Resource Details

Business, Start-Up & Entrepreneur

Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) Program

In 2006, the Wisconsin Legislature enacted a woman-owned business bill that requires the Department of Administration “to develop, maintain, and keep a computer database of businesses in the state that are owned by women." ​​According to the Act, firms wishing to participate in the program must be certified by the Wisconsin Department of Administration. Businesses, who are certified as WBE, are at least 51% owned, controlled, and actively managed by a woman or women and serve a useful business function.


Eligible businesses:
1) Must be at least 51% owned, controlled, and actively managed by one or more women
2) Must be organized as either sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC or joint ventures
3) Must be organized on a for profit basis; therefore, nonprofit and 501(c)(3) businesses are not​ eli​gible for WBE certification
4) Must be currently performing a ​useful ​business function, i.e. have customers other than the State of Wisconsin
5) Must have at least one customer in the State of Wisconsin
6) Be formed, or have had its ownership or control changed, 1+ years prior to the application for certification
7) Trust ownership as the majority ownership of a WBE must have a woman or women​ as the owner, beneficiary, and trustee of the trust
8) For businesses who are a subsidiary or affiliate, the parent company must be at least 51% owned by a woman owner or owners

There is a $150 fee for new ​WBE Certification Applications.

Top Benefits

  • Certified businesses are listed in the State's Certified Business Database, which allows firms a broader reach to individual, corporate, and organizational consumers

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