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Basic Information About WBE Certification for Women-Owned Businesses

This page contains basic information about WBE Certification for women business owners. The "more" links under each section provide in-depth background or related data. In addition, don't miss our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page!

WHAT?
WBE Certification stands for Woman Business Enterprise and denotes that a woman (or women) has majority ownership and control of a business entity. WBE Certification is not based on company size, number of employees, or profitability.
More information on the concept and history of WBE Certification

WHO?
Any woman-owned business can apply for WBE Certification if the company meets the criteria of majority ownership and control of the business. By law, majority ownership means at least 51% of the business is owned by a woman or women. This is established through the legal paperwork associated with the business. Also by law, but perhaps less exact, is the concept of control of the business. A woman has control of the business if she is the final decision maker for all aspects of the business - financial, production, contracting, etc. - or she has delegated that authority to an employee manager or another partial owner. WBE Certification is gender-based, not race-based, so a woman of any race can apply.
More information about types of certification for women and minority-owned businesses

WHY?
Women business owners say that WBE Certification is important to them because it adds credibility to their company, as well as being part of their business development strategy. Certification that a business is owned by a woman is required if you wish to participate in programs which require utilization and tracking of woman-owned businesses. Having WBE Certification is the only way the purchasing agents have confidence that a business representing itself as woman-owned is in fact woman-owned. Most publicly held corporations, as well as larger private corporations, track and/or have programs for doing business with women business owners. Also, most local, state, and federal government purchasing agencies track and have programs for doing business with women-owned vendor companies. They, too, rely on WBE Certification.
More information about the benefits of getting WBE Certification through NWBOC.

HOW?
WBE Certification is obtained by applying for it and meeting the criteria. The application requirements include detailed information supplied by the business owner and copies of business documents. Once the application and supporting documentation is received, it is reviewed by the certifying entity. Final steps in the application process include a personal visit to the applicant's place of business. NWBOC has enlisted only the highest qualified, independent individuals to review your application and make site visits. In addition, all reviewers and site visitors have been thoroughly trained by NWBOC.
More information: Overview of the NWBOC application process

WHERE?
Your company can apply right here on this website for WBE Certification! NWBOC is the first national certifier for women business owners, and continues to provide the highest level of WBE Certification services.
Click herefor the WBE Certification application materials.