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.
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 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.