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