WOSB Frequently Asked Questions 

+ How does this help women-owned businesses?

The Program provides government-owned procuring agencies a tool to help meet their WOSB contracting goal of 5% of prime contracting dollars being awarded to WOSBs. Additionally, restricting competition to qualified WOSBs and EDWOSBs increases their success to compete for and win federal contracts. (Note that WBENC will certify WOSBs, not EDWOSBs at this time.)

+ What industries does this affect?

There are 38 four-digit North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) codes which equates to over 150 six-digit NAICS codes which WOSBs are eligible for Federal Contracting under the WOSB Program. Additionally, there are 45 four-digit North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) codes which equates to over 200 six-digit NAICS codes which EDWOSBs are eligible for Federal Contracting under the WOSB Program. WBENC is only providing certification for WOSBs at this time. To see what codes are eligible, please view the complete listing of the WOSB Program Applicable NAICS Codes spreadsheet.

+ What does this mean to WBENC Certified WBEs?

If you are a WBENC certified WBE who is interested in pursuing WOSB certification and you are currently providing goods and services in the eligible NAICS codes categories, you will complete the following steps:

  1. As of September 1, 2011, visit the Get Certified web page to access the application for WBENC's WOSB Government Certification (United States SBA WOSB Federal Contracting program) and the list of documentation required to complete the application process.

  2. Read the WOSB Compliance guidelines/requirements

  3. Complete the documentation and submit to the local certifying Regional Partner Organization in your area. The WOSB certification process will take approximately 30 days.

  4. Contact the local certifying Regional Partner Organization in your area with any additional questions.

  5. What are the next steps once WOSB certification has been obtained through WBENC?

Once WOSB Certification is obtained through WBENC, the United States SBA requires you to complete the following steps:

  1. Represent your status in SAM as a WOSB.

  2. Log onto the United States SBA's General Login System (GLS) to obtain an account if you don't already have one.

  3. Go to the WOSB Program repository (through GLS) and upload/categorize your documents as outlined in the directions provided there.

  4. Does WBENC offer any resources to help me navigate the government arena?

WBENC is committed to assisting your company in its success and offers a plethora of educational and networking opportunities. Please visit WBENC's online government calendar for a current listing of educational webinars and networking events. Additional opportunities are frequently listed in the WBENC President's Report.

+ Who administers the WOSB Federal Contracting Program?

The United States SBA is charged with implementing and administering the program. This means that United States SBA publishes regulations that provide framework for the program, develops and maintains the WOSB Program Repository, conducts eligibility examinations of WOSBs, reviews and makes decisions on protests, approves third party certifiers, conducts studies to determine eligible industries, and works with other Federal agencies in assisting WOSBs and EDWOSBs.

+ How long may I participate in the program?

There is no term limit on program participation like there is in the 8(a) Program. You can bid WOSB Program contracts as long as you are eligible for the program and have met all of the requirements set forth in the regulations.

+ What is the cost for WOSB certification?

WBENC is currently providing WOSB certification as a complimentary service during the WBENC WBE certification process.

+ If I have already self-certified with the United States SBA, may I still apply for WOSB Certification through WBENC?

Yes, you may apply for WOSB Certification with WBENC without penalty if you are currently self-certified with the United States SBA. However, you will need to update your status in CCR, ORCA and in the WOSB Repository.

+ May I apply for self-certification through the United States SBA?

Yes, you may self-certify through the United States SBA.

+ Are all companies eligible for the WOSB certification?

If the 51% is owned by an ESOP, holding company or irrevocable trust, the company is not eligible. For more details, please review the WOSB Compliance Guide.