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e-CFR data is current as of April 19, 2021

Title 13Chapter IPart 127 → Subpart B


Title 13: Business Credit and Assistance
PART 127—WOMEN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS FEDERAL CONTRACT PROGRAM


Subpart B—Eligibility Requirements To Qualify as an EDWOSB or WOSB


Contents
§127.200   What are the requirements a concern must meet to qualify as an EDWOSB or WOSB?
§127.201   What are the requirements for ownership of an EDWOSB and WOSB?
§127.202   What are the requirements for control of an EDWOSB or WOSB?
§127.203   What are the rules governing the requirement that economically disadvantaged women must own EDWOSBs?

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§127.200   What are the requirements a concern must meet to qualify as an EDWOSB or WOSB?

(a) Qualification as an EDWOSB. To qualify as an EDWOSB, a concern must be:

(1) A small business as defined in part 121 of this chapter for its primary industry classification; and

(2) Not less than 51 percent unconditionally and directly owned and controlled by one or more women who are United States citizens and are economically disadvantaged.

(b) Qualification as a WOSB. To qualify as a WOSB, a concern must be:

(1) A small business as defined in part 121 of this chapter; and

(2) Not less than 51 percent unconditionally and directly owned and controlled by one or more women who are United States citizens.

(c) WOSB and EDWOSB certifications. (1) A concern must be certified as a WOSB or EDWOSB pursuant to §127.300 in order to be awarded a WOSB or EDWOSB set-aside or sole-source contract.

(2) Other women-owned small business concerns that do not seek WOSB or EDWOSB set-aside or sole-source contracts may continue to self-certify their status, receive contract awards outside the Program, and count toward an agency's goal for awards to WOSBs.

(d) Suspension and debarment. In order to be eligible for WOSB and EDWOSB certification and to remain certified, the concern and any of its owners must not have an active exclusion in the System for Award Management at the time of application or recertification.

[75 FR 62282, Oct. 7, 2010, as amended at 85 FR 27660, May 11, 2020]

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§127.201   What are the requirements for ownership of an EDWOSB and WOSB?

(a) General. To qualify as an EDWOSB one or more economically disadvantaged women must unconditionally and directly own at least 51 percent of the concern. To qualify as a WOSB, one or more women must unconditionally and directly own at least 51 percent of the concern. Ownership will be determined without regard to community property laws.

(b) Requirement for unconditional ownership. To be considered unconditional, the ownership must not be subject to any conditions, executory agreements, voting trusts, or other arrangements that cause or potentially cause ownership benefits to go to another. The pledge or encumbrance of stock or other ownership interest as collateral, including seller-financed transactions, does not affect the unconditional nature of ownership if the terms follow normal commercial practices and the owner retains control absent violations of the terms.

(c) Requirement for direct ownership. To be considered direct, the qualifying women must own 51 percent of the concern directly. The 51 percent ownership may not be through another business entity or a trust (including employee stock ownership plan) that is, in turn, owned and controlled by one or more women or economically disadvantaged women. However, ownership by a trust, such as a living trust, may be treated as the functional equivalent of ownership by a woman or economically disadvantaged woman where the trust is revocable, and the woman is the grantor, the trustee, and the sole current beneficiary of the trust.

(d) Ownership of a partnership. In the case of a concern that is a partnership, at least 51 percent of each class of partnership interest must be unconditionally owned by one or more women or in the case of an EDWOSB, economically disadvantaged women. The ownership must be reflected in the concern's partnership agreement. For purposes of this requirement, general and limited partnership interests are considered different classes of partnership interest.

(e) Ownership of a limited liability company. In the case of a concern that is a limited liability company, at least 51 percent of each class of member interest must be unconditionally owned by one or more women or in the case of an EDWOSB, economically disadvantaged women.

(f) Ownership of a corporation. In the case of a concern that is a corporation, at least 51 percent of each class of voting stock outstanding and 51 percent of the aggregate of all stock outstanding must be unconditionally owned by one or more women, or in the case of an EDWOSB, economically disadvantaged women. In determining unconditional ownership of the concern, any unexercised stock options or similar agreements held by a woman will be disregarded. However, any unexercised stock option or other agreement, including the right to convert non-voting stock or debentures into voting stock, held by any other individual or entity will be treated as having been exercised.

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§127.202   What are the requirements for control of an EDWOSB or WOSB?

(a) General. To qualify as a WOSB, the management and daily business operations of the concern must be controlled by one or more women. To qualify as an EDWOSB, the management and daily business operations of the concern must be controlled by one or more women who are economically disadvantaged. Control by one or more women or economically disadvantaged women means that both the long-term decision making and the day-to-day management and administration of the business operations must be conducted by one or more women or economically disadvantaged women.

(b) Managerial position and experience. A woman, or in the case of an EDWOSB an economically disadvantaged woman, must hold the highest officer position in the concern and must have managerial experience of the extent and complexity needed to run the concern. The woman or economically disadvantaged woman manager need not have the technical expertise or possess the required license to be found to control the concern if she can demonstrate that she has ultimate managerial and supervisory control over those who possess the required licenses or technical expertise. However, if a man possesses the required license and has an equity interest in the concern, he may be found to control the concern.

(c) Limitation on outside employment. The woman or economically disadvantaged woman who holds the highest officer position of the concern must manage it on a full-time basis and devote full-time to the business concern during the normal working hours of business concerns in the same or similar line of business. The woman or economically disadvantaged woman who holds the highest officer position may not engage in outside employment that prevents her from devoting sufficient time and attention to the daily affairs of the concern to control its management and daily business operations.

(d) Control over a partnership. In the case of a partnership, one or more women, or in the case of an EDWOSB, economically disadvantaged women, must serve as general partners, with control over all partnership decisions.

(e) Control over a limited liability company. In the case of a limited liability company, one or more women, or in the case of an EDWOSB, economically disadvantaged women, must serve as management members, with control over all decisions of the limited liability company.

(f) Control over a corporation. One or more women, or in the case of an EDWOSB, economically disadvantaged women, must control the Board of Directors of the concern. Women or economically disadvantaged women are considered to control the Board of Directors when either:

(1) One or more women or economically disadvantaged women own at least 51 percent of all voting stock of the concern, are on the Board of Directors and have the percentage of voting stock necessary to overcome any super majority voting requirements; or

(2) Women or economically disadvantaged women comprise the majority of voting directors through actual numbers or, where permitted by state law, through weighted voting.

(g) Involvement in the concern by other individuals or entities. Men or other entities may be involved in the management of the concern and may be stockholders, partners or limited liability members of the concern. However, no males or other entity may exercise actual control or have the power to control the concern.

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§127.203   What are the rules governing the requirement that economically disadvantaged women must own EDWOSBs?

(a) General. To qualify as an EDWOSB, the concern must be at least 51 percent owned by one or more women who are economically disadvantaged. A woman is economically disadvantaged if she can demonstrate that her ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to others in the same or similar line of business. SBA does not take into consideration community property laws when determining economic disadvantage when the woman has no direct, individual or separate ownership interest in the property.

(b) Limitation on personal net worth. (1) In order to be considered economically disadvantaged, the woman's personal net worth must be less than $750,000, excluding her ownership interest in the concern and her equity interest in her primary personal residence.

(2) Income received from an EDWOSB that is an S corporation, LLC or partnership will be excluded from net worth where the EDWOSB provides documentary evidence demonstrating that the income was reinvested in the business concern or the distribution was solely for the purposes of paying taxes arising in the normal course of operations of the business concern. Losses from the S corporation, LLC or partnership, however, are losses to the EDWOSB only, not losses to the individual, and cannot be used to reduce an individual's net worth.

(3) Funds invested in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or other official retirement account will not be considered in determining an individual's net worth. In order to properly assess whether funds invested in a retirement account may be excluded from a woman's net worth, she must provide information about the terms and restrictions of the account to SBA and certify that the retirement account is legitimate.

(c) Factors to be considered. (1) General. The personal financial condition of the woman claiming economic disadvantage, including her personal income for the past three years (including bonuses, and the value of company stock given in lieu of cash), her personal net worth and the fair market value of all of her assets, whether encumbered or not, will be considered in determining whether she is economically disadvantaged.

(2) Spouse's financial situation. SBA may consider a spouse's financial situation in determining a woman's access to credit and capital. When married, an individual claiming economic disadvantage must submit separate financial information for her spouse, unless the individual and the spouse are legally separated. SBA will consider a spouse's financial situation in determining an individual's access to credit and capital where the spouse has a role in the business (e.g., an officer, employee or director) or has lent money to, provided credit or financial support to, or guaranteed a loan of the business. SBA may also consider the spouse's financial condition if the spouse's business is in the same or similar line of business as the EDWOSB or WOSB and the spouse's business and WOSB share similar names, Web sites, equipment or employees. In addition, all transfers to a spouse within two years of a certification will be attributed to a woman claiming economic disadvantage as set forth in paragraph (d) of this section.

(3) Income.

(i) When considering a woman's personal income, if the adjusted gross yearly income averaged over the three years preceding the certification exceeds $350,000, SBA will presume that she is not economically disadvantaged. The presumption may be rebutted by a showing that this income level was unusual and not likely to occur in the future, that losses commensurate with and directly related to the earnings were suffered, or by evidence that the income is not indicative of lack of economic disadvantage.

(ii) Income received by an EDWOSB that is an S corporation, LLC, or partnership will be excluded from an individual's income where the EDWOSB provides documentary evidence demonstrating that the income was reinvested in the EDWOSB or the distribution was solely for the purposes of paying taxes arising in the normal course of operations of the business concern. Losses from the S corporation, LLC or partnership, however, are losses to the EDWOSB only, not losses to the individual, and cannot be used to reduce a woman's personal income.

(4) Fair market value of all assets. A woman will generally not be considered economically disadvantaged if the fair market value of all her assets (including her primary residence and the value of the business concern) exceeds $6 million. The only assets excluded from this determination are funds excluded under paragraph (b)(3) of this section as being invested in a qualified IRA account or other official retirement account.

(d) Transfers within two years. Assets that a woman claiming economic disadvantage transferred within two years of the date of the concern's certification will be attributed to the woman claiming economic disadvantage if the assets were transferred to an immediate family member, or to a trust that has as a beneficiary an immediate family member. The transferred assets within the two-year period will not be attributed to the woman if the transfer was:

(1) To or on behalf of an immediate family member for that individual's education, medical expenses, or some other form of essential support; or

(2) To an immediate family member in recognition of a special occasion, such as a birthday, graduation, anniversary, or retirement.

[75 FR 62282, Oct. 7, 2010, as amended at 85 FR 27660, May 11, 2020]

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