DBE Certifications in Oregon

Explore DBE Certification programs available in the state of Oregon

In efforts to increase cooperation between minority-run businesses and the government, the State of Oregon offers two classes of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certification:

(1)   Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE); and

(2)   Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) certifications,

These are for businesses seeking federally-funded transportation-related contracting opportunities. Project funding supported by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transportation Administration (FTA).

This program sets annual quotas to dictate the amount of overall Department of Transportation funds that are allocated to DBE certified (and thus, minority-run) businesses. The current requirements of the Oregon Department of Transportation are for 12 percent of all Federal Highway Agency contracts to be allocated to DBE certified businesses and 7 percent of Federal Transportation Agency contracts. As a result, this program provides opportunities for ‘disadvantaged’ owners to excel their small businesses with government contracts. 

Statewide Certification Programs

  • Oregon Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity (COBID)

    To qualify for DBE certification, the business owner should apply through the COBID program. COBID functions as a “one-stop shop” for DBE certification throughout the state of Oregon, so a company can apply once for DBE certification and when granted it applies throughout the state.   In fact, it allows firms interested in seeking certification as both a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) to simultaneously complete the COBID Certification Application.

    COBID’s requirements to qualify as a DBE are as follows:

    The business must

    • be for profit
    • be registered with the Oregon Secretary of State
    • have gross annual receipts (3-year average) not exceeding $23.98 million OR
    • $56,420,000 for airport concessionaires, in general with some exceptions
    • be certified in home state, if different.

    and the business owner must

    • be a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted, permanent resident
    • own and control 51% or more of the stock
    • control and manage day-to-day operations
    • have proper licensing (e.g., engineer, plumber, etc.)
    • have made a contribution of capital
    • have personal net worth not exceeding $1.32 million

    The business owner also should expect a site visit, which includes office, shop, and job site when applicable

    How to Apply

    1. Use the checklist to gather all necessary records.
    2. Read about common mistakes and omissions to avoid, which delay the processing of your application.
    3. Go to Business Oregon’s vendor to access the e-application and apply for DBE Certification

    If you do not have the ability to access the e-application process please send us an email to receive a hard copy application.

    The biggest provider of DBE projects is the Oregon is the Department of Transportation (ODOT). ODOT’s DBE Program was established 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.

Local and Regional Programs

Certification for most DBE-supporting programs across Oregon is handled through the COBID program above. Unlike other states where a variety of state agencies also handle DBE certification, most of the entities in Oregon go through COBID. The biggest contracts for DBE certified companies are with:

  • Oregon Department of Transportation
  • Port of Portland and Portland Airport (PDX)
  • Tri-Met Transit Authority
  • City of Portland
  • City of Eugene
  • Oregon Business Express

Go to Business Oregon’s vendor to access the e-application and apply for DBE Certification

The National Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC)

The WBDC can help small businesses that qualify to get certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). This nationally recognized certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities.

Some of the benefits of WBE certification include invitations to networking events with supplier diversity representatives, contact information for supplier diversity representatives, and opportunities to attend corporate panels, procurement events, and education opportunities. To qualify, your business must be 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.  

Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council  (NWM MSDC)

Businesses in the Pacific Northwest including all of Oregon that are at least 51% owned and operated by one or more ethnic minorities can get an MBE certification from this regional branch of the national organization called the Minority Supplier Development Council (MSDC). The NWM MSCD offers minority business certifications for companies both online and through its location in Tukwila, WA. Eligibility is established by conducting a series of screenings, interviews and site visits. Click on this link for more information or to apply: https://www.nwmtnmsdc.org