WBE is a company level diversity certification that can be issued at the federal, state or local levels and requirements for application will vary dependent on the certificate issuer. Some governments require that a portion of its contracts be set aside for minority and women owned businesses; becoming certified as a WBE allows the organization to bid on these opportunities. Often, becoming certified also places the organization in a searchable database at the government’s site, potentially increasing the organization’s exposure.
To be eligible for a certification as a WBE, generally an organization must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a female U.S. citizen. There may be additional requirements dependent on who is issuing the certificate, for example some states do not require a woman-owned business to be a small business.
Certifications are usually issued by third party organizations. Generally, companies wishing to be certified need to complete an application and provide supporting documentation showing that a woman is in control of the business.