We are Jena Eggert and April Langford, two women leaders who are co-founders of revcyclematch.com. Together with Josh Page, we wanted to reach out further and grow the company. And this is the story about our online marathon to raise our business to a higher level.
Our decision? We decided to go for SBA-Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification.
It seemed obvious to us that because we were two women and we owned a small business, getting certified should’ve been a no-brainer.
They say, “Nothing worth having comes easy.” That is certainly true for plowing through the marathon of SBA-WOSB certification.
But it sure was worth it.
We want to share our experience with you, so you can get certified easily, without pulling your hair out!
Why we wanted certification
Why should we, or you, care? Answer: SBA-WOSB certification is designed to enable women-owned small businesses to get easier access to the resources they need to grow and succeed. It lets them compete fairly for federal contracts and gain access to resources that are tailored to promoting women in business. Also, an SBA-WOSB certification unlocks opportunities for small businesses to invest in new areas and innovation.
Well, it was not going to be easy
When we started to look into the SBA-WOSB certification, it became clear that there were many hurdles and hoops to jump through. But we did it, and you can, too.
And if jumping through hurdles and hoops wasn’t enough, we were surprised by how little information there was to help other woman-owned small businesses become certified. We ended up going in a lot of circles, and we don’t want that to happen to you.
Before we start, here are three acronyms you should have down pat.
1. DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number. This is the number that verifies the physical location of your company/organization. It is linked to you through your EIN (Employer Identification Number).
2. SAM.gov (the System for Award Management) website. This is an official, free website of the U.S. government that lets you register to do business with the U.S. government, among other business-related tasks.
3. SBA (Small Business Association). We all know this one. You’ll need the SBA for grant approval.
1st Lap. Getting your DUNS number
NOTE: If you already have a DUNS number, skip this part and go to the 2nd Lap.
To create a new DUNS Number within the United States, you will need 2 pieces of information. You can select them from a list of documents on the DUNS website, for example, Employee Identification Number (EIN), Phone or Internet bill, etc. You will later submit the 2 supporting documents electronically.
A few points for clarification:
- The documents must match the Correct Legal Business Name at the Current Physical Address. (Do not include personal information such as Driver’s License, Passport, Social Security, Banking Statements, etc.).
- For Sole Proprietorship companies, ensure the documentation has Your Full Legal Name and Current Physical Address.
Let’s start with the DUNS number.
Click here to get DUNS number (You’ll have to make two more clicks to get to the actual starting page: Click on Federal Government Contractors or Grantees DUNS Number Support, then click on Create a New DUNS Number)
Now just follow the instructions, and you’ll be down & done with DUNS.
2nd Lap. Use the DUNS to create an account with SAM, and SAM will give you an MPIN
This is the most complicated and difficult lap because it involves answering questions that might be confusing and/or redundant. If you need a little reassurance along the way, there are pop-up- box hints that correspond to the section you are filling out. These hints will guide you through SAM’s maze of questions.
SAM is a one-step process on your end, with a few hidden steps on their end.
Your end: You’ll fill out their forms (questions about the company) and enter “submit.”
Their end: They will automatically send everything to the IRS to verify the tax part of the company (legitimacy and such). After the IRS approves your tax information, SAM will forward the information to CAGE to check if you already have an account with the Federal Government. After CAGE approves your account, it becomes “active.” Now SAM will assign you an MPIN (which is needed to create an account with the SBA).
For SAM.gov, you need to have 5 pieces of information:
1. Legal Business Name
2. Physical Address for your Entity
3. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
4. Taxpayer Name associated with your TIN. (If you need to find your official Taxpayer Name, you can review your tax documents from the IRS, such as a 1099 or W-2 form).
5. Bank routing number, bank account number, and the bank account type, i.e. checking or savings, in order to set up Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).
3rd Lap. Use DUNS, MPIN and TIN or EIN to create an account with SBA
You’ll be creating a username and password for an SBA account using the certify.SBA.gov website.
4th & Final Lap. The WOSB application is in your account. You have a few more steps to reach the finish line.
You can breathe a big sigh of relief. You’ve earned it.
You just have to answer about 25-30 no-sweat questions to cross the finish line. These questions will complete all of the appropriate forms for your company.
You’ve crossed the finish line! Congrats.
The end … and the wait
After we got across the finish line, the next step was to wait for the final approval. We waited almost 4 weeks before we finally became an “active” profile.
When we finally got approved, we felt like we had accomplished a huge feat. And we had!
We hope we’ve made your journey easier. Please share with us your successes, and if there are any hurdles we didn’t know about, let us know that, too. Reach us at [email protected].
Best of Luck,
Jena and April
* * * Our SINCERE thanks to Audrey D. for driving the process to help us obtain our
certification! We appreciate you! * * *
The following pages will give you answers to everything you wanted to know about SBA-WOSB certification (but were afraid to ask).
Qualifying individual(s) include all women claiming 51% ownership
Active registration in the System for Award Management for the firm, available at SAM.gov (Note: The firm’s DUNS number and EIN, and MPIN must exactly match SA registration)
Proof of U.S. citizenship (i.e., birth certificate, naturalization paper, or unexpired passport) forqualifying individual(s).
Joint Venture agreements if applicable
- Articles of Incorporation
- Copies of stock certificates (front and back)
- Stock Ledger
- Corporate Bylaws and any amendments
SBA-Women-Owned Small Businesses Certification Requirements
Is the qualifying individual(s) currently certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration as an 8(a) Business Development (BD) Program Participant and does this woman own at least 51% of the business?
Is the qualifying individual(s) certified as a WOSB or EDWOSB by an SBA-approved Third-Party Certifier?
Has an SBA-approved Third-Party Certifier declined WOSB or EDWOSB certification for the qualifying individual(s)?
Corporation & S-Corp
Do the corporation’s stock ledger and stock certificates show that the qualifying individual(s) own at least 51% of all outstanding stock?
Does the corporation have more than one class of voting stock?
Do the corporation’s stock ledger and stock certificates show that at least 51% of each class of voting stock is owned by the qualifying individual(s)?
Does the corporation have any unexercised stock options or similar agreements?
Do the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws show that the qualifying individual(s) control the Board of Directors?
Do the birth certificates, naturalization papers, or passports show the qualifying individual(s) are U.S. citizens?
Is the following statement true? The qualifying individual(s) is not subject to any conditions, executory agreements, voting trusts, or other arrangements that cause or potentially cause ownership benefits to go to another person.
Is the qualifying individual’s ownership direct; that is the ownership is not held through another business entity (including employee stock ownership plan) that is, in turn, owned and controlled by the qualifying individual(s)?
If the 51% ownership is held through a trust, is the trust revocable, and does it designate the qualifying individual(s) as the grantor, the trustee, and the sole current beneficiary?
Are the management and daily operations of the business controlled by the qualifying individual(s)?
Does the qualifying individual(s) hold the highest officer position in the business and does she have the managerial experience needed to run the business?
Does the qualifying individual(s) have ultimate managerial and supervisory control over those who possess the required licenses or technical expertise for the business?
The qualifying individual(s) herself may have the technical expertise or possess the required license for the business.
Does the qualifying individual(s) who holds the highest officer position manage the business on a full-time basis and devote full-time attention to the business during the normal working hours of similar businesses?
Is the qualifying individual(s) in control of long-term decision making and day-to-day operations?
Is the following statement true? The qualifying individual(s) has not received a decision from the SBA – in connection to an examination or protest – finding that the business does not qualify as a WOSB or an EDWOSB.
Other articles that will help you on your journey:
revcyclematch.com has re-imagined revenue cycle management partnerships with a new platform that makes tedious marketing and client acquisition practices obsolete. With the click of a button, our matching platform connects healthcare revenue cycle leaders to compatible vendors. This innovative method is the first of its kind, offering a simple, stress-free approach to building partnerships.
Our healthcare marketplace has something for everyone! Providers enroll, click, and anonymously evaluate subscribed vendors based on specific criteria. Vendors enroll, build their offering profile, and begin to receive “you’ve got a match” emails, which turn into a “hot leads.” Gone are the days of investing in cold calling. revcyclematch.com efficiently helps you find your match.
Let’s get to work, “Let’s make a match!”