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.
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, see our State Certification page.
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. For more information, see our Federal Certification page.
- 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. This federal certification is gender and race-neutral. SBE-certified firms count towards USDOT small business (gender and race-neutral) goals.
Federal Program - Out-of-State Firms
If you are currently certified in another state as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise or an Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and you want to apply for federal certification in Washington State, log into our system to apply. Choose Apply/Renew Certification and by answering the questions you will be directed to the Interstate Application.
Interested in Both Federal and State Certification?
Applying for federal and state certification at the same time? Complete the appropriate federal application, and answer “yes” to the question that asks if you would also like to apply for state certification.
Already have federal certification and want state certification? Complete the state application and make sure to choose that your firm is already certified with OMWBE and you are seeking to add certification to your existing certification. This will lead you to the State Short Form.
Short Video on How to Apply