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What You Need To Know if You Are a Women Owned Small Business
To qualify as a women-owned small business (WOSB), a business must meet the following requirements identified in 13 CFR 127.200, 201, and 202:
- Meet the small business size standard for the primary NAICS code and contract
- Be at least 51% unconditionally and directly owned by women who are U.S. citizens
- Women must manage the day-to-day operations
- Women must make the long-term decisions for the business
- A woman must the hold highest officer position in the business
- This woman must work at the business full-time during normal working hours.
- No minimum amount of time for the business to be operational
In order to qualify as an economically disadvantaged women-owned small business (EDWOSB), a business must meet all the requirements for a WOSB and its owner(s) must demonstrate economic disadvantage as set forth in 13 CFR 127.203.
- Personal net worth (assets minus liabilities) is less than $750,000 excluding:
- Ownership in business and primary personal residence
- Income reinvested or used to pay taxes of business
- Funds reinvested in IRA or other retirement account*
- Transferred assets within two years if to or on behalf of immediate family member for select purposes
- Adjusted gross income average over three years is $350,000 or less excluding:
- Income reinvested or used to pay taxes of business
- Fair market value of all assets is $6 million or less.
WOSB Program Certification
To be eligible to compete for WOSB set-asides or receive sole source awards, you must either be certified by an SBA-approved Third-Party Certifier (TPC), OR self-certify in accordance with current SBA regulations.
Note: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016 eliminated the self-certification process for the WOSB program, although the change is not currently effective. SBA is currently reviewing how to implement this change. Until the change is implemented, eligible WOSB or EDWOSB firms may continue to self-certify. This website will be updated when a change to this process occurs. Additionally, elimination of self-certification will only apply to contracts set-aside under the WOSB Program. Under federal regulations, a WOSB may still self-certify for other small business contracting opportunities that are not WOSB or EDWOSB set-asides (or WOSB/EDWOSB sole source contracts).
The Federal Register Notice listing the new authorized 2016 NAICS is here. See the full lists of the 2016 6-digit NAICS codes designated for EDWOSB and for WOSB set-asides under the WOSB Program.
A self-certification for purposes of the WOSB Program means the business has not used a TPC; has provided all the required documents to the WOSB Repository, currently available at https://certify.sba.gov; is registered in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov); and has made a representation as a WOSB or EDWOSB eligible under the WOSB Program in SAM. When all of these conditions have been met, then the WOSB/EDWOSB can affirm to the contracting officer that it is self-certified.
Third Party Certification
Only SBA-approved TPCs can give you an authorized “certificate” of eligibility as a WOSB or EDWOSB. There are currently four SBA-approved TPCs. They are:
- El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- National Women Business Owners Corporation
- US Women’s Chamber of Commerce
- Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
For more information:
- Questions? Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Steps to Participate in the WOSB Federal Contracting Program:
- Register in SAM.gov.
Note: Your SAM.gov registration status must be “Active” for at least 24 hours in order for the records to be available in certify.SBA.gov.
- Create a new user account at certify.SBA.gov. You will be prompted to create a UserID and a passphrase. Log onto SBA’s certify.SBA.gov. Once you log into the system, you will be required to associate your business’s information with the UserID that you just created. In order to associate your new account with the information and documents from the old system, you will need to input the following information – this information should exactly match your record in SAM.gov:
Please make sure that *all* information appears exactly as it does in your SAM.gov profile (e.g. no dashes or spaces). The MPIN is case sensitive.
An MPIN is a personal code that you created while registering in SAM.gov. To view your company’s MPIN:
If you had already created an account in the legacy WOSB Repository (decommissioned on March 23rd, 2016), you will be prompted to associate the documents from the legacy system or upload new ones as you are completing the Certify.sba.gov questionnaire(s).
- Your primary DUNS number
- Your Marketing Partner ID Number (MPIN) number (see below for further information)
- Your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) number (may be your Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN))
- Go to the SAM.gov Homepage: www.sam.gov.
- Enter your user ID and password, then click the “Log In” button.
- View the Business Information Page to locate your MPIN.
- You may initiate the process by clicking the link from the Dashboard to begin your self-certification or provide your TPC certification.
- If it is your first time registering in the new certify.sba.gov system, you will be able to upload new documents as you are completing the questionnaire(s).
- You will not be able to upload additional documents once you click on the “Submit” button. If you need to add documents, please contact email@example.com and request that your account be released.
- You are no longer required to upload SBA Form 2413 (WOSB), 2414 (EDWOSB) or 413 (EDWOSB) as the forms are incorporated in certify.sba.gov.
- If you are certified by one of the four SBA-approved TPCs, you are required to upload to certify.sba.gov a copy of the original TPC certification letter and the current certification. You are not required to upload any other documents.
- If you are an active participant in the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program, you are required to upload the original letter of certification and the most recent Annual Review letter from SBA. You are not required to upload any other documents.
- Once you have uploaded all required documents, update your profile in SAM as a WOSB or EDWOSB. Please note that EDWOSB is a subset of WOSB. As such, all EDWOSBs are WOSBs but not all WOSBs are EDWOSBs.
- You are required to update your WOSB or EDWOSB certification information at least once a year. You will receive a notification from the Certify.sba.gov regarding the annual update.
Note: SBA does not certify businesses into the WOSB Program. As such, businesses that complete a self-certification on the Certify.sba.gov site will not receive a certificate letter from SBA.