE?

DBE stands for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise while WBE stands for Women’s Business Enterprise. Both WBE and DBE are classifications of business enterprises wherein at least 51% of it is owned by women or so-called disadvantaged persons.  As per federal US law, women are already considered disadvantaged economically and socially and so ownership of a business venture of up to at least 51% makes them eligible to get WBE or DBE certification.  Aside from women though, people that are considered part of a minority or ethnic group may also be classified as disadvantaged persons.  Examples of minority groups as per US Federal law include the American Indians, Black Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanic Americans among many others.  When any of these people have a business for example, they may get DBE or WBE certification from the authorized government agency or the DOT.

Certifications given for DBE and/or WBE are handed out by the US DOT or Department of Transportation.  The basic goal of the whole business enterprise certification program is to increase participation among minority groups in terms of federal projects that involve airport or mass transit development.  If a particular business enterprise is given the certification of DBE or WBE, they will then be eligible to participate in the bidding of various DOT projects.  With this particular benefit, many minority or women’s enterprise are encouraged to take part of the DBE-WBE certification program.  Aside from 51% ownership by a disadvantaged person, certification applicants must also provide other documents to prove their minority status.  Part of the requirements involves maximum allowable gross receipts of the enterprise or business.  The disadvantaged person’s personal net worth also have a maximum value and will also be reviewed before any certification is given.  Once the application is processed and approved, the corresponding business enterprise will get the DBE-WBE certification.

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