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When it comes to understanding WOSB (Woman-Owned Small Business) certification, many questions surround what it is, how it works, how it helps, and how to apply it. This article answers all those questions and more:

What is WOSB certification?

The WOSB (Women Owned Small Business) Federal Contracting Program, per the SBA (Small Business Administration) was created by the federal government with the objective of awarding 5+ precent of contract amounts to women-owned businesses. Companys that participate in this program hold what is known as the WOSB Certification.

This Program was created by the government to give more opportunities to woman business owners in the us. If your business is at least 51% owned and controlled by women who are U.S. citizens, there are numerous WOSB certification benefits available to you.

The Women-Owned Small Business Program is a critical opportunity for women small business owner, by the achievement of your WOSB certification, access to government contracts becomes more accessible. It gives access to “the economic mainstream of American society,” notes the federal Minority Business Development Agency (MDBA).

Business counseling, procurement guidance, mentorship, training, and financial assistance are all available with WOSB certification – along with other forms of technical and management support.

Top Benefits

Businesses within the WOSB program have the primary benefits of:

  1. Access to opportunities, such as large corporations and federal agencies.
  2. Training and educational programs exclusive to WOSB.
  3. Networking opportunities.
  4. Connect directly with buyers looking to meet their 5% subcontracting federal goals.
  5. Access to leads for bids and proposals.

What are WOSB certification requirements?

We will get into the qualifications or requirements you need to get accepted for a WOSB certification in the WOSB (Woman Owned Small Business) Certification Eligibility Checklist (next section). For now, let us address the requirements of the WOSB program – which are intended to support the objective of helping Women-Owned firms become successful:

Before diving into the qualifications, you need to receive your WOSB Certification in the WOSB Certification eligibility checklist (next section), let us go over the requirements of the WOSB program, which are intended to help support women-owned businesses become successful:

  1. To be eligible for the WOSB Federal Contracting program, a business must:
  2. Be a small business according to SBA size standards
  3. Be at least 51% owned and controlled by women who are U.S. citizens
  4. Have women manage day-to-day operations and also make long-term decisions

WOSB Certification Eligibility Checklist

Here is a quick checklist to see if you qualify for certification:

  • Confirm your size standard as a small business
  • Be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women who are U.S. citizens. Provide any ONE of the following documents for enough firm owners who are U.S. Citizens to demonstrate that the applicant firm is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by United States citizens:
  • Birth Certificate
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Unexpired U.S. Passport
  • Consular Report on Birth Abroad of a U.S Citizen (Form FS-240).
  • Active registration in the System for Award Management for the firm, available at SAM.gov (Note: The firm’s DUNS number, EIN (Employer Identification Number), and MPIN must exactly match SAM (System for Award Management) registration
  • If the applicant(s) is subject to any conditions, executory agreements, voting trust, or other arrangements that cause or potentially cause ownership benefits to go to another person, the applicant should provide the following documents.
  • Copy of the joint venture agreement, if applicable
  • Copy of the written Agreement (an executory agreement, voting trust, or other arrangements), if applicable
  • The 51 percent ownership may not be through another business entity or a trust (including an employee stock ownership plan) that is, in turn, owned and controlled by one or more women or economically disadvantaged However, ownership by a trust, such as a living trust, may be treated as the functional equivalent of ownership by a woman or economically disadvantaged woman where the trust is revocable, and the woman is the grantor, the trustee, and the sole current beneficiary of the trust. If the ownership is not direct and/or 51% ownership held by the trust with the conditions above, we should provide the following documents:
  • Direct Ownership document, if applicable
  • Trust Document, if applicable
  • Show strong character and the ability to meet contractual duties.
WOSB Certification

How to apply

Now that we know the benefits of gaining a WOSB certification, let us look at how to move forward from here. Prior to getting into how to process, a brief note of WOSB certification Cost: It is free, and you can apply DIY if you want. However, as we will indicate below, there are numerous benefits to working with us to receive your WOSB certification.

Regardless of how you proceed, it helps to understand the application process. Here is how that would go if you do it DIY:

Step #1: Optional – You could alternatively use our Eligibility Checklist below.

The SBA provides a tool that helps you self-evaluate eligibility: the Women-Owned Small Business Certification Eligibility Checklist. Here you can learn what WOSB certification entails. There is then a self-assessment checklist to determine if you are eligible.

Step #2: Optional – Self-certify and Apply Through the Small Business Administration’s website.

Create a Sam.gov profile here: SAM.gov.

The SBA specifically advises that you look over some resources and get general tips. The SBA offers many resources for women owned business to help teach them to grow their business and information regarding applying for the WOSB certification.

Step #4. Required – Filling out the application online

The SBA site to apply for WOSB certification: WOSB Certification

Step #5. Required – Maintaining Certification

Firms need to update their certification information through both the Dynamic Small Business Search database and beta.certify.sba.gov once a year to maintain their status with the WOSB Federal Contracting program. SBA requires participants to annually attest to meeting program requirements outlined in 13 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 127. Annual attestation must be submitted within 30 days of the anniversary date of certification. Additionally, firms must undergo a program examination every three years conducted by SBA or a third-party certifier.

How long does it take to get certified?

Once your application is considered complete, the SBA should approve or deny it within 90 days.

100+ years of combined knowledge

WOSB certification could fuel your business’s growth – and expertise can be invaluable. If you are a women owned small business, gaining your WOSB certification could fuel your businesses growth and offer expertise that can be invaluable to your business.

At Select GCR, you are assigned a Government Procurement Adviser to help you navigate the Federal contracting maze. Our team has processed thousands of applications and maintains a 98% acceptance rate. Contact us today to discover how we can help your business.

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