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Then you've come to the right place. Thank you for your interest in Woman Business Owner Certification for women business owners. You have reached the NWBOC website; click here to go to our main page.

Who is Eligible for Woman Business Owner Certification?
Any woman-owned business can apply for Woman Business Owner Certification if her 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 by multiple women.
  • Majority ownership 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.
  • Woman Business Owner Certification is gender-based, not race-based, so a woman of any race can apply.

How is ìownershipî established for Woman Business Owner Certification?
Ownership is established through the documents sent with your Woman Business Owner Certification application packet.

Depending on the legal organization of the applicant's business, one of the following will be required to obtain Woman Business Owner Certification:

  • At least 51.0% of each of the classes of voting stock and 51.0% of the aggregate of all stock outstanding determined by the percentage that would be distributed to the woman if the corporation was liquidated
  • At least 51.0% of the equity interests in a partnership
  • At least 51.0% of the membership interests in a limited liability company
  • 100% of the assets of a sole proprietorship

Should I apply for government or third-party certification?
If you are most interested in doing work in the private sector, particularly with large publicly traded companies who have a program for tracking women-owned companies as vendors, Woman Business Owner Certification will be helpful. You may apply to your state, or you may apply to NWBOC for Woman Business Owner Certification. NWBOC is called a third-party certifier, meaning they are not a city, state or government entity. One 'plus' in getting woman business owner certified through NWBOC is that you never have to turn over your company documents to a government entity, which is an issue that many woman say they have little trust in.

If you are only interested in being a vendor or supplier to any government entity, it is recommended that you contact each specific agency to obtain their requirements. Keep in mind that many times a small business enters the government arena as a subcontractor to a large corporation who has won a government contract. As a subcontracting vendor with Woman Business Owner Certification, the large corporation can count your participation toward their WBE utilization goals set by the government as part of their contract.

Once Iíve sent in the completed application, how long does the application review process take? With NWBOC, the Woman Business Owner Certification process takes about 2-3 months.