Understanding the Certification Process as an 8 (m) Woman-Owned Small Business


The federal government has set-aside 5 percent of federal contracting funds to the 8 (m) Woman-Owned Small Business program.


In 2010, the federal government increased the number of set-asides from 3.5 percent to 5 percent in an effort to create more contracts for the 8(m) program. Every Woman-Owned Business must be registered in System for Award Management (SAM) in order to receive and bid on federal contracts. As of July 2012, CCR and ORCA were merged into one main database now known as SAM or System for Award Management in an effort to consolidate multiple forums dedicated to federal contract registration. As mandated in section 1331 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, Public Law 111-240, the Admission and Congress would now recognize the significant amount of untapped opportunities that exist to increase small business participation in government contracting. Section 1331 of the Small Business Act was established to regulate which Federal agencies may use partial contract set-asides, contract reserves, and order set-asides under multiple award contracts. Therefore, the federal market for Woman-Owned Businesses was built and made to influence all who meet these specifications.


Once your business is registered in System for Award Management, you must submit specific documents to the government in order to be certified for the 8 (m) WOSB Program. At least 51% of the business must be women owned, and the business must be unconditionally controlled by one or more women who are U.S. Citizens. The self-certification documents as required by the Small Business Administration include:


  • Corporate governance documents such as Organization and Operating Agreements (Limited Liability Companies), Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws (Corporations), and Partnership Agreements (partnerships).
  • Birth Certificates or current United States Passport to provide Woman-Owners as U.S. Citizens
  • If you are a Corporation, all your stock certificates in accordance with the bylaws and the stock ledger.
  • A signed copy of the Women-Owned Small Business Program Certification as made available at: http://www.sba.gov/content/women-owned-small-business-wosb-program-certification
  • Completed SBA Form 413 made available at: http://www.ucosbdc.org/Websites/ucosbdc/Images/form413.pdf
  • Completed SBA Form 413 for every economically disadvantaged woman’s spouse (if applies)


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