The Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) certifies small businesses owned and controlled by minority, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged persons.
You can apply for state certification, federal certification, or both. You will need federal certification if you plan to do business on a project funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. If in doubt, ask the entity you plan on doing business with.
State-certified firms are eligible to participate in contracting opportunities with state and local governments. Some private sector companies use OMWBE’s state-certified firms for their supplier diversity goals.
For more information go to the State Certification Application
Federal Certification – In-state firms
Federally-certified firms are eligible to participate in transportation projects that are funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). This includes the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, and Federal Transit Administration.
There are three types of federal certification. See the below links for applications and more information.
- DBE – Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. This certification counts towards USDOT gender and race-conscious goals.
- ACDBE – Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. These firms count towards gender and race-conscious goals for the Federal Aviation Administration and the Ports.
- SBE – Small Business Enterprise. SBE-certified firms count towards USDOT small business (gender and race-neutral) goals.
Federal Program – Out-of-State Firms
Use this application if you want to apply for federal certification in Washington State and you are currently certified in another state as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise or an Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise.
Applying for state and federal certification at the same time? Fill out the appropriate federal application, and fill out this short state application.
Already have federal certification and want state certification? Fill out this short state application