You may not realize that “women-owned business” is more than a branding term: it is an official certification.

Fraser Communications, an award winning advertising agency founded by Renee Fraser, has gained widespread recognition in the business world for its status as one of Los Angeles top women-owned companies and the biggest women- owned advertising firm in the western united states.  Those descriptions seen straightforward, but many people may not realize that “women-owned business” is more than a branding term: it is an official certification.

The SBA defines a small business concern as one that is independently owned and operated, is organized for profit, and is not dominant in its field. Depending on the industry, size standard eligibility is based on the average number of employees for the preceding twelve months or on sales volume averaged over a three-year period.

Certification is a review process designed to ensure that a small business is actually owned, controlled, and operated by the applicants. Most certifications are granted for Minority or Women owned businesses, Small Disadvantaged Businesses, and Uunderutilized businesses. Certification agencies implement the processes for government and private sector entities and ensure that only firms that meet the eligibility criteria of the individual programs are properly certified.

To become certified as a woman owned business, businesses must show:

  • All prospective members must provide clear and documented evidence that at least 51% or more is women-owned, managed, and controlled.
  • The business must be open for at least six months.
  • The business owner must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien.

Evidence must indicate that:

  • The contribution of capital and/or expertise by the woman business owner is real and substantial and in proportion to the interest owned.
  • The woman business owner must direct or cause the direction of management, policy, fiscal, and operational matters.
  • 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.

There are many types of certifications available for Small Businesses.

Before you consider the time and expense of private certification identify potential clients and do some research to see whether that certification will provide a healthy return on your investment. There aren’t many small firms for which private certification makes sense. It’s usually those who have substantial staffs and can dedicate at least a quarter of one employees’ time to monitor the certification, keep it current, and market the company to large corporations who support woman-owned vendors.

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Until next time…Stay Empowered!



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