SBA WOSB 8(m) Program – Eligibility

wosb final ruling women owned small businessThis Friday, February 4th, the SBA’s Woman Owned Small Business final ruling is scheduled to take effect. This is shaping up to be an exciting year for woman owned small businesses, but like most government programs there will be some red tape to navigate. The first step for anyone interested in participating in this program is to find out whether you’re even eligible.

Essentially, the primary requirement to be considered a woman owned small business is at least 51% ownership and control of your business by one or more women. Sounds pretty simple and easy, right? Well, don’t get carried away thinking you can just make a verbal agreement with a female family member and watch the contracts come rolling in. There’s more to 51% ownership than a woman’s name on the letterhead. The SBA requires that the 51% ownership and control be direct and unconditional and that the women be US citizens. In addition, the highest officer position must be held by the woman in question and she must manage the business on a full time basis, devoting her time and energy to the concerns of the business during its normal working hours. This same woman must also not engage in outside employment which prevents her from focusing her time and attention to the daily affairs of the business. The business must also meet the SBA’s small business size standards according within its primary industry. These eligibility requirements must also be properly documented. A full description of the eligibility requirements and definitions can be found on the Federal Register’s journal entry concerning the final ruling. As you can see, these requirements are rather specific and will likely weed out any businesses masquerading as a WOSB.

Of course, in order to qualify as a WOSB, you will also need to have a DUNS number and have completed proper CCR and ORCA registration, which is required for any business to work government contracts.

US Federal Contractor Registration is diligently researching this program to determine how it can benefit both our clients and readers of our blog. If you have any questions about the ruling or need help getting registered on CCR or ORCA, call us at 1-877-252-2700 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-877-252-2700 end_of_the_skype_highlighting!

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