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What is the WOSB and how is it different than the WBE?

The Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) certificate is an additional certificate specifically for businesses interested in federal government contracting. It qualifies you to work with the Small Business Administration’s WOSB program.


How can I get WOSB Certified?

As of summer 2020, the SBA is no longer allowing businesses to self-certify. There are now two ways to get WOSB certified:

1. Add on the WOSB to your WBE certification (this is the easier option!):

– Select “Yes” on question 1 of your WBE application or recertification to add on the WOSB
– Upload your active registration. You must be active in before becoming WOSB certified. There is no fee for signing up with
– Upload an additional piece of supporting documentation such as your quarterly tax return or list of employees.

2. Apply directly with the SBA:
– This option requires you filling out an additional application and uploading many of the same documents for the WBE application that will be processed by the SBA
– This option also requires that you be registered with


Is there an additional cost to add on the WOSB?



Can I get WOSB certified without the WBE?

We will only add on the WOSB certificate for those eligible for the WBE. If your WBE application is denied, we will not complete your WOSB certificate. You can choose to apply for WOSB directly with the SBA (see above).

Please also note that you cannot add on the WOSB mid-year. It must be added on at the time of submitting your certification or recertification application.


I forgot to add WOSB onto my WBE application. Can I add it on later?

No, once you have submitted your application we cannot retroactively add on the WOSB application this year. We recommend that for this year you apply directly with the SBA.

However, you can add it on next year on your WBE recertification by selecting “yes” on question 1 of your WBE application and uploading your supporting documents. is taking a long time to process my registration. Will this affect my WBE application?

No. While we recommend you register with well in advance of submitting your WBE application, we understand that sometimes can take awhile to get back to you. We process the WBE and WOSB certificates separately, so we will continue to process your WBE while you wait for to come through.


How long after receiving my WBE can I expect my WOSB?

As long as we have the necessary documents, including your registration, you can expect the WOSB certificate to come through in about 1-2 weeks after you’ve received your new WBE certificate.


I am currently WOSB certified through WBENC. Do the changes to self-certification and the new SBA certification process affect me?

No! Please continue to check yes on question 1 of your WBE recertification each year to request the WOSB and we will make sure your WOSB certificate stays in good standing. This is called third-party certification and will remain a perfectly valid way to obtain your WOSB certificate.