Here in part 2 of our series on becoming a certified women-owned business we will talk about the application process.
After you have gathered the right documents (see part 1), you will need to submit those papers to the agency for review. If you are really on top of things you can organize the documents in a binder and include different tabs for the sections. This will help speed up the process because the agency will not have to dig through everything you have provided them. Make sure to follow the instructions the agency has given you as to avoid confusion and wasted time.
After you have sent everything in, your application goes up for review. A committee, usually comprised of an attorney, CPA, and other professionals, will look over your application. If anything is missing they will contact you. This part of the process usually takes 4-6 weeks.
Once they have confirmed that your paper application is complete, you need to be prepared for an in-person interview. Someone from the committee reviewing your application will conduct a site visit at your business. This allows them to see in-person how you run things and interact with customers. Don’t worry about changing your routine for the visit, they just want to see how things run on a normal, everyday basis. They meet with the owners to make sure that the business is truly, women-owned and then they fill out a report about their findings. The committee then meets for a final time to review everything and decide if your business qualifies for the certification.