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How to get certified as a women-owned business

Certified women-owned business

If you’re considering starting your own business in the US, getting a women-owned small business certification (WOSB) can offer many valuable benefits and take your business to the next level. If your business is at least 51% owned and operated by women, you’re eligible to apply. Here’s how to get certified as a women-owned business, and why.

Why pursue a women-owned business certification?

Some of the many benefits of registering for a WOSB include:

  • Access to education and networking opportunities
  • Improving visibility in the marketplace
  • Added support
  • Eligible for rewards
  • Ability to explore more business opportunities
  • Access to additional business resources

WOSB requirements

To become a women-owned small business in the US and receive the benefits, here are the guidelines you must adhere to:

  • Your business must be at least 51% owned by women with U.S citizenship
  • Your business must be managed by a woman daily
  • Your business must qualify as a small business as outlined in the SBA size standards guidelines
  • Your business must have a woman in the highest position in the company on a full-time basis

Four steps to getting certified as a women-owned business

Ready to get certified so you can reap the benefits? Here are four steps you need to take to become a certified women-owned business.

1. Determine if you’re eligible

The first and most important step to getting certified is determining your eligibility based on the abovementioned qualifications. You’ll start the application process by gathering all the necessary documentation and paperwork if you meet all the requirements.

2. Gather all required documentation

You’ll need multiple documents to prepare for the online application process, so you’ll want to ensure you compile all of the documents ahead of time. The documents you’ll need include:

  • General information: This includes business history, your business license, user agreements, and power of attorney showing ownership.
  • Owner eligibility information: This includes evidence of gender for the owner of your business and proof of U.S citizenship.
  • Financial structure: This includes financial statements and documents, tax returns, and proof of income.
  • Management and personnel: This includes documents that show information about your employees, such as W2s and 1099 forms, payroll documentation, and other agreement forms.
  • Governance information: This includes documents that relate to your business structure (i.e., LLC or corporation)

3. Fill out the online application to be certified as a women-owned biz

Once you have all of your documents prepared, you’re ready to start the online application process. You can apply at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or via third-party sites like the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

4. Provide proof of certification

To participate and complete the certification process, you must provide proof of the certification to the Small Business Administration (SBA) by signing up and submitting it on their website. Once received, they will send you a formal confirmation determining your certification status.

Do you want to ensure you’re on the right track and have everything you need before applying? Click here for a downloadable checklist to determine your eligibility and to stay on top of all of the required documents you’ll need.

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