Skip Navigation Links
Mass.Gov home  home Informed Massachusetts agencies Search Mass.Gov
Home Contact About SDO Privacy Policy
Certification Basics Sessions Download Forms

Certification Basics     


Certification is the process by which SDO reviews and investigates applicants who seek to participate in affirmative business opportunities to determine that they meet the requirements of state and federal statutes and regulations. SDO certifies companies for both State and Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification programs.

SDO Certification

The Commonwealth’s state certification programs are established pursuant to: MGL c. 7, § 57, MGL c. 7, § 58, MGL c. 7, § 58A, MGL c. 7, § 59 and MGL c. 7, § 61 as well as 425 CMR 2.00 and Executive Order 565.

DBE Certification

DBE certification is a Federal designation used in conjunction with US Department of Transportation (US DOT) funded projects and contracts. State agencies and organizations using DBE certification include the Executive Office of Transportation, Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (MTA) Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel Project (CA/T), the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission (MAC), Worcester Airport, Barnstable Airport, and many Regional Transit Authorities throughout the Commonwealth.

To qualify as a DBE, the business must be owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged persons as defined by DBE Regulation 49 CFR Parts 23 and 26. The presumption of disadvantage is refutable.

The business' size as measured by average annual gross receipts over the most recent three years must be under the specified dollar amounts. These size standards are set according to the business' North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. Depending on the industry, these limits can range from $2.5 million averaged per year to $19.5 million averaged per year. Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers must meet an employee size standard ranging between 500 to 1500 employees, depending on the NAICS classification, and their average three year gross sales must be less than $19.5 million.

To the DBE regulations require all owner applicants to complete a Statement of Disadvantage and a Personal Financial Statement. All eligible owners must affirm that they are members of a disadvantaged group (for example, an eligible ethnic minority or female). In addition, the personal net worth of each eligible owner applicant must be less than $1.32 million, excluding the values of the applicant's ownership interest in the business seeking certification and the owner's primary residence.


Minority-and women-owned
business provide ever-
increasing value to our
state's economy...
By facilitating easier access
to the various phases of
state purchasing and
contracting, SOMWBA is
providing a valuable
jumpstart to many of these
business which make up
our state's fastest-growing
business sector.

Home | Contact | About SDO | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Directory of Certified Businesses | Business Resources
COMMBUYS | Certification Basics | Workshops | Download Forms | Register | Apply Online | Login | Logout
Copyright © 2006-2007 The Supplier Diversity Office FKA: SDO