How to Become a Woman-Owned Certified Business

Women-owned businesses are self-certified.
Women-owned businesses are self-certified. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Woman-owned businesses can qualify for specific minority grants, loans and business building programs. These opportunities exist on local, state and national levels from government entities as well as private organizations and individuals. Women-owned businesses are not formally declared as such by the federal government or in the business licensing process however, and the only way to become certified as such is by registering in the federal contractors database and listing your business with local programs.

Register and license your business according to local, state and national laws. Business licensing laws vary by location and the type of business you operate, regardless of whether the business is owned by a woman.

Visit the government contractors database online (see Resources) and read through the instructions to add your business listing.

Add your company details to the contractors database, and select the self-certification option to declare the business is woman-owned.

Call or visit your local government's small business development office to determine if there are state registration databases your business can be added to, and ask if they have a local certification process for woman-owned businesses.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not intend to bid for government business contracts, there is no reason to go through the self-certification and listing process.

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