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WBE Certification Eligibility & Process

WBE Canada follows Certification Policy and Procedures to determine whether a business is eligible for WBE certification. Take time to review this policy prior to applying for certification. There are no exceptions to this Policy.

Criteria for WBE certification

Women Business Enterprises team

  1. The applicant must be a legally established for-profit business that is either headquartered and operates in Canada or it must be majority owned, managed and controlled by woman/women who are Canadian citizens or lawful permanent residents. 
  2. Women must have a minimum of 51% Ownership(1) of the Corporation or Limited Partnership as detailed in the Share Register. A Woman must own 100% in a Sole Proprietorship
  3. A woman must have day-to-day knowledge and authority of the Operations, Management and Control(2) of the business

(1) Ownership

  • Corporations – 51% means voting and the aggregate of all stock outstanding
  • Partnerships – 51% own and receive 51% of the profits and benefits
  • Limited Partnerships – 51% interest and 51% of the management and control amongst its members
  • Sole Proprietorship – 100% ownership
  • Franchise – 100% ownership **concern is given when there are policies that restrict control: ie. Termination without cause; lack of ownership of receivables; contracts are approved by the Franchisor; management decisions are made by the Franchisor; hiring and firing cannot be made independently by the Franchisee etc.

(2) Operations, Management and Control

  • All legal documents pertaining to the Applicant Company may not contain any provisions that place restrictions on the management/decision-making powers
  • There must be proven knowledge of day-to-day management responsibility, control and understanding of the business practices
  • A woman must hold the highest defined Officer Position

Is your company eligible?

Woman business owner distributionAn eligible company is an independent business that is at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, whose business formation and principal place of business are in Canada OR they are majority owned, managed and controlled by woman/women who are Canadian citizens or lawful permanent residents. 

Are you willing to share the details of your business, including financial records and company structure?

The certification process entails an audit of a number of documents in order to confirm the eligibility of your business. NOTE: All information and documents submitted by your business are kept completely confidential and you decide what information will be shared with our member corporations.

Are you clear that WBE certification is a marketing tool, and does not entitle your company to corporate contracts?

If your business becomes certified, you will need to invest time and energy into developing a marketing campaign that targets corporations and government agencies that need your product or service.

Certification as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) is about increasing your access to connections that could lead to contract opportunities. Once certified, WBE Canada will facilitate opportunities and events where you will meet procurement officers from our member corporations and others.

Your business details will appear on our membership database, which is searched by our corporate members as they seek new suppliers. Our activities and events also facilitate opportunities for you to meet with other certified WBEs. While you must still be competitive in price, quality and delivery, WBE Canada certification differentiates your business and promotes access to people and opportunities that may have been difficult for you to identify previously.

If you answered yes to the above questions, your business may be a good candidate for certification.


Application Process

The certification process is rigorous but the key steps are simple:

  1. CLICK TO APPLY (top right hand corner of our website) to be granted access to our secure online portal. Once registered, you will receive an email giving you login access to your application in our secure portal.
  2. Log in using your username/email and password provided to you by email. You will find helpful information and other guidance to assist you through the application process. Upon successful login, you will find your name at the top right-hand corner of the secure portal. Click on it to navigate to your application.
  3. The application asks for your business type (incorporation, partnership, sole proprietorship). Your application will be specific to the type. The application has draft save capabilities meaning you can complete as little or as much of the required information at any time and SAVE to come back later.
  4. Documentation – our application has the functionality to upload the required documents. Please upload as many as you wish which we will review in advance of your site visit (reducing our onsite time with you). Our preference is that you upload all of the required documentation so that we can focus on you and your business during the site visit. Documentation required to be made available by uploading into the application and/or made available during the site visit: Incorporated Companies | Partnerships | Sole Proprietorship. Once certification is confirmed, a confirmation package including a Certificate will be sent to you.
  5. REMIT the fee via our payment system as directed within the application using a credit card.
  6. When you have completed the application in full, click SUBMIT
  7. WBE Canada will then review your application and schedule a site visit to be conducted by one of our trained assessors. The assessor will review any outstanding company documentation, verify information in your application, and most importantly, get to know you and your business.
  8. Once certification is confirmed, a confirmation package including a Certificate will be sent to you.


  • The application should be completed by the sole owner, majority shareholder, or general partner of the company/partnership seeking certification, as applicable.
  • All information supplied to WBE Canada will be kept confidential and secure as per our Privacy Policy.
  • Once certified by WBE Canada, basic company information will be provided to the WBE Canada network of organizations seeking vendors and business partners.
  • WBE Canada reserves the right to ask questions in addition to those listed in the application, as may be required.

For more information, please email Jennifer Popowycz at


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