If you are a woman business owner, whether the family business was passed down to you or you started a business on your own, you may be eligible for a women business enterprise certification from the WBENC, or Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. A women business enterprise certified business can reap the benefits of federal programs that require a certain amount of business to be allotted to those owned by females. You are also more likely to have initial access to clients based on a first-tier business protocol. You would probably like to know how to take advantage of all these benefits. Follow this guide on how to get women business enterprise certification.
WBENC Certification Benefits
In addition to the brief advantages mentioned above, there are further benefits to obtaining a women’s business certification. This certification provides access to form and informal opportunities to pursue business deals with National Corporate Members and WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprises, or WBE. It also grants you access to mentoring, education and capacity development programs, as well as scholarships. The certifying body also offers white papers and research development regarding crucial women business issues to members, which is quite a huge benefit. Now that you know most, but certainly not all, of the advantages afforded to businesses with a WBENC certification, keep reading below to learn how to get it.
Find Out If You Are Eligible
Before proceeding, you need to know if you meet the requirements necessary for certification. Firstly, you need to have majority control over your business. This means that you need to own at least 51% of the company. Depending on your industry, majority ownership can be difficult. Construction and crane rental companies will often have several owners with varying ownership. WBE certification agencies need to know that your business is primarily owned by a woman. Second, you need to make sure you have the highest position in your company. You also need to be involved in daily management activities. This is to ensure that your business is actually run by a woman as opposed to simply being owned by one. In addition, you need to be a U.S. citizen with at least 6 months of business experience. If you meet each of these requirements, you can move on to applying for women business enterprise certification.
Choose A Method Of Application
You have several options when applying for certification. Third-party certification companies like WBENC and NWBOC offer national certification. This is good for businesses that are looking to do business on a national scale. However, if you are primarily doing business with local entities like schools or hospitals, you might be better served applying through a state or city agency. Businesses looking to do contract work for government agencies need to concentrate on certification agencies that meet their requirements. Government agencies have very specific regulations. Therefore, you would need to obtain certification through them. Find out which method is preferable for you before moving on.
Complete The Application Process
Now, you are ready to send an application. Make sure you have all the necessary documents organized. Agencies like the WBENC have lists of all required documents on their website. Use this information and compile a binder of documents to send to the agency of your choice. If you would like, you can send a photocopy of the documents and keep the originals. Once they are sent, they go through a review committee. The committee consists of an attorney, a CPA and another business professional. This committee will review your application. In about 4 to 6 weeks, you will get a response. Unfortunately, there is no priority pass for this process. If the response is positive, you will have successfully gotten your women business enterprise certification.
After Becoming Certified
Getting certified is not the final step in this process. Your certification means nothing if you do not understand how to take advantage of it. Do plenty of research and find out how your WBE certification benefits your business. One of the best ways to start is to contact local agencies. Ask them to put your business on their mailing list. This will get the word out about your certification. Afterwards, you should access your certification database. They will likely have a wide range of resources on pursuing clients. They will also have valuable marketing tools. Make sure you understand what is available to you. This way, you will be able to take full advantage of your WBE certification.
Obtaining a women business enterprise certification can help your business in several ways. It gives you access to an assortment of business resources that help you generate leads and turn them into happy customers. It can also market your business through local agencies that put you on their mailing lists. If you are a woman with majority control over your company, you would benefit greatly from certification. Follow each step in this guide and you are sure to become successfully obtain your women business enterprise certification.
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