WOSB – How to Self-Certify

How to self certify as WOSBToday, the SBA’s highly anticipated WOSB 8(m) program takes effect and many women owned small businesses are eager to find out how to get their company certified.  While the SBA will eventually have a list of approved third party certifiers, since the application was only made available today it may be a long wait before any third party certifiers are available.  Any business that wants to get the jump on the competition will need to take the self-certification route.

The full details of the program and certification process can be found here, but we’ll cover the basics so you know what to expect.  First, you will need to be certain that your business is currently active in CCR and ORCA and meets the eligibility requirements.  It also wouldn’t hurt to check out the NAICS codes the ruling applies to and be certain your industry is included.  If you haven’t already, it is strongly advised that you also read through the full ruling and check out the SBA’s Compliance Guide.  It may seem like a lot of reading, but the pitfalls and obstacles you’ll avoid by being prepared will more than make up for the time spent studying the program.

After you’re prepared and educated, you will need to request a login for the SBA’s General Login System so you can access the repository.  You’ll need to provide some information about yourself and your business in order to register.  Once you’re registered and logged in, you can access the “Women-Owned Small Business Program Repository”.  This is where you will submit your WOSB or EDWOSB certification form and all supporting documentation.

So what documentation will you need?  Here is the full list from the SBA:

  • Copies of birth certificates, Naturalization papers, or unexpired passports for owners who are women;
  • Copy of the joint venture agreement, if applicable;
  • For limited liability companies:
  • Articles of organization (also referred to as certificate of organization or articles of formation) and any amendments; and
  • Operating agreement, and any amendments;
  • For corporations:
  • Articles of incorporation and any amendments;
  • By-laws and any amendments;
  • All issued stock certificates, including the front and back copies, signed in accord with the by-laws;
  • Stock ledger; and
  • Voting agreements, if any;
  • For partnerships:
  • The partnership agreement and any amendments;
  • The assumed/fictitious name (doing business as) certificate(s); and
  • A copy of the WOSB Program Certification – WOSBs only, or WOSB Program Certification – EDWOSBs only.
  • For EDWOSBs, in addition to the above, SBA Form 413, Personal Financial Statement, available to the public here.

As you can see, the complexity and number of documents you will need to provide will depend on your business’ structure.  The repository will only accept electronic copies of documentation in either PDF or ZIP format.  Once you log into the repository, there will be a help link to guide you through its use.

Keep an eye out for changes and updates coming in April.  At that time it is expected that the WOSB rule in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) will be issued and final updates to the CCR, ORCA and repository systems will be completed.  Officials expect that the first WOSB and EDWOSB contracts will be awarded by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011.

US Federal Contractor Registration can help you with your CCR and ORCA registration, walk you through WOSB self-certification and market you to the government so you can take advantage of this and other programs designed to help small businesses get government contracts.  Call us today for more information at #1-877-252-2700.

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