Emerging Small Business (ESB) Application Process

Before Applying for ESB Certification 

It is highly suggested that prior to applying, an owner, officer or manager of the firm watch the ESB Orientation Webinar recording. This orientation will take about an hour and will provide you with an overview of the ESB program and associated information. To access the recording, visit the on-demand recorded webinars page on CDOT's Connect2DOT website and scroll to the Small Business Certifications section.

Before applying, be sure to review the eligibility criteria. If you would like to move forward with an application please visit CDOT's Business Management System.


Application Review Process

CDOT processes ESB applications as quickly and efficiently as possible. Applications are assigned to an analyst for review on a first-in, first assigned basis. Our goal is to make an eligibility determination within 90 days the date the application was complete.

The following steps outline the basic process for ESB applications:

  1. Submission: Once your application has been submitted through the online system, you will receive an instant notification confirming submission. Applications that are incomplete or that include insufficient supporting documentation will not be processed until all necessary documents are received by CDOT.
  2. Application Verification: The application will be assigned to an analyst. The analyst will conduct a preliminary review to determine if the application is complete or if additional information is required. If the application is incomplete, the applicant will be sent an email requesting the missing information. Please respond to all requests for information within 15 business days. If you do not respond, CDOT may make an eligibility determination based upon the information provided.
  3. File Review: The analyst will review all documents submitted by the applicant and will prepare a report that includes an eligibility determination.
  4. Primary NAICS Code & Size Standard Determination: CDOT will determine your firm's Primary NAICS Code and will include the determination in the Letter of Certification or in the Notice of Denial if the denial is based upon exceeding the size standard for participation. Size is determined based on the business' average annual gross receipts. 
  5. Certification Level: In the Letter of Certification, CDOT will designate your firm as a Level 1 or Level 2 ESB, or as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) (note that this SBE designation is not a new certification in and of itself but rather is a new Level within the ESB program). ESB levels are based upon the firm's size according to the following structure:
Course Construction Professional Services
Level 1 ESB $3 million $1 million
Level 2 ESB  50% DBE 50% DBE
SBE (Level 3 ESB) 100% DBE 100% DBE
  1. Certification Synchronization: CDOT will synchronize the DBE and ESB certification month for any firm that is also certified as a DBE by CDOT at the time of ESB Certification.

Annual Update

ESB firms are required to update their certification each year. An update must be completed in CDOT’s B2GNow System by the anniversary date of the firm’s certification. Firms that do not complete a renewal application by their anniversary date will have their certification revoked and will be given 15 calendar days to appeal this decision. If no appeal is submitted, the firm will be removed from the Colorado ESB Directory and must wait 12 months before reapplying for certification with CDOT.

Changes in Ownership or Management

ESB firms must notify CDOT in writing within 30 days of any change in the firm’s legal structure, ownership, or management. CDOT will review the notification and inform the firm of documentation that it will need to submit. In some instances, a new application may be required. Please submit documentation of any changes to [email protected] or mail to CDOT.