As a reminder, beginning on October 15, 2020, all women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs) pursuing WOSB/EDWOSB set-asides, as well as solicitations with pools reserved for WOSBs/EDWOSBs, must be certified as a WOSB/EDWOSB, either by SBA or a third-party certifier. The application for certification by SBA is free and may be completed at beta.certify.sba.gov. Beginning October 15, if you have not completed the certification application, this will impact your ability to bid on WOSB/EDWOSB set-aside contracts.
If you are already approved by a third-party certifier, SBA still requires that you create an account with beta.certify.sba.gov and upload your third-party certification to SBA so that SBA may complete its processing. Your recertification date will relate back to the most recent date of certification by the third-party certifier and must be completed every three years. Similarly, if you are an 8(a)-certified firm or CVE-certified firm and are owned and controlled by one or more women, you will still need to upload your most recent 8(a) annual review letter or CVE verification letter, as applicable. Additional SBA guidance regarding certification options can be found here.
Please note that SBA is cautioning that certify.SBA.gov will no longer support storage of documentation related to self-certification of WOSB status. All documents previously uploaded through certify.SBA.gov for self-certification will be available through March 31, 2021, and SBA is advising that companies download and maintain the documents in their own records.
If you have already submitted your application for certification but have not received a decision from SBA, you are permitted to bid on WOSB/EDWOSB set-aside contracts as long as you have not received a negative determination.
Should you have any questions as you prepare for WOSB/EDWOSB certification or regarding the application process, please contact Meghan Leemon, the author of this Client Alert, or a member of PilieroMazza’s Government Contracts Group.