Documentation Required for WBENC WBE Certification
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All documentation must be uploaded in WBENCLink2.0. The document list is divided into two (2) sections: Mandatory Documents and Required Documents. If a document is listed as 'Mandatory', you must upload the actual document or a written statement detailing the reason(s) it is being omitted and/or not applicable to the applicant company. Documents listed as 'Required' that apply to the company must be uploaded or the Not Applicable box must be checked. Failure to provide the necessary documentation required to ascertain the company's eligibility is reason for a denial.
Note: 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). In addition, if you have questions regarding the required documents or the nonrefundable processing fee, please contact the assigned Regional Partner Organization for your state.
If applying for WOSB certification in addition to WBE certification, please refer to the end of this document for additional WOSB documentation requirements.
Please do not upload password protected documents.
GENERAL INFORMATION - Requirements are the same for all business structures.
Signed by the majority female business owner and notarized by an authorized notary of the U.S. or one of its territories.
Must be signed by majority female owner
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 - Requirements are the same for all business structures. 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, or Driver's License
Evidence of U.S. citizenship or Permanent Legal Resident Alien status for female owner(s)
Copy of current U.S. Passport, U.S. Birth Certificate, naturalization papers, or Permanent Legal Resident Alien Card (green card)
U.S. Passports in color are preferred
FINANCIAL STRUCTURE - Requirements are the same for all business structures
Financial statements for the business
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
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 the appropriate number of years with all schedules and statements attached. 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):
Equipment rental and purchase agreements or proof of equipment purchase
Real estate leases
Copy of bank signature authorization card or corporate resolution
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)
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 - Requirements are the same for all business structures
List of all full and part time employees by name, position and length of service or date of hire, including all owners
Employee payroll for the month prior to submitting the application
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
MANAGEMENT INFORMATION - Requirements are the same for all business structures
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 agreements with individuals and/or vendors who are providing management/consulting services to the applicant company
These are agreements that influence the management and/or operations of the applicant company
DO NOT submit client agreements between the applicant company and its customers
These are agreements that influence the day-to-day operations, including the production and/or distribution of the applicant company's product or service
An affiliation is a relationship where 5% or more of a company's stock is held by a parent company
A subsidiary relationship is one where 50% or more of a company's stock is held by a parent company
If the affiliate/subsidiary company is a certified WBE, please include a copy of the WBE certificate; otherwise, include only the agreement
Franchise Agreements (if applicable)
Union Agreement (if applicable)
GOVERNANCE INFORMATION - Requirements DIFFER by business structure
Assumed Name Documents
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
Buy-Out Rights Agreement
Profit Sharing Agreements
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
Certificate of Incorporation
Articles/Charter of Incorporation
Current corporate bylaws with all amendments
Minutes from shareholders' first organizational meeting*
Minutes from first meeting of board of directors*
Minutes from shareholders' meeting establishing current ownership*
Minutes from board of directors' meeting establishing current ownership*
Minutes from most recent meeting of shareholders*
Minutes from most recent meeting of board of directors*
Statement from the Board Secretary certifying the names, titles, and gender of all current members of the board of directors
Both sides of ALL stock certificates issued, including voided and/or cancelled
Stock Transfer Ledger (Record of stock certificates issued and transferred)
Voting agreements and other equity interests including stock options, warrants, buy/sell agreements, and right of first refusal
Schedule of advances made to corporation by shareholders for the preceding three years
If an out-of-state corporation, proof of authority to do business in state where corporation is headquartered
Limited Liability Company
Certificate of Organization/Existence/Formation (for businesses in states that issue certificates)
Articles of Organization or Articles of Formation and any amendments
LLC Regulations, Operating Agreement and/or Member Agreement
Member List with Titles and gender
Schedule of Advances made to LLC by members for the preceding three years
If an out-of-state LLC, proof of authority to do business in state where LLC is headquartered
Additional Documentation Required ONLY if applying for Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) Certification
All businesses seeking WOSB Certification in addition to WBENC WBE certification must also submit:
Printout of 1st page of System Award Management (SAM) Registration showing an "Active" status. Direct Link: www.sam.gov
Partnerships, Corporations, and LLCs must submit one of the following:
1st 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
Still have questions? Call one of WBENC's regional partner.