“Who runs the world? Girls!” – if you’re answering this question based upon Beyoncé’s hit single “Run the World.” Though girls may not run the “entire” world, many small businesses are owned and operated by women. If your business fits this description, it may be eligible to be federally certified as a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB).
Receiving this certification would allow your company to compete for federal contracts set aside by the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program. In 2011, women-owned small businesses received a disproportionate number of federal contract dollars – only 4% of those available (U.S. Department of Commerce). By awarding designated federal contracts to women-owned small businesses in the 92 industry areas where they are underrepresented, the WOSB Federal Contract program is attempting to combat this inequality.
Is My Business Eligible?
Before pursuing a Women-Owned Small Business certification, you should first ensure your company meets the requirements outlined on the U.S. Small Business Administration website (www.sba.gov):
- Meets small business size standards
- Is at least 51% unconditionally and directly owned by women, is managed by women, and has the highest officer position occupied by a woman
- Is owned and operated by U.S. citizens
- Operates in one of 92 eligible industries
If your business meets additional requirements, it may qualify as an economically disadvantaged women-owned small business. In this case, your business would be able to compete for a larger number of grants. Visit www.sba.gov for more information.
Obtaining WOSB Certification
If your company fulfills the WOSB requirements, you may then pursue certification on its behalf. Currently, certification can be acquired through self-certification or through a SBA-approved third party certifier, though yet-to-be-implemented legislation will soon restrict the certification process solely to third-parties.
If you are interested in getting your women owned business certified, call the Goosmann Law Firm and our attorneys can assist you through the process and benefits.