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SBE Certification

SBE Certification

SBE Eligibility

To be certified as an SBE, a firm must be an independent small business owned (51% minimum) and controlled by an individual or multiple individuals having personal net worth (PNW) of less than $1.32 million.

Eligibility Requirements

Same as for DBE, except:

  • A firm must perform work in construction or construction-related consultant services. Furthermore, it must intend to participate in ODOT contracting and consulting activities as a prime contractor and be capable of performing or exercising responsibility for at least 30 percent of the total cost of a construction or construction-related consultant services contract with its own workforce.
  • A firm (including its affiliates) must have average annual receipts of no more than $15,000,000 (construction firms) or $7,000,000 (construction-related consultant services firms) over its previous three fiscal years (prorated if firm is <3 years old).
  • The individual(s) owning and controlling a firm must have adjusted gross income(s) of no more than $350,000.
  • SBE certification is race- and gender-neutral.

ODOT's SBE Commitment

​ODOT will facilitate SBE participation on construction and consultant service contracts by the following means:

  1. ODOT will give all firms access to the prequalification process, and will evaluate requirements (see below) to ensure they are necessary and do not unreasonably obstruct an SBE from being able to bid as a prime contractor.
  2. ODOT will continue to analyze contracts to ensure that they are not unjustifiably bundled.  In determining whether a contract is unjustifiably bundled, ODOT may consider the following criteria.
  • Level of risk associated with maintaining smaller-sized projects vis-à-vis a “bundled” contract.
  • The ability to create stand-alone projects that are within work areas having a significant pool of ready, willing, and able SBE firms.
  1. ODOT will examine the possibility of facilitating joint ventures among SBEs to bid on contracts.
  2. ODOT will explore best practices to share the contracting process with SBEs.

SBE Certification Procedures

​The SBE Certification Program will be administered by ODOT in a manner similar to the DBE Certification Program, but without the consideration of the gender and/or ethnicity of the firm’s owners. All SBE firms must be certified prior to submitting a bid.

  1. Prepare/gather the supporting documents listed at right so that you will be ready when it's time to upload them with your application.
  2. Fully complete and submit the SBE Certification Application. On the page that appears, enter your first name, last name, and email address. Double-check that you typed your email address correctly, then click Submit. You will see “Package created successfully!”
  3. Check your email for an email from eSignLive (signers@signer-gov.esignlive.com). In that email, click "Go to Documents".
  4. Read the disclosures and click the Accept button at the bottom.
  5. Complete the SBE Certification Application Submission Form. You will then be taken to a page where you will upload your personal net worth statement(s) and other supporting documents. There are 24 upload slots. You can attach all of your supporting documents in one PDF or as separate PDFs (in whatever way is easiest for you), but each PDF must be no larger than 16 mb. If there isn’t enough space to attach all of your supporting documents, please submit the remaining documents using the SBE Certification Application Additional Supporting Documents form.
  6. After you upload your documents and click Done, you will receive an email from eSignLive (signers@signer-gov.esignlive.com) saying "Signing is completed".
  7. Be sure to save a copy of everything you submitted for your files.

After you submit your application and supporting documents, ODOT will be in contact with you regarding next steps.

SBE Certification Supporting Documents

  • ​Signed Federal business income tax returns for the past three years (copies of all schedules and forms referenced by the tax returns must be included) for the applicant firm and its affiliates and subsidiaries.
  • Signed Federal individual income tax returns for the past three years (copies of all schedules and forms referenced by the tax returns must be included) for each owner that controls the firm with respect to any of the following functions:
    • Policy setting for firm direction/scope of operations
    • Bidding and estimating
    • Major purchasing decisions
    • Marketing and sales
    • Supervising field operations
    • Attending bid openings and lettings
    • Performing office management (billing, accounts receivable/payable, etc.)
    • Hiring and firing management staff
    • Hiring and firing field staff or crew
    • Designating profit spending or investment
    • Obligating firm by contract/credit
    • Purchasing equipment
    • Signing business checks
  • Notarized Personal Net Worth Statement (along with copies of bank statement(s)) for each owner for whom you are submitting individual income tax returns. (Note: This specific form must be used. This is the same form as is used for DBE/ACDBE certification, which is why the form's title includes DBE and ACDBE. Although the form does not specifically mention SBE certification, the personal net worth information required for SBE certification is the same as for DBE/ACDBE certification.)
  • Resumes for the owners of the firm and for the firm’s key personnel.
  • Three largest contracts or subcontracts completed by firm, plus three largest contracts or subcontracts in progress.
  • List of equipment, including but not limited to any items that are self-propelled but excluding basic office equipment and basic hand tools. (This is only a requirement for construction firms.)

SBE Qualification and Selection Criteria

  • Currently, ODOT is not certifying any brokerage businesses and is primarily focusing on firms related directly to heavy highway construction services.
  • Ownership, Management and Revenues:
    • The firm must specialize in the construction and/or construction-related consultant services industry, and be at least 51% owned by one or more individuals whose personal net worth and adjusted gross income do not exceed the amount stated in 49 CFR 26.67(a)(2)(i) (currently, $1.32 million for personal net worth and $350,000 for adjusted gross income, with adjusted gross income averaged over the most recent three year period), or in the case of any publicly-owned business, at least 51% of its stock is owned by one or more individuals whose personal net worth and adjusted gross income do not exceed the amount stated in 49 CFR 26.67(a)(2)(i); and
    • Whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of the owners whose personal net worth and adjusted gross income do not exceed the amount stated in 49 CFR 26.67(a)(2)(i); and
    • Whose annual receipts for the firm averaged over the most recent three years does not exceed $15,000,000 (construction firms) or $7,000,000 (construction-related consultant services firms).
  • ODOT will give all firms access to the prequalification process, and will evaluate prequalification requirements to ensure they are necessary and do not unreasonably obstruct an SBE from being able to bid as a prime contractor.
  • A certified SBE firm must perform a commercially useful function. The SBE must perform or exercise responsibility for at least 30% of the total cost of its contract with its own work force. If the SBE subcontracts a greater portion of the work of a contract than would be expected on the basis of normal industry practice for the type of work involved, ODOT must presume that it is not performing a commercially useful function.
  • A Joint Venture may bid on and/or be awarded a SBE contract provided that the Joint Venture consists of two or more properly certified SBE firms and provided the Joint Venture is otherwise properly prequalified in accordance with Ohio law and ODOT’s established prequalification specifications, policies and procedures at the time of bid opening.

SBE Disqualification Criteria

  • ​All applications must be completed in their entirety before they will be considered by ODOT.  If an applicant knowingly supplies false or inaccurate information, the applicant shall be disqualified, and may be subject to further penalties as provided by law.
  • The business, or any principal owner of the business, must not have been debarred or convicted of bid-related crimes or violations within the past six years in any state or federal jurisdiction, or be under notice of intent to debar in any jurisdiction.