On July 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) implemented the new certification process for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs). Previously, WOSBs were permitted to self-certify their women-owned status through sam.gov. WOSBs could also voluntarily submit applications and supporting documentation through SBA’s online repository or seek certification through SBA-authorized third-party certifiers.
Moving forward, businesses seeking WOSB certification are required to go through either the SBA online application process or one of the four organizations given authority by the SBA. SBA’s new website at beta.certify.sba.gov includes an eligibility tool to assist WOSB owners in determining whether they meet the program requirements. The certification requirements include a three‑year recertification process and a 90-day timeframe to reapply if the application is denied. Importantly, businesses already certified through the WOSB program must go through the new certification process. This will require business owners to copy information found on their sam.gov profile and transfer it to SBA’s online certification platform.
Alternatively, a WOSB can choose to pay a third-party certifier who typically charges $300 to $400 per application. The four organizations currently authorized to provide certifications are:
While SBA’s new portal is now open, they have indicated that application approvals will not begin until after October 15, 2020. After that time, self-certification at sam.gov will no longer be an option.
If you have any questions about this legal update, please reach out to the Government Contracts group.