New Free SBA Certification Process Launching July 15 for Women-Owned Businesses

Starting on July 15, 2020, the certification process for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) and Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSBs) will begin to change as SBA implements Congress’ changes to the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program (WOSB Federal Contracting Program), as put forth in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). WOSB and EDWOSBs will need to take action and make some decisions.

The federal government has a goal to award at least 5% of all federal contracting dollars to WOSBs each year. To help meet this goal, agencies can set opportunities aside for certified WOSB/EDWOSBs who are in underrepresented industry codes. The Small Business Administration (SBA) maintains a list of these codes here. Is your industry on the list? If so, we recommend certification if you meet the eligibility requirements here. You will not be able to compete for set-aside WOSB solicitations without certification from the SBA or an approved third party.

Currently to certify as a WOSB, the firm can either self certify in SAM and then upload documents into an on-line SBA portal or pay an approved third-party certifier to certify them. The self-certification
process is going away (October 15th 2020) and will no longer be a valid option. Firms will need to either apply for certification through the SBA or through an approved 3rd party certifier.

Starting on July 15, 2020 the SBA will offer a certification process which is free through the website. Any documents previously uploaded to the portal through a self-certification
process will be removed on this date. To access documents uploaded to the portal, firms have between now and July 15th to download them to their own computers. These documents may be helpful if you
choose to get certified through the new method or through a third party certifier.

Read more about the changes on the SBA website.

Source: Small Business Administration