Women-Owned Business State Certification

Learn how you can certify your business to enhance your credibility and access contracting opportunities. NDWBC’s certification makes it fast and simple to get started.

Women business owners can capitalize on their status as a Certified Women-Owned Business to expand their reach, gain recognition, and access contracting prospects to take their business to the next level. The North Dakota Women’s Business Center evaluates and certifies women-owned businesses at the state level.

Why should you certify?

Opportunities

Visibility

Credibility

Connections

5 reasons

Check out this blog post for 5 Reasons to Certify Your Women-Owned Business

Certified Businesses

Look through our list of women-owned state certified businesses

Have a Question?

Check out our FAQ section

Three Simple Steps

1. Fill Out Application

2. Attach Letters of Support

3. Submit Certification Fee

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out our frequently asked questions or contact us at [email protected] to learn more.

Who qualifies for the Women-Owned Business Certification?

Any women-owned business can apply for the state certification if the company meets the majority ownership criteria, controls the business, and conducts business in the state of North Dakota. Majority ownership means at least 51% of the business is owned by a woman or women. This is established through the legal paperwork associated with the business as well as the concept of control of the business. A woman has control of the business if she is the final decision maker for all aspects of the business – financial, production, contracting, etc. – or she has delegated that authority to an employee manager or another partial owner. Other key aspects we look for when determining who the majority owner is includes who holds the highest title and who receives the largest paycheck from the business. 

What are the benefits to certifying my women-owned business?

Women-business owners say that WOB Certification is important to them because it adds credibility to their company, as well as being part of their business development strategy. In addition to NDWBC’s 5 Reasons To Certify Your Woman-Owned Business, benefits of certifying include:
  • Directory Listing on NDWBC website;
  • Official ND Women-Owned Business Certificate to display at your business;
  • Official ND Women-Owned logo for use on website, social media, and printed marketing materials;
  • Increased visibility for government procurement and private contracting;
  • Opportunities to tell your business story – complete your annual social media spotlight here;
  • Opportunities for discounts to NDWBC programming and events;
  • Access to the NDWBC newsletters and updates, tools, and resources;
  • Opportunity to contribute to the Annual Women In Business Survey;
  • Opportunity for an award recommendation letter written on your behalf.

How do I certify as women-owned?

The application includes details supplied by the business owner/s and one letter of support from a business reference (examples may include but are not limited to a banker, lawyer, accountant, etc.)

Once the application and supporting documentation are received, it is reviewed for approval. There is a non-refundable $225 application fee required at the time of application. After submitting your application, you will be directed to pay the application fee via our online payment portal. Payment is required before your application can be processed.

The certificate is only valid for one year. You will be required to renew your certificate annually to continue to receive WOB benefits. There is a non-refundable $225 application renewal fee that will need to be paid before your renewal application is processed.
If you have any questions, please call 701-223-0707 or email [email protected].

How much does it cost to certify?

A $225 application fee is required at the time of application submission for first-time applicants and certification renewals. Payment is required before your application can be processed. The certificate is only valid for one year.

Does my business have to be located in ND to certify?

A business does not have to be headquartered in North Dakota or bordering cities to be North Dakota-certified. However, businesses should be conducting business in North Dakota with the certification.

How long will it take to process my application?

If you are interested in applying, click the button below. Certification typically takes 2-3 weeks. If you have any questions, please call 701-223-0707 or email [email protected].

What are Letters of Support?

NDWBC requires a letter of support before certifying a business as women-owned. The letter must be a written document that provides a reference’s support for the applicant. It should demonstrate the credibility of your reference by explaining your relationship. This letter of support is intended to verify your business is at least 51% women-owned and must include the following information:
  1. Business references relationship to the applicant
  2. Confirmation of at least 51% women-owned
  3. Confirmation of applicant’s involvement of the businesses day-to-day operations. A letter may be submitted from your BAIL (banker, accountant, insurance, legal) team, other business owners, or another reliable business source may be accepted. Click here for an example.

Samples Letters Of Support

Need to renew your certification?

All certification renewals will be sent to the email address that you certified with. If you are having trouble finding your email, request another renewal link by [email protected].

To be a part of the women-owned business community and having our NDWBC certification has provided great resources for education and opportunities for growth and learning as well as connection with other women owners that we may not otherwise have.

CharRae Chwialkowski, Kim Dean, & Amy Hannaher-Overby

Certified Women-Owned Business, Connect Interiors

I am very proud to be a 100% women-owned business. Each and every woman has gifts and talents that need to be shared with the world. We are all powerful in our own way. I am proud to be a resilient, powerful, and bold business owner.

Wendy Allen

Certified Women-Owned Business, The Preferred Savings Guide

The ND Women Owned Business Certification paved the way for my success. Having the ND Women-Owned Business Certification has helped open doors for exposure and marketing tools. I am proud to be a 100% Women-Owned Business in North Dakota.

Tanya Lee

Certified Women-Owned Business, Tanya Lee, LCC