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How is a joint venture defined under the Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) Program?

Written By: James R. Benjamin, Jr., Esquire                               jbenjamin@pklaw.com

The ACDBE Program was establishedto increase contract opportunities for disadvantaged business enterprises (“DBEs”) in the operation of concessions at airports which receive assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation. 

A joint venture under the ACDBE Program refers to an association of an ACDBE business firm and one or more other firms to carry out a single, for-profit business enterprise, for which the parties combine their property, capital, skills and knowledge.  The ACDBE participant in the joint venture must be responsible for a distinct, clearly defined portion of the work, and have its shares in the capital contribution, control, management, risks and profits of the joint venture be commensurate with its ownership interest.  However, it is important to note that the joint venture itself cannot be certified as an ACDBE.     

Certification of a business can be a viable tool for developing and maintaining business relationships. Businesses seeking certification as an MBE, DBE or ACDBE may want to consider obtaining legal advice concerning eligibility requirements for certification prior to
applying for certification.