If you’re a woman who owns a business and you’d like to apply for federal contracts, getting officially certified as a woman-owned business is essential. The federal government’s goal is to award at least 5% of its contracts to women-owned small businesses each year. While the certification process may seem daunting, it’s not that difficult if you know the basic application rules and materials needed.
Two Kinds of Certifications
There are two types of women-owned certifications, Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) and Women-owned Small Business (WOSB). WBE is a designation that many private sector businesses and organizations, and some state and local governments use. To be given this designation, you must apply through one of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) third-party certification partners.
WOSB is a designation used by federal government agencies. Under the WOSB designation, you may also be qualified to apply for an Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) designation.
How to Apply for WOSB Certification
The certification process for these designations changed in 2020. While there is a lot of paperwork involved, the federal government has done a lot to streamline the process.
Once approved, you will need to maintain your designation with an annual recertification.
While there are about 13 million women-owned businesses in the US, only 4,800 are certified as WOSBs. With the increasing visibility into data and the government’s goal of providing funds for small and minority business, this is an ideal time to get certified.
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