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Women-Owned Business Finance & Tax Tips

July 26, 2017

Updated August 09, 2022

According to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), in 2017 women-owned businesses accounted for 39% of all privately held firms, employed nearly 9 million people and generated $1.7 trillion in sales. And those numbers are growing. Here we discuss strategic moves and tax breaks to assist women entrepreneurs in building the business of their dreams.

What is a Woman-Owned Business?

The U.S. Small Business Administration defines a woman-owned business as at least 51% owned and controlled by women.

Women-Owned Business Certification

Certification can give you preference in some government contracts and when doing business with companies with vendor diversity policies. The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council provides assistance with certification. There are criteria your business must meet to be certified, most importantly being at least 51% owned by women.

Women-Owned Business Tax Credits

If you are looking to hire employees, tax credits are available. Consider hiring from populations such as former state or federal assistance recipients, ex-offenders or veterans. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit allows a credit against your business income tax up to 50% of wages when hiring from this pool. The maximum wages depend on the targeted group, with a range of $6,000 - $24,000 per annum. 

If you are looking to hire recent grads, you should consider offering benefits such as tele-commuting, flex time, retirement plan options and options for disability and life insurance. If you plan to offer health insurance, know that a Health Care Tax Credit may be available to help you offset your costs for your employees’ premiums.

Woman-Owned Business Financing

Financial loans and grants for qualified small, minority and women-owned businesses are available through the federal and state Small Business Administrations (SBA) and a network of SBA lenders. If your small business is engaged in scientific research and development (R&D), you may qualify for federal grants under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

If you are a woman-owned business and are looking to expand your enterprise or become more tax efficient, contact our experts.

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