Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)

The DBE program was implemented to remedy past and current discrimination in contracting and procurement opportunities for disadvantaged businesses. It serves to create equal opportunity for those DBE firms doing business with the City of Tucson on projects receiving federal financial assistance.


The Arizona Unified Certification Program (UCP) has been established to allow multiple agencies to utilize the same certification process statewide for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs). The UCP simplifies the DBE application process between multiple agencies, and provides reciprocity for DBEs between the City of Tucson, City of Phoenix, and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).

These three entities are members of the Arizona Unified Certification Program. A DBE database has been developed that encompasses all DBE firms that have been certified by these entities. Search the AZUCP (ADOT) DBE database.

To participate in the Arizona Unified Certification Program, a business must be certified or must obtain certification as a disadvantaged business through the City of Tucson, City of Phoenix, or ADOT.

Program Advantages

Certified businesses will qualify to meet subcontracting goals for U.S. Department of Transportation-assisted construction projects and they will be listed in the UCP Directory, which is used by governmental, public, and private procurement entities soliciting bids on projects.

Application Requirements

  • A firm must be a minority or woman-owned business; or owned by a majority owner who can demonstrate social and economic disadvantage.
  • The disadvantaged owner must own at least 51% of the business enterprise.
  • The disadvantaged owner must manage, operate, and control the managerial and daily operational functions of the firm.

How to Apply for Certification

  • Complete the UCP certification application and provide the required documents.
  • An audit of the documentation will be conducted to determine preliminary eligibility.
  • An on-site visit/review by a UCP Specialist will be performed to determine program compliance and eligibility.
  • Once eligibility is determined and all program requirements are met a certificate of participation will be issued.
  • For more information on the DBE Program, please contact the Procurement Department, Business Enterprise & Compliance Program at (520) 837-4000 during regular business hours of Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Standard Time).

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