Small Business Development


​​Small Business Development

Disadvantaged Busin​ess Enterprise (DBE) Program

​The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's DBE Program, ad​ministered by the Office for Civil Rights and Small Business Development, was established by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to ensure​​ that firms owned by minorities, women and other socially and economically disadvantaged persons have an equal opportunity to participate i​n federally assisted projects. The DBE Program is governed by the U.S. Federal Regulations in 49 CFR Part 23 and 26.​​​

Should I Apply?

To achieve DBE status a business must meet the following criteria:
  1. Must be an existing “for-profit" business that is currently operational;
  2. Must meet the federal definition of a small business concern;
  3. Must be an independent business which does not depend on its relationships with another firm or firms. If it is a subsidiary of a corporation, the business must still operate in a self-sufficient manner;
  4. The qualifying owner(s) must meet the federal definition of "socially and economically disadvantaged" individuals;
  5. The qualifying owner(s) must own a minimum of 51% of the company; and have an investment in their company;
  6. The qualifying owner(s) cannot have a net worth that exceeds $2,047,000 (excluding the owner's business, primary residence, and retirement accounts);
  7. ​The qualifying owner(s) must have day-to-day control of operations and possess an expertise in their work specialty.​

 How to Apply for DBE Status in Kentucky

The DBE certification process differs depending on if a firm is already DBE certified in other states. Certifying agencies are required to follow the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) outlined in 49 CFR §23 and/or 49 CFR §26.
First Time Applicants
First time applicants applying for DBE certification must complete and submit the Unified Certification​ Application (UCA) and supporting documentation, then participate in an on-site interview conducted by the agency. If you fail to submit the required documents, your application may be delayed and/or denied. Firms already certified as a DBE in another state will need to follow the DBE Interstate Application process.

DBE Interstate Application
Firms that are already certified as a DBE in their state of Jurisdiction of Original Certification (JOC), are required to follow the Interstate Certification expectations as outlined in 49 CFR §26.85 of the Code of Federal Regulations. You MUST provide: 
  1. A Cover Letter - that specifies that the DBE is applying for interstate certification, identifying all UCPs in which the DBE is certified (including the UCP that originally certified it);
  2. An Electronic Image - of the UCP directory of the original UCP that shows the DBE certification*;
  3. A New Declaration of Eligibility (DOE).​
​​*The electronic image must show sufficient information to populate KYTC's DBE Directory. The following items must be included: business primary contact name/owner, business address, business phone number, firm website, and NAICS codes.

Please email the three (3) required documents to:​.

If you have any questions regarding DBE Certification or how to apply, you may contact:

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Office for Civil Rights and Small Business Development
200 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40622
(502) 564-3601​

Annual Declaration of Eligibility

It is the DBEs respnosbility to notify its certifying agency within 30 days of any change that can impact a firms eligibility. DBEs must also annually affirm that there have been no changes.

Report changes are required within 30 days of the occurence of the change:
  • ​Changes in a firm's circumstances affecting its eligibility, or material changes in the information provided in the firm's application form;
  • Submission of the Declaration of Eligibility (DOE) and most recent Federal tax return on the anniversity date of the firm's certification;
  • Work code change/expansion requests;
  • Notification of address, phone, or other contact information changes; and
  • Withdrawal of certification

Failure to notify your certifying agency of changes or failure to submit and Annual Declaration of Eligibility within the required time frame is deemed a failure to cooperate and is grounds for removal of a firm's certificaiton.

DBE Reciprocity

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has established a DBE reciprocity agreement with Indiana DOT for statewide projects allowing DBEs certified in either Kentucky or Indiana to be used for any transportation federal aid project in the partner state. For the most up to date list of DBE's certified in Indiana please click here: Indiana DBE Directory.

There is also an agreement with Ohio DOT exclusively for the Brent Spence Bridge Project.

DBE Reciprocity Agreements - please click here:

Supportive Services

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet provides supportive services to DBEs conducting business with or seeking to conduct business with KYTC. Supportive Services are designed to contribute to the growth and business efficiency of DBEs so that they may achieve proficiency in competing for contracts and subcontracts. For more information, please visit the CEI Supportive Service webpage.​​​  ​​

Introducing AASHTOWare CRL- KYTC's new payment system for primes and subs

KYTC is now offering a free tool for prime contractors and subcontractors to track and confirm payments online. 

To learn more and to sign up, click here.​



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