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What is the personal net worth statement for purposes of eligibility for certification as a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) in the State of Maryland?

A business seeking certification as a DBE in the State of Maryland must apply to Maryland Department of Transportation’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise.  Firms certified as DBEs may participate on U.S. Department of Transportation-assisted contracts administered by the Maryland State Highway Administration, Maryland Aviation Administration and Maryland Transit Administration.

As part of the application package, the business owner(s) seeking DBE certification must submit a personal net worth statement.  Personal net worth refers to the net value of the assets of an individual remaining after total liabilities are deducted.  It includes the individual’s share of assets held jointly or as community property with the individual’s spouse.  It does not include the individual’s ownership interest in the business applying for certification and does not include the individual’s place of residence.    

For DBE certification, the personal net worth of the business owner(s) cannot exceed $1,320,000.00.  Accordingly, a business seeking to become certified as a DBE should use care when preparing the personal net worth statement to ensure the business has taken the personal net worth cap into consideration. 

Certification of a business as a DBE can be a viable tool for developing and maintaining business relationships. A business desiring certification as a DBE may want to consider obtaining legal advice concerning eligibility requirements for DBE certification prior to applying for certification.