Women-Owned Small Business Certification

This set-aside program allows contracts to be set-aside exclusively for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) –  but only in certain industries where the SBA has determined that they are underrepresented.

Eligibility rests on 3 basic questions –


Is the business ‘small ’? 

NAICS codes are 6-digit codes that classify different types of industries. The SBA’s Table of Small Business Size Standards, lists these NAICS codes and the size standard that applies to each.   Some size standards are based on annual revenue, others on the number of employees.


Is the industry one in which WOSBs are under-represented? 

The SBA maintains 2 separate lists of eligible NAICS codes – one for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) and one for Economically-Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSB)


Is the business women- owned? 

This is about ownership and control..  at least 51% direct and unconditional ownership…management of day-to-day operations…free to make long-term business decisions…holds the highest officer position…works full-time at the business during normal working hours.


The Small Business Administration’s website lists the eligibility requirements and has a step by step guide.


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