FAQs

Please click on the questions below to view answers.

Certification Questions
How long does the process take?

The process can take up to 90 days once we receive a complete file. In that time frame, your file will be reviewed by the Certification Committee, a member of which may conduct a site visit. Please note, the 90-day time frame begins from the date of a completed application. Incomplete applications can delay the certification process. To avoid lapses in certification, certified WBEs are alerted 120 days before their certification expires to complete their recertification application.

How long is a company’s certification valid?
The certification lasts for one year from the date of issue. WBEs that wish to remain certified must recertify each year. WBEs are encouraged to begin the recertification process 120 days prior to the expiration date.
I am certified by another entity. Why should I get this certification?
WBENC provides the most widely recognized and respected certification in the United States for WBEs. Through WPEO, a partner organization of WBENC, your business can apply for a certification that is accepted by over 800 major corporations, non-profit organizations, as well as many local, state and Federal government agencies. This certification is an important marketing tool for expanding your company’s visibility among and access to decision makers in supplier diversity and procurement offices. Many corporations require that you be WBENC certified before providing access to their supplier diversity programs. WBENC certified WBEs also gain access to over 11,000 other WBENC-certified WBEs in order to purchase products or services and partner on joint venture opportunities.
What is the fee for certification?

Payments can be made by credit card when submitting the application on WBENCLink or via check or money order payable to WPEO 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

$5M< $10 M

$625

$10M< $50M

$750

$50M+

$875

Are there requirements based on business size or length of time in business to be certifiable?
There are no requirements regarding business size or length of time in business.
Who makes the final decision that grants or denies certification?
The Certification Committee makes the initial decision that grants or denies certification. If an applicant is denied, it has the option to go through the appeals process.
Documentation Questions
Why do I have to supply my company’s financial information?
Financial documents provide evidence that the applicant is conducting the business as described in the application. Documents such as the balance sheet and tax returns are used collectively to verify ownership, management and control by women. Please note that the certification process does not evaluate the company’s profitability or financial viability.
What if I don’t have a document that is required?

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 or a written statement detailing the reason(s) it is being omitted and/or not applicable to the company.  Documents listed as “Required” that apply to the company must be uploaded or the Not Applicable box must be checked.

What documents are considered as acceptable proof of gender and citizenship?
Acceptable documents to verify citizenship include a birth certificate or passport. We accept driver’s licenses as proof of gender. Please note, the female owner must either be a U.S. Citizen or a Permanent Resident, which can be verified by providing a copy of a green card.
Who will see the paperwork and documents I submit?
The WPEO has Certification Review Committees who have been trained in WBENC’s Standards & Procedures. Upon signing a Confidentiality Agreement, committee members without conflicts of interest can review the information and vote on each applicant’s qualifications for certification.
How am I assured of the confidentiality of my documents once I send them?
The WPEO takes your privacy and the confidentiality of your information very seriously. All submitted documents are treated with the utmost confidentiality. All files are kept under lock and key. Only WPEO staff members have access to these files. During the Certification Review Committee meetings, the file is presented and reviewed by the committee. Any member(s) in a competitive industry cannot have access to the file, nor are they present during discussion of your application. Additionally, staff and committee members sign Confidentiality Disclosure statements agreeing to keep all information confidential and proprietary with the understanding that any disclosure could cause harm to the applicant.
Other Questions
How do I download my company’s certificate?

To obtain your WBENC Women’s Business Enteprise (WBE) Certificate, please follow the instructions below:
1. Go to https://www.wbenclink.org
2. Log into your account with your username and password.
3. On the left navigation menu, click View>>My Certifications.
4. Under the “Current Certifications” section, click on “View” next to the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certification.
5. Click “View as PDF) at the bottom of the page under the “Letters & Certificates” section.

What is a site visit?
Once the Documentation Review is completed and an initial recommendation has been made, a site visit is conducted at the principal place of business with women owner(s) that make up at least 51% of the overall business ownership. If it is a home-based business, the site visit is conducted at the home office. Site visits are mandatory for 100% of new applications. After the initial site visit, follow-up site visits are conducted on the third recertification application and then once every 4 years. However, site visits can be requested by the Certification Committee at any time.
How do I get the WBENC logo?

Log in to your WBENCLink profile at www.wbenclink.org. Select “Media and Brand Guidelines” under the Certification Center on your homepage dashboard.

How do I get more involved with the WPEO?

There are many ways to get involved, including sponsorship; Corporate Membership; and participation in the Certification Committee, Steering Committee, Awards Committee and site visits. WPEO also encourages all WBEs and WBE advocates to attend WPEO programs held monthly.Find out more about getting involved

For More Information

NY Office

Email NY
Phone. 212.688.4114

DC Office

Email DC
Phone. 202.595.2628