Women-Owned Businesses: How to get Certified
March is Women’s History Month, and in its honor, Coastal Community Bank wants to talk about how to certify your business as a women-owned business and how you can support an existing women-owned business.
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the United States. A WBENC certification can give your business a competitive edge, helping you connect with WBENC’s corporate partners, and access opportunities to grow your business. With a certification, you’ll be joining a community of like-minded professionals to champion the success of your business through mentorship and educational programming. WBENC provides its members with a list of supplier diversity and procurement contacts so you can further support women-owned businesses within your company.
So, how do you certify your business as a women-owned enterprise? WBENC offers two ways online:
- WBENC Certification: If your business is 51% or more owned and operated by women, you can apply for WBENC certification. WBENC certification is valid for two years and requires an annual renewal fee.
- WBENC Plus Certification: If your business is less than 51% owned and operated by women, you can apply for WBENC Plus certification. WBENC Plus certification is valid for one year and does not require an annual renewal fee.
To certify your business, you’ll need to complete the WBENC Certification Application and provide supporting documents, including:
- A copy of your business license or articles of incorporation
- A copy of your business tax return or W-2s for the past two years
- Proof of female ownership, such as a copy of your driver’s license or passport showing the business owner’s name
- A brief company history and overview
- A description of your products and services
If you’re looking to grow your business and want to certify as a women-owned enterprise, WBENC is an excellent option. The WBENC Certification Application is easy to complete, and the WBENC team is available to help you through the process. Get started today by visiting https://www.wbenc.org/certification/
If you don’t qualify as a women-owned business, you can still support and raise awareness in the following ways:
- Buy from women-owned businesses. If you don’t know where to start, the WBENC website has a directory of businesses at your disposal. You can view that resource here: https://www.womenownedlogo.com/buy-women-owned-directory.
- Look for the Certified Women-Owned logo if you’re on the go and don’t have time to read through the directory. When you spot the logo, it means that the business is certified through WBENC as at least 51 percent owned, operated, and controlled by a woman or women.
- Your business can become a WBENC corporate member or participate in sponsorship opportunities to enhance the already great programs taking place.
You can learn more about how to support by visiting https://www.wbenc.org/support/.
Happy Women’s History Month!