If your business is certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), it is required by 49 C.F.R. § 26.83(j) to file a yearly “affidavit of no change” which is sometimes called a “DBE Annual Affidavit.” Not only is this form required in your home state, but you are also required to file one for each state in which your business has DBE certification. This is a strict requirement, and there is no leniency for tardy affidavits. Your failure to file this affidavit will result in a loss of the company’s DBE certification.
The form must be completed by the firm’s owner(s), be notarized, and provide a copy of the company’s most recent federal business tax return. It asks questions about changes in ownership/leadership, the personal net worth of the owner(s) and any changes to business activities. As an example, a copy of Pennsylvania’s form can be found here: https://www.dotsbe.pa.gov/PAUCPHelp/PA%20UCP%20Annual%20Affidavit.pdf
DBEs should calendar the due date for these forms in multiple places, along with reminders a few weeks or more ahead of time to complete the affidavit. Your certifying agency may send reminders via email or letter, but they are not required to do so. The responsibility for completing the form is entirely on the DBE.
Many companies have missed this deadline and lost their DBE certification. Many have appealed that decertification to the US Department of Transportation (“USDOT”). Nearly universally, the USDOT upholds the denial. Here are some examples:
This author has only come across one time when the USDOT reversed a decertification based on failure to submit the no-change affidavit: when the certifying agency decertified the firm for failure to submit the affidavit, before the affidavit was even due! In re: Berona Engineers, 13-0239, July 1, 2013.
If you do miss the deadline for filing the affidavit and lose your company’s certification, you may still reapply for certification in the future.