Documentation Required for WBENC Certification Application

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The following is a list of documentation required to process for certification application. We recommend compiling all documents in advance before starting your online application.

A few important things to know: 

  • All documents will be uploaded into WBENCLink2.0 as part of your online application.
  • For documents listed as ‘mandatory,’ you must provide the document OR a written statement detailing the reason(s) it is being omitted and/or not applicable to the applicant company.
  • For documents listed as ‘Required,” you must provide the document or check the Not Applicable box if it is not relevant to your business.
  • Failure to provide the necessary documentation required to ascertain the company’s eligibility is reason for a denial.
  • Your assigned Regional Partner Organization (RPO) and/or WBENC reserves the right to request additional documentation, if necessary, to determine the eligibility of your firm for certification as a WBE and WOSB (if applying for WOSB certification).
  • Please do not upload password-protected documents, without providing the password for the File Description.
  • Unless otherwise noted, requirements are the same for all business structures.
  • NOTE: All documents will be treated with the utmost security and confidentiality.
  • Signed Sworn Affidavit
    • Signed by the majority female business owner and notarized by an authorized notary of the U.S. or one of its territories.
  • WBENCLink2.0 User Agreement
    • Signed by majority female owner
  • Non-Refundable Processing Fee
    • Paid by credit card or by mailed check
    • NOTE: If your company elects to mail in a check, processing will not begin until the payment has been received by your assigned Regional Partner Organization.
  • History of Business
    • Explain the start and history of your business, including when, where, why, with whom, and how the business was started/acquired, as well as an explanation of the primary business of the company.
  • Professional and business license(s) (if applicable)
  • Resumes of all owners, board of directors, and key management team
    • Biographies are not an acceptable substitute
    • Resumes should cover related professional experience
Owner Eligibility

One of the documents requested below must be a photo identification for identify verification purposes.

  • Evidence of gender for female owner(s)
    • Copy of current U.S. Passport, U.S. Birth Certificate, Driver’s License or State Identification Card
  • Evidence of U.S. citizenship or Permanent Legal Resident status for female owner(s)
    • Copy of current U.S. Passport, U.S. Birth Certificate, naturalization papers, or Permanent Legal Resident Card (green card)
      • U.S. Passports in color are preferred
Financial Structure
  • Financial statements for the business {mandatory}
    • Profit and loss statement that aligns with the most recent tax return submitted.
    • Balance sheet that aligns with the most recent tax return submitted.
    • For a new business that has been in operation for less than one year, submit an opening balance sheet only.
  • Three years’ Federal Income Tax returns, as filed with the IRS {mandatory}
    • Includes current and prior two years’ federal income tax returns for the business with all schedules and statements attached
    • For businesses less than three years old, substitute personal federal income tax returns for owners of 10% or more for the last tax year. When submitting personal tax returns, you may black out all social security numbers and all dependent names
    • If personal tax returns are being submitted, personal tax returns must be submitted by any individual that owns 10% or more of the company
    • If your company has applied for an extension to file for the most recent tax year, submit extension paperwork
    • If company information is filed on a Schedule C, please note this is not an official tax return and must be accompanied by the official Form 1040 submitted to the IRS (for sole proprietors/sole member LLCs).
    • Submitting only state returns will delay the processing of your file
  • Please submit copies of the following documents that are currently active (listed under the Liabilities section of the the company’s Balance Sheet):
    • Debt instruments
      • Loan Agreements
      • Note Payables
      • Promissory Notes
      • Surety Agreements
      • Security Agreements
    • Equipment rental and purchase agreements or proof of equipment purchase
    • Real estate leases
  • Copy of bank signature authorization card or corporate resolution {mandatory}
    • This document should be provided by your financial institution.
    • If the item does not exist or your financial institution does not release this information, please have your financial institution write a letter on its letterhead indicating the company name, type of accounts held, date account was opened, who has signature authority for those accounts, as well as any stipulations/restrictions pertaining to signatory authority (e.g. two signatures required for amounts greater than $10,000).
  • Proof of capital and/or equity investment by female owner(s) {mandatory}
    • Any document or written statement indicating the method by which the female owner(s) obtained her ownership interest (e.g. cancelled checks, opening bank statement, proof of stock purchase, written statement by owner, list of contributed equipment/expertise, etc.)
Personnel & Management
  • List of all full- and part-time employees by name, position, and length of service or date of hire, including all owners {mandatory}
  • Employee payroll for the month prior to submitting the application {mandatory}
    • Indicate time span of the pay period on the document
    • For each employee, list his/her name, title/position, hours worked for the pay period indicated, gross pay for the pay period indicated, hourly pay rate and/or commission earned in period (if applicable)
    • Information is required for internal employees, not those who are leased to/from other companies
  • W-2s and/or 1099 forms from every officer, director, or owner receiving compensation from the company for the most recent year {mandatory}
  • Trust agreement(s) that involve the majority female owner(s)
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan Agreements (ESOPs)
  • Submit copies of the following documents that are currently active:
    • Any agreement(s) that impact or influence the management and/or operations of the applicant company. Ex. Consulting, licensing, long term service agreements, etc.
  • Submit copies of the following documents that are currently active:
    • Franchise Agreements (if applicable)

Note: Requirements differ by business structure.

Sole Proprietorships

  • Assumed Name Documents


  • Partnership Agreements {mandatory}
  • Limited Partnership Certificate
    • If Applicant is a limited partnership, submit a certificate of existence and a copy of the certificate of limited partnership issued by the state of formation


Note: Owning the company 100% does not exempt the owner from providing stock certificates.  Also, if 100% owned and minutes are not available, please state so in writing. *Must be signed and dated.

  • Articles/Charter of Incorporation {mandatory}
  • Current corporate bylaws with all amendments {mandatory}
  • Minutes from most recent meeting of shareholders {mandatory}
  • Minutes from most recent meeting of board of directors {mandatory}
  • Both sides of ALL stock certificates issued, including voided and/or canceled {mandatory}
  • Stock Transfer Ledger (Record of stock certificates issued and transferred)
    • WOSB Applicants: This document must be submitted, per SBA guidance; otherwise, the WOSB application will not be processed.
  • Voting agreements and other equity interests including stock options, warrants, buy/sell agreements, and right of first refusal

Limited Liability Company

  • Articles of Organization or Articles of Formation and any amendments {mandatory}
  • LLC Regulations, Operating Agreement and/or Member Agreement {mandatory}

All businesses seeking WOSB Certification in addition to WBENC WBE certification must also submit:

  • Printout of the first page of System Award Management (SAM) Registration showing an “Active” status.
  • Partnerships, Corporations, and LLCs must submit one of the following:
    • First page of IRS Form 941 (Quarterly Tax Return) for preceding 12 months OR
    • W-3 (Transmittal of Wage & Tax Statements) for past year; OR
    • List of all employees, if Forms 941 or W3 are not available for the past year
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