Strategic Consulting Solutions, Inc.

Women-Owned Small Business Certification Process

Women-owned businesses are the fastest growing sector of small businesses in the country. Today, women own 30% of all small businesses– that’s up from just 5% 40 years ago (see more: SBA Press Release). In an effort to help women-owned small businesses compete and win federal contracts, the SBA created the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) program, which authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) or economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs). The Small Business Administration (SBA) is responsible for implementing and administering the program and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council is responsible for implementing SBA’s program regulations in the FAR (part 19). The WOSB program levels the playing field for WOSBs competing for federal contracts and ultimately helps create and retain more jobs for WOSBs. It also provides procuring agencies a tool to help meet their WOSB contracting goal, as the Federal Government must award 5% of its prime contracting dollars to WOSBs.

Eligibility and Certification Requirements for WOSBs:

  • 51% of the business must be owned and controlled by one or more women who are U.S. citizens
  • The business must be primarily managed by one or more women, including the day-to-day operations and long-term decision making
  • A woman must hold the highest officer position
  • The woman must work a the business full-time during normal working hours
  • No minimum amount of time is required for the business to be operational
  • The firm must be “small” in its primary industry in accordance with SBA’s size standards for that industry

Certification for EDWOSBs include the same requirements as WOSBs, but its owners must demonstrate economic disadvantages in accordance with requirements set forth in the program regulations.

Become Certified as a WOSB

There are two ways to certify for the WOSB program:

    1. Self Certification (with supporting documents):
      • This is a free, no cost process
      • You must register in CCR as a WOSB or EDWOSB
      • Compile and upload all required documents to the repository
      • Represent status in ORCA
    2. Third Party Certification (with supporting documents):
      • Register in CCR as a WOSB or EDWOSB
      • Obtain certification from an SBA-approved Third Party Certifier
      • Compile and upload all required documents to the repository
      • Represent status in ORCA

Currently, the SBA will only accept third part certifications from these four organizations: El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Women Business Owners Corporation, US Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)

Participate in the WOSB program

Follow these four steps to participate:

  1. Read the WOSB Federal Contract program regulations in the Federal Register and the WOSB Compliance Guide.
  2. Register and represent your status in theSystem for Award Management (SAM).
  3. Log onto SBA’sGeneral Login System (GLS). Obtain an account now if you don’t already have one
  4. Go to the WOSB program repository (through GLS) and upload / categorize all required documents.

A complete list of required documents to upload to the Repository can be found in the Compliance Guide for the WOSB Program. All eligible WOSBs and EDWOSBs who would like to participate in this program must complete and sign the WOSB or EDWOSB certification form and upload it into the repository. Download this form, get information on the WOSB Program Repository, and find more key information about the WOSB program on the SBA’s WOSB page.

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2 Responses to “Women-Owned Small Business Certification Process”

  1. Trallis Easom says:

    I myself am a sole proprietor I’m a woman-owned business I own and operate full-time J&K Tree Service I’m very interested in certification I live in Knoxville Tennessee my phone number is 865-210-6887.

    • admin says:


      We would love to help you. You may give me a call at (865) 456-9140 and we can discuss what your growth plans are and find out if there is anything we can do to help you achieve those goals.

      Chris Twiner, CPCM
      Senior Consultant

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