WBENC Certification validates that a business is at least 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women.

This means one or more women must have unrestricted control of the business, a demonstrated management of day-to-day operations, and a proportionate investment of capital or expertise. To become certified, business owners undergo a thorough vetting process, including review of business documentation and a site visit.

Because of this thorough process, WBENC Certification is considered the gold standard for women-owned business certification and is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations, in addition to many states, cities and other entities.

Certification Eligibility Criteria

  • Majority (at least 51%) ownership by one or more women
  • Demonstrated proof of female management and control of business
  • Unrestricted female control of the business in legal documents and day-to-day operations
  • A woman holding the highest defined title in the company’s legal documents
  • Documented evidence of female contribution of capital and/or industry expertise
  • Status of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident for woman owner(s) constituting majority ownership

Before applying for certification, WBENC highly recommends you review the list of required documentation and the guidelines outlined in our Standards & Procedures.

Standards & Procedures

Before applying, we highly recommend all prospective WBEs download and review the WBENC Certification Standards & Procedures.

Download Standards & Procedures (PDF)
Is Certification Right for Me?

There are many benefits to being certified, but certification may not be the best option for every business. If you answer yes to one or more of the questions below, WBENC Certification may be the tool you need to boost your business.

Is your product/service targeted at corporations, retail, and/or government agencies?

Corporations and government entities join WBENC to pursue sourcing opportunities with certified women-owned businesses. If you are seeking opportunities with corporations, retail, and/or government agencies, certification can be a great tool to get your foot in the door. In addition, some corporations, retail, and government entities will request certification; some government entities may also mandate that you have their “in house” certification.

Does your business have the capacity to provide quality service and/or products on large contracts?

Corporate, retail, and government contracts tend to be larger than contracts to which many small businesses are accustomed. Your business must be prepared to demonstrate ability to deliver on larger contracts. Thousands of WBENC-Certified WBEs compete for business and do business with each other to build their capacity to pursue these opportunities.

Are you willing to share the details of your business including capital investment, tax returns and compensation records?

A key step in the certification process is an analysis of proprietary documents to determine the eligibility of your business. All company proprietary documents and information are treated with the utmost confidentiality.

Are you clear that WBE certification is a marketing tool and DOES NOT entitle or guarantee your company will receive corporate, retail, or government contracts?

If your business is certified, you will need to invest time and energy into developing marketing strategy that targets corporations and government agencies that may need your product or service.

If you believe WBENC Certification is right for your business, WBENC encourages you take full advantage of the programs, services, and events that have been designed to give your company access to business opportunities.

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