What is it?
Every year, the U.S. Federal Government allocates $500 billion for contracts. About 8% of these contracts are exclusively set aside for veteran-owned small businesses (VOSB) and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB). When opportunities designated to these set-asides are posted, you will get moved to the front of the line for bidding.
If you are a veteran business owner, registering in the Vendor Information Pages (VIP) is the best thing you can do if you plan to pursue government contracts.
VetBiz, CVE, VOSB, SDVOSB: What are they?
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 US Department of Veterans Affairs.
CVE - Center for Verification and Evaluation
The CVE verifies veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses to be included the Vendor Information Pages VetBiz Database. Evaluation is primarily based on the requirements found in Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 74.
VOSB - Veteran-Owned Small Business
A small business that is at least 51% owned by veterans. The management and daily operations of the 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 possesses a disability rating letter issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs or disability determination from the Department of Defense. All service-disabled veteran-owned small business are also recognized as veteran-owned small businesses
8% may sound small, but that leaves at least $40 billion going towards VOSB and SDVOSB every year. From just a business standpoint alone, there are many advantages when it comes to contracting with the federal government, especially if you qualify for a set-aside.
The federal government is a customer who:
- Always has work available.
- Has the funds to pay you.
- Spends more during a recession.
- Seeks to continue business relationships.
As mentioned before, when a solicitation with a VOSB/SDVOSB designation gets posted, you will get to be the first in line. The only other bidders will be businesses with the same certification, but a lot of your competition is already out of the way.
Also, before posting an opportunity, the government posts notices for market research (sources sought). In this phase, you can add yourself on the interested vendor list and the procurement officer might 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. This is to be determined by Veteran’s Affairs or the Department of Defense.
If your business fits this criteria, then you can move onto the 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
When it comes to punching in the numbers, you hire an accountant. When it comes to handling taxes or legal matters, you hire an attorney. The same philosophy applies to government contracting.
We’ve worked with thousands of businesses, getting them properly set-up in the federal market place. As a business owner, you already have a lot of responsibilities and obligations to meet. Making mistakes in this phase can bar you from opportunities that are perfect for your business. Don’t let these unnecessary delays keep you from this great asset. Time is money. Leave it to us to get the job done right.
Here is what USFCR’s VetBiz Registration will do for you:
- Submissions of Identify Verification
- Personal (Sole Proprietor)
- Corporate (LLC)
- License Application Filing
- Employment Verification and Classification
- Submission of VOSB/SDVOSB IRS Federal Tax Accreditation
- Copies of Past Contracts/Proposals
- Payroll Distribution Ledger Summary
- Income Tax Return Notice
- Filing and Documenting of the Services & Operating Agreement
- Legal Structure Agreement Completion
Length of Registration
A VOSB or SDVOSB certification takes about 90 days to process. Afterwards, it will remain valid for up to 3 years. As for your SAM registration, that will remain active for a year. The length of time that it takes to process the registration has varied greatly due to changes in regulations.