The US Small Business Administration has programs specifically designed to help women-owned businesses prepare their organizations to do business with the federal government. As a matter of fact, the federal government’s goal is to award at least 5% of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses each year. In this article, we’ll uncover some of the resources you can use to get your business qualified as a women-owned small business (WOSB).
Starting a Business
If you need help starting your business, Emerald Financial Partners has a Business Start-Up program that may be able to assist you with:
- Discovery – The discovery session will help validate the business idea and review the pre-requisites for launch.
- Business Plan – Help you create a documented success plan for your business.
- Structure - Determine which business entity (LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, Sole Proprietor, etc.) gives you the most benefit from both a liability and tax perspective.
- Set Up - We'll help you file for entity formation, register with the State, obtain a Federal Tax ID number and more!
- Accounting System - We'll help you choose the accounting system you need to understand how your business is running and prepare documents you need for fundraising or bank loans.
Once your business is up and running, you’ll need to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for women-owned small businesses (WOSB). According to the SBA.gov, “your business must:
- Be a small business, as defined by the Federal Government
- Be at least 51% owned and controlled by women who are U.S. citizens
- Have women manage day-to-day operations and also make long-term decisions”
Here are some of the steps you’ll need to take to get started with the Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) program.
- Set up a profile at the gov website.
- Get self-certified or third-party certified. You should use the SBA.gov website.
- You can self-certify by answering questions and uploading documents.
- Third-party certification can be provided by one of the following organizations:
- Once you’ve been certified, be sure to update your profile on Sam.gov. This shows contracting offers that your business is in the WOSB program.
- You’ll need to annually update your certification information to maintain your status in the program.
There are additional opportunities for economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB). We’ll review this more in a future article.
If you need help starting a women-owned business or preparing your business for federal contracting, contact Emerald Financial Partners. We are a woman-owned business and have 38 years of practical business experience to share with you!