Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned Business (SWaM)
The Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned Business (SWaM) certification program is a state program of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The purpose is to enhance procurement opportunities for SWaM businesses participating in state-funded projects.
The time until the initial review for both SWaM initial applications and for recertifications is approximately 60 business days from the time that we received a completed SWaM application AND the required supporting documents.
- If you are a non-Virginia based business, you might not be eligible for participation in the Virginia Small, Women- and Minority-owned Business Program. Please review the “SBSD Certification Policy of Applications from Non-Virginia Based Businesses” before applying online for SWaM certification or recertification by clicking here.
- Non-Profits are not eligible for SWaM certification with the exception of Employment Services Organizations (ESO).
As a certified Small Business by the Department, your company might qualify to be a “Micro Business”. Micro Business is a certified Small Business under the SWaM Program and has no more than twenty-five (25) employees AND no more than $3 million in average annual revenue over the three-year period prior to their certification.
“Small business” means a business that is at least 51% independently owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens, and together with affiliates, has 250 or fewer employees, or average annual gross receipts of $10 million or less averaged over the previous three years. One or more of these individual owners shall control both the management and daily business operations of the small business.
“Women-owned business” means a business that is at least 51% owned by one or more women who are U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens, or in the case of a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity, at least 51% of the equity ownership interest is owned by one or more women who are citizens of the United States or legal resident aliens, and both the management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more women.
“Minority-owned business” means a business that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more minority individuals who are U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens, or in the case of a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity, at least 51 percent of the equity ownership interest in the corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity is owned by one or more minority individuals who are U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens, and both the management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more minority individuals, or any historically black college or university, regardless of the percentage ownership by minority individuals or, in the case of a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity, the equity ownership interest in the corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity.
Service Disabled Veterans
Veterans who are small business owners can obtain Service Disabled Veteran-owned “status” in the SWaM vendor database. This is not a separate certification; it is a designation of those businesses that are owned by Service Disabled Veterans who are certified as such by the Virginia Department of Veteran Services. Veterans wishing to apply for service disabled veteran status must first seek eligibility certification from the Department of Veteran Services by calling (804) 786-0286 or visiting the DVS website at https://www.DVS.Virginia.gov. Veterans can apply for small, women-owned or minority-owned certification with the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity before or after obtaining an eligibility certificate from DVS. Both services are available at no charge.
Apply for SWaM Certification or Recertify SWaM
Step by Step Tutorial of the SWaM Application Process
Clicking on a section in the Table of Contents in the .pdf on the above page will take you directly to whichever relevant section you need. Here are the headings for sections relevant to this page:
- Launch of the Application Portal
- Old Application System vs. New Application Portal
- Registering and Logging into the Application Portal
- I Need to Link to My Existing SWaM/DBE application
- I Need to Create a New Application for a Firm That Has Never Previously Applied for Certification
- Respond to a Document Request that Asks You to Upload the Requested Documents
- Applying for SWaM Certification
- Applying for SWaM Recertification
IMPORTANT: If you are certified as a DBE in Virginia by SBSD, you DO NOT use the SWaM process or required documents list on this page. The DBE certification process supersedes the SWaM certification process and you only need to submit DBE documents, with the addition of 941s, if applicable and/or the Virginia Department of Veteran Services Service-Disabled Veteran approval letter for owners making up at least 51% ownership and the persons who control the firm, if different than the majority owner(s).
You MUST keep your DBE certification up to date by submitting the DBE Annual submission documents found on the DBE page on time every year, prior to the anniversary date of your DBE/ACDBE certification, in order to ensure that your SWaM certification does not lapse.
Conversely, if you applied for DBE/ACDBE certification in the past and did not complete the process or were not approved, but are not applying or reapplying for it currently, you MUST deselect DBE and/or ACDBE in the application. If you do not, the application will be submitted as a DBE/ACDBE application instead of a SWaM application, which has different requirements than SWaM and will thus result in delays to your SWaM application, since it will need to be resubmitted.
Request an Additional SWaM Type or Make Changes to Your Application:
If you have applied for certification or recertification via the new Application Portal, and have therefore uploaded all of the Required Documents to the new system:
Then you may request new SWaM Types or Make Changes to your application by editing your application:
- Click the edit icon (pencil) on the green side of your business’ application in your Application Queue
- Select all of the Certification Types that you are applying for, or make changes to the application information and click Save
- Enter an update reason in the box that pops up (i.e., apply for additional SWaM Type, change contact information, change ownership information, etc.), Submit, then the Next button
- If any documents are needed on the Required Documents Upload page based on your change, upload each of the required documents and click Next
- Click Submit or Resubmit on the SWaM Affidavit page
If you have not applied for certification or recertification via the new Application Portal, and have therefore not uploaded all of the Required Documents to the new system:
At this time, you cannot make your request for new SWaM Types or make changes to your application via the new Application Portal, as it will require you to upload all required documents as if you were applying for certification or recertification.
- Request Micro Business Certification
- If your company is currently certified as a small business under the SWaM program, please visit https://certification-app.sbsd.virginia.gov to complete the Micro application process. If your company is not currently certified as a small business under the SWaM program or if your company’s small business certification will be expiring within the next 60 days, you must apply for SWaM certification/recertification and choose Micro as one of the designations.
- You must request new SWaM Types (other than Micro) by submitting:
- You must request changes to be made to your application by submitting:
- You can request contact information changes to be made to your application by submitting: