The New 8(m) Woman Owned Small Business Rule
What does the new law do?The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued a Final Rule to amend its regulations governing small business contracting procedures. This Final Rule amends part 127, entitled "The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Assistance Procedures," and implements procedures authorized by the Small Business Act (Pub. L. 85-536, as amended) to help ensure a level playing field on which Women-Owned Small Businesses can compete for Federal contracting opportunities.
How does a Woman Owned Small Business benefit from the Change?The Small Business Reauthorization Act of 2000, Public Law 106-554 was recently amended at Section 811 by adding a new section 8(m), 15 U.S.C. 637(m), authorizing Federal contracting officers to restrict competition to eligible Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) or Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSBs) for Federal contracts in certain industries. The purpose of this authority, referred to as the WOSB Program, is to enable contracting officers to identify and establish a sheltered market for competition among WOSBs or EDWOSBs for the provision of goods and services to the Federal Government.
How does a specific Woman Owned Business Qualify for the Program?To become certified as a woman owned business, businesses must show:
o All prospective members must provide clear and documented evidence that
at least 51% or more is women-owned, managed, and controlled.
o The business must be open for at least six months.
o The business owner must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien.
Evidence must indicate that:
o The contribution of capital and/or expertise by the woman business owner is
real and substantial and in proportion to the interest owned.
o The woman business owner must direct or cause the direction of
management, policy, fiscal, and operational matters.
o The woman business owner shall have the ability to perform in the area of
specialty or expertise without reliance on either the finances or resources of
a firm that is not owned by a woman.