Options for Certification as a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) or Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) Under the New SBA Rules
As previously announced, some changes went into effect on July 15, 2020 for the Small Business Administration’s Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) programs. One of the most important changes is that companies are no longer able to self-certify as a WOSB or EDWOSB after October 15, 2020 they must seek a formal certification through either the SBA’s program, or one of the approved third-party certifiers.
Certification through the SBA
The SBA’s WOSB and EDWOSB certification program is just launched, through certify.sba.gov. In order to certify, your company will also need a SAM.gov profile. Please note that though you can apply now, the SBA will not begin issuing certifications until October 15, 2020 (which happens to be the last day that you can certify). Please be aware that even if you apply now, you may not receive certification for several months. Be aware of any deadlines that you may be under, and plan accordingly.
The SBA has provided checklists of the documents that you will need for the certification process.
Approved Third-Party Certifiers
If you are anxious to get your WOSB or EDWOSB certification, or also want to get your WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise) certification you may want to consider applying through one of the four approved third-party certifiers. Unlike the SBA Certification process, you will be required to pay a fee.
- WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Counsel). WBENC is perhaps the most well-known certifier of WBEs. You can apply for WOSB or EDWOSB within the same application as your WBE at no additional fees. Fees for your certification application range between $350- $1,250, depending on the revenue of your business.
- NWBOC (National Women Business Owners Corporation). NWBOC charges $400 for a WOSB/EDWOSB application, or $700 to get both your WOSB/EDWOSB and WBE certification.
- S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce charges $275 for members and $350 for non-members to apply for WOSB/EDWOSB certification. This will also cover WBE certification.
- El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce does charge a fee, but it varies. Contact them for more information.