Veteran-Owned Small Business Certification
Every year the federal government spends about $500 billion on contracts with the goal of spending 3% on Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) set-aside contracts. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a specific program called The Vets First Contracting Program. As an SDVOSB competing on federal contracts within the VA, priority is given even over other set-asides such as WOSB, VOSB, Disadvantaged, and HUBZone.
Although there isn’t a set-aside dollar amount, Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) certification also has benefits. These include access to resources offered by the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD), exclusive funding opportunities, entrepreneurship training programs, and registration in the Vendor Information Pages (VIP).
Understanding the Basics
VetBiz is the online web portal that hosts the Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database - the searchable list of businesses who can participate in the veteran-owned business set-aside program. The VetBiz is maintained by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
iRAPT – Invoice Receipt Acceptance Property Transfer
When you have a contract with the Department of Defense, this is the only way that you are able to submit your invoice. Before iRAPT, the DoD used WAFW.
VOSB - Veteran-Owned Small Business
A small business that is at least 51% owned by veterans. The management and daily operations of the business must be controlled by one or more veterans and the business must qualify as "small" for federal business size standard purposes.
SDVOSB - Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business
A Service-Disabled veteran is a veteran who has a disability rating issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs or disability determination from the Department of Defense. All SDVOSBs are also recognized as VOSBs.
Learn About the VOSB Certification Process Offered by USFCR
Watch this short video to learn about the USFCR set-aside qualification and certification process.
The federal government’s goal is to spend 3%, or approximately $40 billion, on SDVOSBs every year. There are many advantages when contracting with the federal government, especially if you qualify for a set-aside. In 2018, over $14 billion was awarded to VOSBs.
The federal government is a customer who:
- Always has work available.
- Is mandated to buy a portion from set-aside contracts.
- Has the funds to pay you.
- Spends more during a recession.
- Seeks to continue business relationships.
When a solicitation with a VOSB/SDVOSB designation gets posted, you will be the first in line. The only other bidders will be businesses with the same certification, but a lot of your competition is already excluded.
Before posting an opportunity, the government posts notices for market research (sources sought). In this phase, you can add yourself to the interested vendor list and the contracting officer may designate the set-aside for an eventual solicitation.
The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999 established the following criteria to get certified as a VOSB or SDVOSB:
- Be considered a small business under SBA standards.
- 51% of your business must be controlled by a veteran or service-disabled veteran.
- A veteran or service disabled veteran must be involved in managing day-to-day operations and making long-term decisions.
- For service-disabled veterans, their disability must be connected with their tenure in the military.
If your business meets this criteria, consider these technical requirements:
- Registration in the System for Award Management (SAM)
- Certification through the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA)
- DD Form 214 – Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty
Get Certified with USFCR
USFCR has worked with tens of thousands of businesses to get them properly registered in the federal marketplace. As a business owner, your time, attention, and resources are limited. Mistakes with federal registrations can cause delays and may result in fines. USFCR saves you time, money, and eliminates non-compliance risk.
The benefits USFCR’s (SD)VOSB certification:
- Registration in the System for Award Management (SAM).
- Dedicated Case Manager to manage the certification.
- Review of all supporting documentation.
- Addressing of common issues with compliance.
- Preparation and submission of application.
- Liaison with your application’s assigned SBA analyst for timely approval.
Length of Certification
A VOSB or SDVOSB certification takes about 90 days to process, but can vary due to changes in regulations. It will remain valid for up to 3 years. Your SAM registration, that is required to work with the government, will remain active for a year and must be renewed annually.