The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved WBENC as a Third Party Certifier for Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification as part of the SBA’s WOSB Federal Contracting Program.

The SBA’s WOSB Federal Contract Program provides greater access to federal contracting opportunities for WOSBs and economically-disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs). The Program allows contracting officers, for the first time, to set aside specific contracts for certified WOSBs and EDWOSBs and will help federal agencies achieve the existing statutory goal of five percent of federal contracting dollars being awarded to WOSBs.

As a third-party certifier of the SBA’s WOSB Federal Contract Program, WBENC introduced a Women Owned Small Business Government Certification (WOSBGC) Program. WBENC is the leading advocate for and authority on women’s business enterprises (WBEs) for the nation’s corporations. Its certification of businesses that are at least 51 percent owned, operated and managed by women, is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Now it also provides its world-class certification of WOSBs to government agencies.

This site offers the latest information regarding the process for attaining WOSB certification. Any WBENC-certified WBE can apply for WOSB certification during recertification; and any woman owned-business which applies for WBENC certification, may also simultaneously apply for WOSB certification.

“This is an historical moment as WBENC advances its mission of leveling the playing field for Women’s Business Enterprises not only in the private sector, but now in the public sector. We are pleased that the United States SBA, like our current corporate partners, recognizes the value and credibility of third-party certification. Through the approval of third-party certification, the United States SBA has taken an important step in enabling women’s businesses to effectively compete and win contracts with the government. We believe that this will lead to women’s business growth and a positive impact on our economy.”




Application for WOSB certification MUST be submitted with a New or Recertification application. To move forward, please ensure you meet the criteria then follow the steps below to apply.

Criteria for Certification

  • The applicant company must be “small” in its primary industry in accordance with SBA’s size standards for that industry. Please view the listing of NAICS and their size standards for verification.
  • The applicant company must be at least fifty-one percent (51%) unconditionally and directly owned and controlled by one or more women who are U.S. citizens.
  • Management and daily operation must be controlled by one or more of the women owners.
  • The women owners must make long-term decisions for the business.
  • One of the criteria below must also be true for CORPORATIONS ONLY:
    • Women must make up a majority of the Board of Directors OR have a majority of the Board votes through weighted voting.
    • Women must make up 51% of the voting power, sit on the Board AND have enough voting power to overcome any supermajority requirement.
  • WBENC uses a two part process to ensure that the applicant company meets the WBENC WOSB Standards. This will include a thorough review of the documentation presented and a site visit interview with the female owner/s.
  • Please review the Woman-Owned Small Business Program Guide as a resource for requirements associated with the program.
  • Click here for a comprehensive listing of the WOSB Program NAICS Codes.

Additional Requirements

  • Applicant must possess a DUNS # (one can be requested here)
  • Applicant must be registered in SAM* (System for Award Management)
  • *NOTE: There is NO FEE for the SAM registration. Please ensure the correct site is accessed, www.sam.gov.
  • If you are experiencing difficulty registering in SAM, please click here for supplemental instructions.

Documentation Required:

  • Proof of ACTIVE registration in SAM (Printout of Entity Overview)
    • Go to www.sam.gov. NOTE: The is NO FEE required for SAM registration when using the correct government website provided.
    • Click on “Register/Update Entity” from My SAM menu
    • Click “Completed Registrations”
    • Select Company Name under Entity List
    • Click “View”  under Registration Details
    • Opens into Entity Overview for printing
    • SAM registration must be validated before the status is listed as Active. This process may take 3-5 days.

One of the following documents must be submitted:

  • Printout of 1st page of IRS Form 941 (for previous 4 quarters)
  • W-3 from previous year
  • Current list of employees (ONLY if the previous two items do not apply to our company):
    • If you are a sole owner of the applicant company, please provide a statement listing yourself as the only employee
    • NOTE: In order to be processed for the WOSB certification, the company’s Primary NAICS Code must align with the Principal Business Activity listed on the company’s federal tax return.

How to Apply for WOSB Certification

  • If interested in WOSB certification, the applicant MUST select ‘Yes’ when answering the first question of the online application in Section 1: General Information, “Would you like to apply for WOSB certification?”. NOTE: Applicants may only apply for WOSB Certification when applying as a new or recertifying WBE applicant.
  • Upload the WOSB Documentation listed in ‘Required Documents’ section

Once WOSB/WBENC Certification is Granted

Once WOSB/WBENC certification is granted, applicants must complete the additional United States SBA required steps to be eligible to participate in the WOSB Federal Contracting Program:

  • Represent status in System for Award Management (SAM) as WOSB
  • Create a profile on the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) page
  • Create an account in the WOSB Repository
  • Complete the online version of the SBA Form 2413
  • Upload the following documents:
    • WOSB Certificate issued by WBENC
    • Any other documents requested by the SBA

*WOSB certification cannot be processed if company is 150 days or more from their WBE certification expiration without completing the WBE recertification process.