If you are a woman business owner, you might want to consider getting certified as a woman owned business. The certification, which confirms that your business is 51% owned by a woman, will give your business a boost when you engage in government contracting process, including bidding on state government contracts, and even some local corporate contracts.
You don’t have to pay to get information on how to become certified as a woman owned business. Contact the following organizations regarding the procedures and benefits of being certified as a woman-owned business (however, some agencies such as WBENC which is one organization that provides national certification charges $300 for application).
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 950 Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 872-5515 Fax: (202) 872-5505
National Association of Women Business Owners Corp.
1411 K Street, NW, Suite 1300 Washington, DC 20005-3407
Phone: (202) 347-8686 Fax: (202) 347-4130
There are also women’s business ownership representatives in Small Business Administration (SBA) district offices. To locate the nearest WBOR, call the SBA Answer Desk at 1-800-827-5722. Or check this PDF file for a state by state listing of WBOIR
Another good organization to contact is SBA’s Online Women’s Business Center at http://www.onlinewbc.gov
Note though that getting certified as a woman-owned business can take anywhere from 4-6 months and will require tons of paperwork (even interviews and site visits!) to ascertain that your business indeed is a woman-owned business. The application is cumbersome, and some of the items you need to present include: financial statements prepared by an accountant, copies of all equipment rental and purchase agreements, copies of all real estate leases, copy of bank signature authorization card, and payroll for the prior month (including compensation for owners and officers).