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NWBOC thanks you for your interest in WBE certification for women business owners. You have reached the NWBOC website; click here to go to our main page.

This page contains basic information about WBE Certification for women business owners.

What is WBE Certification?
WBE Certification stands for Woman Business Enterprise and denotes that a woman (or women) has majority ownership and control of a business entity. The NWBOC WBE Certification Program is not an endorsement of applicantís goods, services, pricing, or profitability.

Why is WBE Certification Important?
Obtaining WBE Certification is an important business development strategy for women business owners for two primary reasons:

First, most local and national government purchasing agencies track and/or have programs for doing business with women business owners. 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 and controlled.

Second, many publicly-held corporations, as well as larger private corporations, also track and have programs for doing business with women-owned vendor companies. They, too, rely on WBE Certification.

Currently, the 5% federal goal was established in 2000 with the Women's Equity in Contracting Act that gave the contracting office the ability to restrict competition for women-owned firms that have WBE Certification -- up to 5% of all contracts. The intent of this program is to encourage procurement officers to utilize women-owned firms at a higher level in both the number of firms awarded contracts and the dollar amounts awarded to them.

WBE Certification Criteria

  • Woman(en) must own and control at least 51.0% of the business
  • Woman owner must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Woman owner must serve as President or CEO (if both positions exist)
  • Woman owner must have ownership and officer position for at least six months
  • Woman owner must be active in daily management

Steps to Obtain WBE Certification

  1. Download the WBE Certification application from the NWBOC website: www.nwboc.org or order our Application Kit
  2. Complete the WBE Certification application and send with required documents to NWBOC
  3. Application is checked for completeness and forwarded to the NWBOC WBE Certification Committee for review
  4. Site visit to the business location is conducted by NWBOC
  5. NWBOC WBE Certification Committee reviews site visit materials
  6. Applying business is notified of certification or denial

Applications are reviewed by a WBE Certification Committee comprised of individuals who are knowledgeable about business, including attorneys, CPAs, bankers, and current and former business owners. All staff, Certification Committee members, and Site Visitors sign confidentiality agreements before reviewing applications and site visit reports. All are NWBOC-trained.

If you are a woman business owner and want to expand your business through private and public sector contracts, contact NWBOC today.