SBA’s Final Rule on Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program

By: Christine V. Williams on 09/15/2015

A final rule has been released by the Small Business Administration regarding women-owned small businesses. This rule is effective October 14, 2015.

  • The rule makes changes to the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) program to implement the changes from the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015.
  • It allows sole source awards to WOSBs or Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSB) in “appropriate circumstances.”
  • Since this applies to individually owned businesses, the sole source award tops out at $6.5M or less for manufacturing and $4M for or less for all other contractors.
  • The SBA is setting up a process for certification and that process will go through the regular rule make procedures.  Currently, some firms may self-certify and there are third party certifiers listed on the SBA’s website.

Practice Pointer
:  If the new regulations include similarly situated entities counting toward mandatory self-performance, and the contract awarded to the prime is small business, it would make sense that a woman-owned small business would count towards that mandatory self-performance as a similarly situated entity on a small business set aside contract.