Selling to the US government can be a very competitive endeavor. Adding certifications to your SAM profile can often lead to an advantage. Government agencies will sometimes designate certain socio-economical businesses types or veteran status as a requirement for being awarded their contract, aka – Set Asides. This practice is in place to ensure that every size and shape of business has a chance to sell their products or services to the great U.S. of A!
Until recently, businesses have been able to self-certify (versus having a third party complete an official certification) for the following:
New regulation has created an official certification process for Women Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) that went into effect October 15, 2020. As a WOSB, this official certification will hence forth be required in order to qualify for the above mentioned set asides.
Lucky for WOSB, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is throwing their hat into the third party certification arena and will officially certify WOSB for free. A business may chose a different third party certifier, but please note that these may carry fees for their certifications. To see if your business qualifies for this certification, check out the SBA’s WOSB Preparation Checklist.
While a WOSB doesn’t guarantee government contracts it can qualify you for opportunities set aside for this group and does carry weight with some contracting officers within the buying system. When it comes to contracting, every advantage helps!
For WOSBs that are currently providing work under a set aside contract, don’t worry, your business can complete the contract without the official certification. You will however need the official certification for any set aside business you are pursuing moving forward. WOSBs that already have a third party certification will be required to obtain a re-certification, using the new guidelines, within 3 years of their last certification date. Again, this can be done at no charge through the SBA.
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