Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) is a company level diversity certification based on requirements defined by the Small Business Association (SBA). The purpose of the WOSB program is to ensure that woman owned small businesses have equal opportunity to federal contracting. Requirements for WOSB may differ from other Woman-Owned certifications such as WBE. The WOSB program limits certified organizations to specific NAICS codes whereas the WBE usually does not. Additionally, some WBE certified companies have no requirements on size whereas WOSB requires that the company meets the size standard as defined by the SBA.
To be eligible for the SBA’s WOSB program, a company must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a female U.S. citizen. There may be additional or lesser requirements dependent on whether the organization is being certified to the national or local level, for example some states do not require a woman-owned business to be a small business, where the federal SBA does.
Certifications may be issued by third party organizations or through self certification. In both cases, an organization generally needs to complete an application and provide supporting documentation.