By Terry Stroud, SBTDC PTAC Counselor at Fayetteville State University
Change is coming to the WOSB Program, but exactly what does that mean for your WOSB business today? It is surely an important issue that you will want to follow, however, the process currently remains the same. There has been no elimination, as of today, of the operational functionality of the SBA’s self-certification process described at https://www.sba.gov/content/women-owned-small-business-program.
The WOSB/EDWOSB Certification process/requirements are, as of today, as follows per SBA instructions:
WOSB Program Requirements
To qualify as Women-owned, a business must be:
- Considered “small” as defined by the relevant NAICS code
- Be at least 51% directly owned and controlled by one or more women who are U.S. Citizens
- To be deemed “Economically Disadvantaged”, owners must demonstrate economic disadvantage in accordance with the requirements set forth in the final rule.
Your local PTAC counselor can help you determine which certification option is right for your business.
Businesses may self-certify as Woman-owned by registering as such using the following steps:
4 Steps to Self-Certify and participate in the WOSB program:
- Read the WOSB Federal Contract program regulations in the Federal Register and the WOSB Compliance Guide .
- Register and represent your status in the System for Award Management (SAM) as WOSB or EDWOSB.**
- Log onto SBA’s General Login System (GLS). *Obtain an account now if you don’t already have one
- Go to the WOSB program repository (through GLS) and upload / categorize all required documents.
Your local PTAC counselor can help you review required documentation in accordance with statutory and regulatory requirements to determine if you are eligible for WOSB/EDWOSB set-asides under the law.
2) Third Party Certification:
You can apply for WOSB or EDWOSB certification through one of SBA’s approved third party certifiers. These organizations will, for a fee, thoroughly review required documentation in accordance with statutory and regulatory requirements to determine if you are eligible for WOSB/EDWOSB set-asides under the law. Obtaining third party certification can offer women small business owners a greater degree of certainty with regard to their eligibility before being awarded a contract under the program. The organizations approved by SBA as third party certifiers are:
- The El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- The National Women’s Business Owners Corporation
- The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce
- Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)*
If you are currently seeking assistance with WOSB/EDWOSB Certification for your company, or are concerned about maintaining your status “when” the changes to the program are implemented, please visit with your local PTAC counselor.