Certification FAQ's

The WBENC certification for women-owned businesses is one of the most widely recognized and respected certifications in the nation. Accepted by thousands of corporations within the country and a number of federal and government agencies, your WBENC certification will be an important marketing tool for expanding your company's visibility among decision makers in corporate supply chain diversity and procurement.
What is a WBE?
WBE (Women's Business Enterprise) is an independent business concern that is at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women who are U.S. citizens or Legal Resident Aliens; whose business formation and principal place of business are in the US or its territories; and whose management and daily operation is controlled by one or more of the women owners.
What exactly does it mean to be "certified as a WBE"?
Being certified as a WBE means that a business concern has gone through a rigorous and stringent certification process to confirm the business is owned, managed, and controlled by a woman or women.
What is WBENC and how is that different from my local/regional affiliate?
WBENC is the Women's Business Enterprise National Council and is comprised of 14 regional partner organizations. All of the partner organizations adhere to WBENC's stringent Standards and Procedures in their certification programs.
How does WBENC certification differ from others?
The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the nation's leading third-party certifier of women's business enterprises (WBEs) for the private sector. In partnership with women's business organizations throughout the United States, WBENC provides access to a national standard of certification and provides information on certified women's businesses to purchasing managers through its Internet database, WBENCLink. WBENC certification is recognized and accepted by the majority of the major corporations across the U.S.
Are there size or length of time in business requirements for certifiable companies?
There are no size or time requirements for WBENC certification.
What is the fee for certification?
Fees are determined by each regional partner organization based on the specific markets served. Please contact the Regional Partner Organization directly to determine applicable fees. This is a non-refundable processing fee, even if the applicant does not complete their paperwork or fails to be certified. To determine who your Regional Partner Organization is, please go to www.wbenc.org and select your state from the Regional Map under the Regional Partner Organization tab.
Is the fee reimbursed if I am not certified?
No, it is a non-refundable processing fee.
What is the processing time for certification?
The processing time is generally 60-90 days once all documentation has been received by the Regional Partner Organization.
What is involved in the certification process?
The certification process is as follows: A business entity submits an application, along with the necessary supporting documentation and non-refundable processing fee. Each Regional Partner Organization has a trained Certification Committee that meets on a monthly basis. Once the applicant's file is complete (meaning all documentation pertinent to the business and legal structure has been received), it will go to the Committee for review. An on-site visit is conducted, generally during the 30-day window between Committee meetings. At the meeting following the site visit, a final recommendation is made regarding the applicant's eligibility. If certification is granted, the company's assigned contract will receive an auto-email telling them that they have been certified and may now access their certificate online.  A formal letter will also be mailed.
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