The DBE program is for business owners that are socially and economically disadvantaged. Women and African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific and Subcontinent Asian Americans are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged. Other individuals can also qualify as socially and economically disadvantaged on a case-by-case basis.
To be regarded as economically disadvantaged, an individual must have a personal net worth that does not exceed $1.32 million. To be seen as a small business, a firm must meet Small Business Administration size criteria AND have average annual gross receipts not to exceed $23.98 million when averaged over a three year period.
The owner must have technical competence and experience directly related to the type of work in which certification is being sought and must be a United States citizen or a lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States.
Size limits for the Airport Concessions DBE program are higher.