The certification process is the responsibility of the Department of General Services (DGS), Procurement Division (PD), Office of Small Business and DVBE Services (OSDS). The OSDS is available to assist in completing the necessary documents and appointments are available in Sacramento for personal assistance. Over 80% of the DVBEs also qualify for small business (SB) certification, which offers additional benefits. There is no cost involved with applying for DVBE or small SB certification. To obtain DVBE certification, a firm must:
Applicants are encouraged to register their business and complete the certification application on-line. Using the on-line system, SBs may receive immediate certification. Prospective DVBEs will be prompted to send eligibility documentation. For more information, see Steps 1 and 2 of the How to do Business with California State Government. For certification assistance, call the OSDS during regular State business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) at (916) 375-4940.
To be eligible for certification the business must meet the following criteria:
State agencies may use a streamlined process known as the "DVBE Option" by contracting directly with a California certified DVBE business for goods, services, information technology and public works projects. The solicitation must be valued at more than $5,000, and the State agency must obtain price quotes from at least two California certified DVBE businesses.
What You Should Know
DVBE certification is typically issued for two years. DVBE are subject to periodic reviews while actively certified. Certification does not guarantee you will be awarded a government contract. Contracting with the state is very competitive, you must market your business to the government agencies. If an applicant has a bidding opportunity, he/she may request an expedited application.