To become a certified women-owned business like American Moving & Installation Inc., one must go through the application and approval process from an official certification organization. One of the most widely known certifications is the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification, awarded by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Another subset of the WOSB called Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) can also be issued by the SBA.

The difference between the certifications largely comes down to the details of the contracts. Businesses are allowed to apply for both certifications, which are considered federal designations because the SBA is a federal agency. However, there are other types of certifications that are local such as The National Women’s Business Enterprise (NWBE) certification, which is accepted for a variety of private and municipal contracts. The right certification for your business depends on the type of contracts that you’re looking for that best align with and benefit your business. 

What Are the Criteria to Obtain a Women-Owned Business Certification?

The SBA sets standards for certified women-owned businesses regardless of whether they apply for a WOSB or not—meaning that all groups have similar qualifications criteria. However, although most of these certification groups have similar requirements, they each have their own application and approval process. In Massachusetts, the following requirements businesses meet to qualify for a women-owned certification are:

  • Company must qualify as a small business according to SBA standards
  • Women must control and own at least 51% of the business
  • The business must be owned by a woman who is a U.S. citizen 
  • A woman must fill the highest position in the company
  • Women must make daily and long-term strategic decisions for the business

A business must meet all the WOSB criteria listed above and the following criteria to apply for an EDWOSB in Massachusetts. 

  • 3-year income must average $350,000 per year or less
  • The fair market value of assets needs to be $6 million or less
  • Total new worth needs to be $750,000 or less

There are certain exclusions for net worth business and income average, but the fair market value of all assets is non-negotiable.

The criteria to qualify for the NWBE is similar to what’s listed above. However, this certification requires an on-site office visit. The certifier must be able to establish that women are making decisions that affect the long-term state of the business. 

How to Get a Woman-Owned Business Certification

Before getting started on the process of becoming certified, businesses can take a preliminary test to determine their eligibility. They can also check the SBA’s preparation checklist to ensure a business has everything they need before applying. From there, a business can decide which women-owned business certification they can apply for and which best fits their needs.

For instance, some businesses may want to work within different local chapters in their community rather than federal. If a business wants to choose the SBA’s women-owned small business federal contracting program, they can apply for their certification online. The SBA’s online program is free to use. However, businesses will still need to pay the required fees to receive their certification. 

Businesses that want to cover their bases before deciding on a program can call (800) 827-5722 or email answerdesk@SBA.gov. They can answer whatever questions a business may have and help them find the best program that benefits them. 

American Moving & Installation Inc., a 100% Certified Women-Owned Business in Boston and Cambridge

American Moving & Installation Inc. is proud to be the only certified 100% women-owned, union commercial moving and installation company in Massachusetts. Our commitment to diversity and workers rights ensures that our team of professional movers and installers have the support they need to execute any size move for businesses of any industry successfully. We are a one-stop-shop moving and installation company dedicated to seeing your business through the process from start to finish. 

Contact our office today at (781) 878-8000 or complete our contact form.