Certification Program Description

The City of Los Angeles offers certification of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBE), Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), Women Business Enterprises (WBE), and Small Local Business Enterprises (SLBE) . The main purpose of this certification program is to promote opportunities for disadvantaged, minority, women, and small, local business owners who want to participate in City contracting projects.

The Office of Contract Compliance (OCC), Certification, Outreach, Regulations and Enforcement (CORE) is responsible for administering the City's certification program. It certifies qualified firms for DBE, ACDBE, MBE, WBE and LBE, LSB and LTE certification for the City of Los Angeles. CORE maintains the City of Los Angeles Directory of certified DBE/ACDBE/MBE/WBE and LSB firms.

CORE is an active participant in the California Unified Certification Program (CUCP) as one of the DBE certifying agencies in the State of California. The CUCP was established in 2002 to offer a "One-Stop-Shop" for state-wide certification. CORE enters and updates certified DBEs in the statewide CUCP directory of certified DBE firms which is maintained by Caltrans and played a key role in the implementation of the CUCP Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

DBE and ACDBE certification applications are processed following the U.S. Department of Transportation's Code of Federal Regulations ( U.S. DOT), 49 CFR, Parts 26 and 23. Part 23 covers the regulations for Airport Concessionaires. Firms headquartered in Los Angeles County can apply for DBE/ACDBE online at lacity.diversitysoftware.com. Firms not headquartered in the County of Los Angeles are encouraged to apply for free with the California Unified Certification Program (CUCP) agency at CaliforniaUCP.dbesystem.com. The City of Los Angeles does recognize the DBE certification of firms certified by any CUCP agency. 
The City's MBE and WBE certification applications are processed following the same guidelines for ownership and control under 49 CFR, Parts 26. On February 1, 2009 OCC implemented a streamlined MBE/WBE Certification application and process. You can apply for the City's Minority/Women Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE) by downloading the application form to your computer.

The Local Business Preference Program (LBPP), pursuant to Los Angeles Administrative Code Section 10.25-10.25.10, and City Ordinance 187121, became effective on August 7, 2021.
This replaces the previous Local Business Enterprise (LBE), Small Local (SLB) and Transitional Job Opportunity Program (TJOP) certifications. Renewals of previously certified LBE, SLB and TJOP firms are subject to the current LBPP program eligibility requirements. 
The new LBPP programs are Local Business Enterprise (LBE), Local Small Business (LSB) and Local Transitional Employer (LTE).  Applications/Renewals will only be accepted and processed through LABAVN.ORG. Forms submitted by mail, fax or email are invalid. The firm's LABAVN administrator is required to download, complete and upload the completed LBPP Application Renewal Form on their LABAVN Profile to apply/renew for the LBE, LSB, and LTE certifications. 

The Business Inclusion Program, established through the Mayor's Executive Directive No. 14, was implemented to ensure that more small businesses can participate in City contracts. The program grants certifications as Small Business Enterprise (SBE-LA), Emerging Business Enterprise (EBE), and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE). To be recognized for any of these certifications, the business should currently be certified by the California Department of General Services (CA-DGS) in the respective certification. To apply for these certifications, go to the CA Department of General Services certification link. After being certified by the CA-DGS, the applicant should request for recognition through their company profile on LABAVN.

The SBE (Proprietary) program was implemented July 1, 2016 to consolidate the small business certification for the City’s Propriety Departments (DWP, POLA and LAWA). The program follows the size criteria set forth by the Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development Program or the State of California DGS Small Business Program (whichever is larger). Firms already certified by accepted agencies do not have to complete the SBE (Proprietary) Application and will be recognized as SBE’s by the propriety departments.  The applicant should request for recognition through their company profile on LABAVN.

For additional reference, refer to the helpful guides below:
Certification Infographic - a quick guide to the City of Los Angeles certification programs
Inter-Agency Certification Recognition Chart - a guide that shows outside agencies programs that are recognized by the City of Los Angeles.

CORE is located at 1149 South Broadway Street, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90015.
For Certification Assistance please call (213) 847-2684, or email bca.certifications@lacity.org