Diverse businesswomen working in office
diverse-businesswomen-networking-2021-09-02-06-03-16-utc
WBE Certification & Recertification

overview

WBENC certification is the most widely recognized and respected national certification in the U.S. for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs). Being certified as a woman-owned diverse supplier can open up opportunities previously inaccessible to your business.

In fact, the vast majority of Fortune 1000 corporations in the U.S. require WBENC certification before granting woman-owned businesses access to their supplier diversity programs. Being certified brings your business to corporate America’s attention.

WBEC Metro NY and Greater DMV, as a regional partner organization of WBENC, facilitates the certification process. Once you’re certified, WBEC Metro NY and Greater DMV works to ensure that your business reaps the benefits.

Certification Criteria

  1. Majority (at least 51%) ownership by one or more women
  2. Demonstrated female management
  3. Unrestricted female control of the business in legal documents and day-to-day operations
  4. A woman holding the highest defined title in the company’s legal documents
  5. Female contribution of capital and/or industry expertise
  6. Ability to operate independently from non-WBENC certified companies
  7. Status of U.S. Citizenship or Legal Resident Alien for woman owner(s) constituting majority ownership

Before You Apply

Payments can be made by credit card when submitting the application on WBENCLink or via check or money order payable to WBEC Metro NY and Greater DMV and mailed to the appropriate office. All new certification and recertification applications have a nonrefundable processing fee based on the company’s revenue according to the most recent available tax return or financial statements.

Fees
Revenue Category Nonrefundable Processing Fee
Under $1 million $350
$1 M < $5 M $500
$5 M < $10 M $750
$10 M < $50 M $1,000
$50 M+ $1,250

new certification process

WBEC Metro NY and Greater DMV maintain a stringent screening process under the guidelines of WBENC’s Standards and Procedures.

This ensures that all companies who are certified are legitimately majority owned, operated and controlled by women. All applicants are encouraged to review and understand WBENC’s Standards and Procedures before applying.

Application

  1. Review WBENC’s Standards and Procedures.
  2. Gather all required documentation.  All documentation must be uploaded in WBENCLink.  The document list is divided into two (2) sections:  Mandatory Documents and Required Documents. If a document is listed as “Mandatory”, you must upload the actual document. The only exception to this is for the W2 and/or 1099 requirement if you have been in business less than one year. Documents listed as “Required” that apply to the company must be uploaded or the Not Applicable box must be checked.  Failure to provide the necessary documentation required to ascertain the company’s eligibility is reason for denial.  The following documents must be provided as part of the application: Sworn Affidavit signed by the female owner and notarized by a third party, and the WBENCLink 2.0 Data Access Agreement signed by the female owner.
  3. Register at WBENCLink to start your online application.
  4. Ensure the application is filled out completely and accurately, as it will form the basis of your company’s searchable online profile once you’re certified.

Good to Know

  • Since the application window is 90 days, and gathering the required documents may be time-consuming, we advise that you gather and review all documentation prior to registering.
  • To make sure that you can receive emails from WBENCLink 2.0, add the following email addresses to your Address Book:
  • Your online application will be deleted from WBENCLink 2.0 after 90 days of non-use, so ensure you have access to all the documents you need for the certification process.

Submission

  1. Review your application carefully before submitting. Once you submit, you will not be able to make changes.
  2. Sign your application by selecting “Sign” at the bottom of the application, or by selecting the “Signature” tab at the top of the page.
  3. Pay the nonrefundable processing fee on the Submit tab. You may either opt to pay by credit card or by check.  If you opt to pay by credit card, you will be prompted to enter your credit card information.
  4. Please be sure to submit your application on the next page by selecting “SUBMIT APPLICATION.”
  5. You will receive an email notification from the database if any documents are missing or the Certification Review Committee requires additional information. Once we receive all of the required documentation, your file will await review by committee and a site visit.  The 90-day processing period starts from the day we receive your complete file.

Good to Know

  • All of your documents will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.
  • All documents are kept securely, and are only accessible by WBEC Metro NY and Greater DMV staff members.

Review

The Certification Committee will complete a thorough Documentation Review of your submitted application, ensuring your business meets WBENC’s criteria for certification.

You can be assured that every aspect of your application, along with all required supporting documentation, will be carefully considered. Once the committee has reviewed this information, it will make a preliminary recommendation based on WBENC Standards and Procedures. The WBEC Metro NY and Greater DMV Certification Committees are trained and confidential groups comprised of certified WBEs, Corporate Members and community advocates.

In the interest of fairness, certification committee members:

  • With conflicts of interest do not review applicant files
  • In a competing industry do not review applicant files

Good to Know

  • The review process takes approximately 90 days from receipt of your documentation and application fee.
  • WBEC Metro NY and Greater DMV will follow-up with you with any questions on your application during this 90-day period. Trust that they are working assiduously on your file and moving it through the process. If you are working towards a specific deadline for your certification, we recommend you start the process 120 days in advance of that deadline.
  • Your documents are treated with the utmost confidentiality.

Site Visit

Once the WBEC Metro NY and Greater DMV Certification Committee has completed its Documentation Review and made an initial recommendation, WBEC Metro NY and Greater DMV staff or members of the Certification Committee will schedule and conduct a Virtual Site Visit. The committee can recommend an in-person Site Visit at any time.

The purpose of the Site Visit is to ensure that the findings of the Documentation Review are substantiated by the way your business actually operates.

The next steps:

  • If the Virtual Site Visit corroborates the Documentation Review, a final recommendation is made.
  • If there is any conflicting information or observation, this information will be documented and resubmitted for review at the next Certification Committee meeting.

Good to Know

  • A minimum of 51% ownership made up of female owners must be present at the site visit.
  • If your business is home-based, the site visit is conducted at your home office.

Determination

Your business will either be granted or denied certification based on both the documentation and site visit within 90 days of receiving your complete file.
Once the Certification Committee has completed its visit to your business and met with the owner(s), the findings from the visit will be evaluated against the findings from the Documentation Review in order to make a final recommendation. Metro NY and Greater DMV WBEC will notify you via email when a determination has been made.

The objective, in gathering and reviewing this information, is to investigate and verify each applicant company’s compliance with the required Standards and Procedures. The integrity of WBENC certification depends on compliance with these guidelines.

I am certified. Now what?

Congratulations, and welcome! Your WBENC certification can have a major impact on the success of your business – but it all depends on your active participation. We’re here to help guide you. Get started by contacting us for the WBE Toolkit for your region:

What happens if I am denied?

Please note your application fees are non-refundable.

If your business is denied certification, you will have the opportunity to speak with a member of our staff to fully understand the denial and what you can do to address Committee’s concerns.

If you wish to appeal the decision, you can follow these steps:

  1. Submit appeals paperwork to WBEC Metro NY and Greater DMV within 30 days.
  2. The Appeals Committee will meet to review your appeal and make a recommendation.
  3. The denial will either be upheld or overturned, and you will be notified accordingly.
  4. More information on the appeals process can be found in WBENC’s Standards and Procedures.

recertification process

It is important to keep your WBENC certification current to avoid missing business opportunities.

WBENC certification is valid for a period of one year from the date of issue. 120 days prior to the certificate’s expiration date, the owner will receive an email containing recertification instructions from WBENC Link 2.0. Recertification takes up to 90 days to process from the date the file is deemed complete; therefore we recommend completing your application at least 90 days before your expiration date. Keeping WBENC certification current is the responsibility of the company owner. We cannot guarantee receipt of the auto-email. Therefore, we recommend that you mark your personal calendar to begin the recertification process. Failure to recertify in a timely manner could result in the expiration of your certified status

To recertify, you must submit a recertification application, along with a sworn WBENC affidavit and some additional documents such as tax returns and financials to validate that your business is continuing to operate in a manner consistent with the terms of certification.

Gather Documentation

Gather all required documents listed in the recertification email.

Recertification Form

Log into WBENCLink with your company’s user ID and password, and complete the recertification form.

Sign Affidavit

Have the company owner sign and notarize the Sworn Affidavit and sign the WBENCLink 2.0 Data Access Agreement.

Upload Documentation

All documentation must be uploaded in WBENCLink 2.0. The document list is divided into two (2) sections: Mandatory Documents and Required Documents. If a document is listed as “Mandatory”, you must upload the actual document. Documents listed as “Required” that apply to the company must be uploaded or the Not Applicable box must be checked.

Submit Fee

Submit the nonrefundable recertification processing fee via credit card on WBENCLink 2.0 or by check or money order payable to WBEC Metro NY and Greater DMV and mailed to the appropriate office.

Site Visit

Site visits are required for recertification every 3 years. If there has been a change to the company or the Certification Committee requests it, a site visit can be required at any time.

More information on recertification is available at WBENC.org.

Need Help?

Metro NY Certification Team

Phone: 646.668.5455

Greater DMV Certification Team

Phone: 202.996.6301