By Jacob W. Scott of Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP
Published June 24, 2020
Effective July 15, 2020, women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB) will be required to obtain certification of their WOSB/EDWOSB status to compete for certain federal contracts. Since 2015, WOSB/EDWOSBs have been allowed to self-certify their status to compete for sole source contracts and set-asides under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Procurement Program for Women-Owned Small Business Concerns (Program), as well as for multiple award contracts for pools reserved for WOSBs and EDWOSBs. The new final rule published by SBA will require WOSBs and EDWOSBs to obtain certification from SBA or through a third-party certifier to continue to seek contracts under the Program. Any WOSB/EDWOSB that chooses to continue self-certifying may continue to compete for federal contracts outside the Program, and those contracts can still be counted toward an agency’s WOSB contracting goals.
A WOSB/EDWOSB may apply for certification through SBA at no charge. Certification by an approved third-party certifier may be subject to a reasonable fee determined by the certifying entity. Any company owned and controlled by one or more women and that is a certified participant in the 8(a) Business Development Program will qualify as an EDWOSB.
SBA has also increased the threshold for individual net worth for the 8(a) Program to $750,000. Until now, an applicant’s individual net worth could not exceed $250,000 when applying for the 8(a) Program. Continued participation in the 8(a) Program requires that the individual’s net worth not exceed $750,000. In contrast, both entrance to and continued participation in the Procurement Program for Women-Owned Small Business Concerns sets the individual net worth threshold at $750,000. In order to make the requirements consistent across the programs, effective July 15, 2020, an applicant for the 8(a) program may have a net worth up to $750,000.
Jacob W. Scott is Of Counsel in Smith Currie’s Washington, D.C. office. In serving his extensive national client base, Jake practices government contract law and construction litigation, with a focus on federal construction law, where the intersection of his skill sets in litigation and contracts manifests. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.452.2140.