Frequently Asked Questions

All WMBE and contracting equity inquiries can be sent to  

The WMBE Program

WMBE stands for women- and minority-owned business enterprises. WMBE firms may be State certified or for City contracts they may be self-identified as being at least 51% woman or minority owned, in accordance with Seattle Municipal Code 20.42.  

A WMBE may self-register at the Seattle Online Business Directory (OBD). Registering with the Online Business Directory is an important step to accessing City of Seattle and SDOT contracting opportunities.  

You may look up your business by searching the Online Business Directory (OBD)

  • If you do not find your business in the directory, visit the OBD login page and click the icon under “Register Now” . 
  • To edit your business information in the directory, visit the OBD login page. You may login using your business name and the last four digits of your tax ID. If you have trouble logging in or updating your information, contact Ellis Jones ( for assistance. 

City and SDOT policy direct the inclusion of women and minority firms in contracting. For all full competitive solicitations, the City and SDOT require bidders to complete an Inclusion Plan that outlines the participation of WMBE firms in their proposed work, either as prime contractors or subcontractors. The Inclusion Plan then gets included in the contract, and WMBE participation is monitored throughout the length of the contract.  

  • DBE is a federal certification that is for business owners considered socially and economically disadvantaged as members of the following groups:
  • SDOT uses DBE goals and requirements whenever a contract is federally funded.  

Looking for Work Opportunities

For SDOT consulting and Citywide Public Works construction opportunities register on Procure Ware: 
For purchasing opportunities register on the City of Seattle Procurement Portal

SDOT encourages firms to partner with one another to pursue contracting opportunities and to create successful WMBE inclusion plans. There are several ways to seek out and connect with other firms:

Attend an upcoming networking or informational event.  

The City has contracted with Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council to provide technical assistance to firms on how to work with the City. The Council will support all businesses with a special focus on women- and minority-owned firms.

Visit their website, call (253) 243-6964 or e-mail to get started.   

Check out the Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center or PTAC for training, technical assistance and networking opportunities. 

The U.S. Small Business Association offers business counseling, trainings, events and more.  

Procurement Basics

  • SDOT: Seattle Department of Transportation
  • SMC: Seattle Municipal Code
  • DBE: Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. Federal program which aims to provide “small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals” opportunities to compete for federally funded contracts.
  • OMWBE: Washington State Office of Minority and Women Business Enterprises. 
  • WMBE: Women- and Minority-Owned Business Enterprises. Either State certified or self-identified (for City contracts) as being at least 51% woman or minority owned, in accordance with Seattle Municipal Code 20.42. 
  • FAS: Finance and Administrative Services
  • OCR: Office of Civil Rights
  • OEEI: Office of Equity and Economic Inclusion
  • OBD: Online Business Directory, citywide. 
  • TEF: Transportation Equity Framework
  • CCU: Consultant Contracts Unit
  • PC: Purchasing and Contracting
  • PM: Project Manager
  • PLA: Project Labor Agreement 
  • JOC: Job Order Contracting 

City contracts and procurement fall into three main categories:  

  • Consulting, which constitutes specialized services on a specific project. 
  • Public works or construction, which include major construction or significant reconstruction, alteration, repair or improvements of roadways, buildings, and permanent infrastructure. 
  • Purchasing, which includes the purchase of goods or ongoing services.  

Within each category, there are different bid limits and thresholds that allow the City to engage with firms and initiate contracts in different ways. See our How to Work with SDOT document for 2023 bid limits. 


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.