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Women Owned Business Definition

Supplier Power > Women Owned Business Definition

Women Owned Business Definition

Women Owned Business Definition

Women are not considered a minority or disadvantaged business owners in federal procurement unless they also fit the socially and economically disadvantaged criteria.

There ae two designations defined by the federal government. Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSBs)


The following groups are considered to be socially and Economically Disadvantaged:

  • Black Americans
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Native Americans (American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, or Native Hawaiians)
  • Asian-Pacific Americans
  • Subcontinent-Asian Americans

There are always exceptions, four of which are:

  • The Department of Transportation
  • The Dept. of Energy’s Superconducting Super Collider Project
  • NASA
  • The U.S. Agency for International Development (AID)


To qualify as a WOSB, a business must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet small business size standard for primary NAICS code and contract
  • At least 51% unconditionally and directly owned by women who are U.S. citizens*
  • The woman must manage the day-to-day operations
  • The woman must make the long-term decisions for the business
  • A woman must the hold highest officer position in the company
  • This woman must work at business full-time during normal working hours.
  • No minimum amount of time for the business to be operational

To Qualify as an EDWOSB, a business must meet all of the requirements for a WSOB, as well as the following requirements:


Personal net worth (assets minus liabilities) is less than $750,000 excluding:

  • Ownership in business and primary personal residence
  • Income reinvested or used to pay taxes of business
  • Funds reinvested in IRA or other retirement account*
  • Transferred assets within two years if to or on behalf of immediate family member for select purposes**

Adjusted gross income average over three years is $350,000 or less excluding:

  • Income reinvested or used to pay taxes of business

Fair market value of all assets is $6 million or less.


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Joe Flynn

Joe Flynn is the founder of Lavante Inc. a leading provider of Supplier Information Management Services for Fortune 500 Companies. Supplier Power is a personal blog designed to help small businesses understand the complexities and requirements that large corporations have.

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