DBE Certifications in Alaska

Alaska Unified Certification Program (AUCP)

The biggest provider of DBE projects in the state is the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF). To centralize the process to qualify as a DBE, the ADOT&PF oversees the Alaska Unified Certification Program (AUCP). Like in other states, the AUCP is mandated by the US Department of Transportation to ensure that disadvantaged businesses get access to projects paid for by Federal transportation funding.

AUCP is administered by ADOT&PF’s Civil Rights Office (CRO), which works as your “one-stop” certification process. If your business gets certified it provides you an opportunity to participate as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) on projects funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) that are managed by numerous agencies throughout the State of Alaska.

Visit the Alaska Department of Transportation to review the requirements for DBE status and to apply.

Statewide Certification Programs


The largest number of DBE opportunities in the state are with the ADOT&PF. Its charter lists the main objectives of ADOT&PF’S DBE Program, which is to ensure that:

  • Contractors comply with DBE laws and requirements.
  • DBEs and ANCs can compete fairly for federally funded transportation-related projects.
  • Only eligible firms participate as DBEs.
  • DBE firms have guidance and support in competing outside the DBE Program.

Visit ADOT&PF for more information and to apply.


The Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) small business outreach program is part of the ARRC’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program and Alaska Native Corporations (ANC) program that allows certain small businesses to register with the ARRC for the opportunity to provide a quote on specified procurements. Different from many other states, small businesses may qualify even if they are not yet certified as DBEs.

Alaska considers a “Small Business” one that: (a) meets the then-current size standards for a small business as established by the U.S. Small Business Administration; and (b) is currently registered with the U.S. Federal Contractor Registration (CCR). The ARRC encourages small businesses to compete for procurement opportunities with the ARRC, so on many projects they’ve set aside opportunities that they call “Small Procurements” which are contracts of than $100,000. A small business interested in doing business with the ARRC may register to be placed on the ARRC’s Interested Small Business List.

Part of the value of being on the Interested Small Business List is that the ARRC Contract Administrator may contact your company for projects even if you did not bid for them. They are required to get quotes for each Small Procurement from at least three Small Businesses, and if three don’t apply for a certain project, they must invite other businesses listed on the Interested Small Business list in that relevant project area, and invite them to bid.  Visit the ARRC for more information on this DBE program.


In efforts to increase cooperation between minority-run businesses and the government, the State of Alaska has established the Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) certification program. ACDBE eliminates the need for applicants to obtain certification from multiple agencies. It works for both transportation projects and airport concessions. Companies that meet the qualifications for DBE and/or ANC designations are invited to apply.

Individual airports offer DBE programs under the ACDBE umbrella too. For example, in Anchorage the Merrill Field airport  offers specific DBE projects, and further information can be found here.

Whether you are interested in airport concession opportunities, ARRC railway projects, highway projects, or all three, the good news is Alaska offers a unified DBE certification status so qualifying small businesses can go to one place to get certified. The basic eligibility requirements for DBE status include:

  • You must own a for-profit small business concern as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration (based upon NAICS)
  • The business must be at least 51% owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged. Minorities and women are presumed to be socially disadvantaged.
  • It’s not just ownership that matters — management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
  • The disadvantaged owner(s) must have a personal net-worth of less than $1,320,000.
  • Depending upon the nature of work performed, a firm (including its affiliates) must not have average annual gross receipts in excess of $22,410,000 ($52,470,000 for airport concessionaires in general with some exceptions). This size standard is for construction related work. Depending on the type of work the business performs, other lower size standards may apply.
  • If state or local law requires the persons to have a particular license or other credential in order to own and/or control the firm, then the socially and economically disadvantaged owner(s) must possess the required license or credentials.

There are four steps of the application process:

  1. Complete the DBE certification application and provide the required documents.
  2. An audit of the documentation will be conducted to determine preliminary eligibility.
  3. An on-site visit/review by a DBE Specialist will be performed to determine program compliance and eligibility.
  4. Once eligibility is determined and all program requirements are met a certificate of participation will be issued.