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Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program

Posted by Katherine L. Taylor, Attorney | Sep 11, 2011 | 0 Comments

The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program was created to allow equal access to federal contracts by women-owned small businesses (WOSBs), and to economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs). This program allows contracting agencies to set aside certain federal contracts for WOSBs and EDWOSBS. Businesses who want to participate in the program must register with the Business Partner Network. The business must have a Data Universal Numbering Systems (DUNS), which is provided by Dun & Bradstreet; a Tax Identification Number; and data on the business, including the number of employees and basic accounting.

A business must satisfy certain criteria to be eligible for the program. In addition to being within one of approved North American Industry Classification Systems codes (opens a spreadsheet), the business must meet certain ownership and control standards, set forth below:



WOSB EDWOSB
Ownership At least 51% unconditional and direct ownership by women At least 51% unconditional and direct ownership by women
Control At least 51% unconditional and direct control by women At least 51% unconditional and direct control by women
Size Small Small 
Operations A woman must manage day-to-day operations, make long term decisions for the business, hold the highest officer position, and work at the business full-time during working hours A woman must manage day-to-day operations, make long term decisions for the business, hold the highest officer position, and work at the business full-time during working hours
Economics No limit The woman in charge of operations must have a personal net worth of less than $750,000, with an AGI of less than $350,000 over the last three years prior to certification, and a FMV of all assets of less than $6,000,000.



A business can either self-certify, or be certified by one of four groups recognizd by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The four groups are the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the National Women Business Owners Corporation, The US Women's Chamber of Commerce, and the Women's Business Enterprise National Council.

The WOSB Federal Contracting Program is important to Howard County because of the proximity of Ft. Meade. Under the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC), Howard County expects Ft. Meade to gain 22,000 new jobs. Local businesses can benefit by participating in federal contracting opportunities associated with the base.

If you have any questions about how either the WOSB program or BRAC can benefit your business, please feel free to contact our office. 

About the Author

Katherine L. Taylor, Attorney

Katherine founded Taylor Legal after serving for 10 years as Senior Assistant County Solicitor for Howard County Government, and 7 years as a commercial litigator at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, a premier law firm in Baltimore, Maryland.

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