Small Business Certifications

Small business certifications are like professional certifications; they document a special capability or status that can help you compete in the marketplace. Unlike permits and licenses, you do not need to obtain certifications to legally operate. However, in order to take advantage of business opportunities with various federal, state and municipal agencies, you should obtain the certifications for which your business qualifies. There are several different small business programs in which Colorado businesses can participate. Some of these apply generally across multiple agencies and some are specific to one agency only. 


The only statewide certification program in Colorado is for minority and woman-owned businesses that qualify for the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program. DBE certification is recognized by more than 50 agencies that participate in the Colorado Unified Certification Program (UCP).

By Agency

To find out more about individual agency small business programs and certifications, click on the agency name below.

  • Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)
    • Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)
    • Emerging Small Business (ESB)
  • City and County of Denver
    • Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)
    • Airport Concessions DBE (ACDBE)
    • Small Business Enterprise (SBE)
    • Small Business Enterprise Concessions (SBEC)
    • Emerging Business Enterprise (EBE)
    • Minority and Woman-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE)
  • Regional Transportation District (RTD)
    • Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)
    • Small Business Enterprise (SBE)
  • Federal Government
    • 8(a) Business Development Program
    • Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone)
    • Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) 
    • Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB)
    • Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB)
    • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)
    • Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB)