Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program is a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) program that was established to ensure that firms owned by minorities, women and other socially and economically disadvantaged persons have an equal opportunity to participate in federally assisted projects. 

The objectives of the DBE Program are:

  • To ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assisted contracts
  • To create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for FHWA assisted contracts
  • To ensure the DBE Program is narrowly tailored in accordance with applicable law
  • To ensure that only firms that fully meet 49 CFR, Part 26 eligibility standards are permitted to participate as DBEs
  • To help remove barriers to the participation of DBEs in FHWA assisted contracts
  • To assist the development of firms that can compete successfully in the marketplace outside of the DBE Program
  • To provide appropriate flexibility to recipients of federal financial assistance in establishing and providing opportunities for DBEs



DBE Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR 26)

Special Provision107.15 – Use of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises on Construction Projects adobe reader

Special Provision 107.15 – Use of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises on Design-Build Projects adobe reader

USDOT Office of Small Business and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity



Page last modified: Oct. 30, 2019