When it comes to understanding VOSB (Veteran-owned Small Business) certification, questions surround what it is, how it works, how it helps, and how to apply it. This article will effectively answer all these questions and more:
- What is VOSB certification?
- Top VOSB certification benefits
- What are VOSB certification requirements?
- VOSB Certification Eligibility Checklist
- How to apply for a VOSB certification
- How long does it take to get VOSB certified?
What is VOSB or SDVOSB certification?
The SBA (Small Business Administration) and Department of Veterans Affairs jointly created the Veterans First Contracting Program intending to delegate 5+ percent of the total allotted government contracting amount. Companies in this program are known as businesses with a socio-economic certification status of VOSB.
The Federal Government and the VA award a large number of contract dollars to veterans every year by offering set-aside contracting opportunities. If your business is at least 51% owned and controlled by Veterans who are U.S. citizens, the VA creates numerous opportunities and benefits available with the VOSB certification.
The Veterans First Contracting Program, and obtaining your VOSB certification, are critical when it comes to streamlined access to government contracts. “The VA goals for the percentage of contracts awarded to small and Veteran-owned businesses are aggressive and aimed to maximize the use of the various Small Business Programs, as practical.” notes the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs.
Business counseling, procurement guidance, mentorship, training, and financial assistance are all available with VOSB certification through the VA and the SBA– along with other forms of technical and management support.
Businesses with a VOSB certification can expect benefits such as:
- A broader procurement pipelines
- Training and educational programs exclusive to VOSB.
- Networking opportunities.
- Connect directly with buyers looking to meet their 5% subcontracting federal goals.
- Access to leads for bids and proposals directly through the Department of Veteran Affairs.
What are VOSB/SDVOSB certification requirements?
Before looking into the qualifications necessary to attain the VOSB certification, let’s go over the requirements, which are intended to help support Veteran-Owned businesses to become successful:
To be eligible for the Veterans First Contracting Program, a business must:
- Be a small business according to SBA size standards
- Be at least 51% owned and controlled by Veteran who are U.S. citizens
- Have Veteran manage day-to-day operations and make long-term decisions
Veterans First Contracting Program Eligibility Qualifications:
Here is a quick checklist to see if you qualify for certification:
- Confirm your size standard as a small business
- Be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more Veteran who are U.S. citizens. Provide any ONE of the following documents for enough firm owners who are U.S. Citizens to demonstrate that the applicant firm is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by United States citizens:
- Birth Certificate
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Unexpired U.S. Passport
- Consular Report on Birth Abroad of a U.S Citizen (Form FS-240).
- Active registration in the System for Award Management for the firm, available at SAM.gov (Note: The firm’s DUNS number, EIN (Employer Identification Number), and MPIN must exactly match SAM (System for Award Management) registration
- Suppose the applicant(s) is subject to any conditions, executory agreements, voting trust, or other arrangements that cause or potentially cause ownership benefits to go to another person. In that case, the applicant should provide the following documents.
- Copy of the joint venture agreement, if applicable
- Copy of the written Agreement (an executory agreement, voting trust, or other arrangements), if applicable
- The 51 percent ownership may not be through another business entity or a trust (including an employee stock ownership plan) that is, in turn, owned and controlled by one or more Veteran or economically disadvantaged However, ownership by a trust, such as a living trust, may be treated as the functional equivalent of ownership by a Veteran or economically disadvantaged Veteran where the trust is revocable, and the Veteran is the grantor, the trustee, and the sole current beneficiary of the trust. If the ownership is not direct and/or 51% ownership held by the trust with the conditions above, we should provide the following documents:
- Direct Ownership document, if applicable
- Trust Document, if applicable
- Show strong character and the ability to meet contractual duties.
How to apply
Now that we know the benefits of gaining a VOSB certification, let us look at how to move forward from here. Prior to getting into how to process, a brief note of VOSB certification Cost: It is free, and you can apply DIY if you want. However, as we will indicate below, there are numerous benefits to working with us to receive your VOSB certification.
Regardless of how you proceed, it helps to understand the application process. Let’s go over how to obtain your VOSB certification on your own.
Step #1: Optional – Prepare Using the Eligibility Quiz below
The VA provides a tool that helps you self-evaluate eligibility: the Veteran-Owned Small Business Certification Eligibility Quiz. This is a self-assessment quiz to determine if you are eligible, as well as gain additional information on what a VOSB certification entails.
Step #2: Required –Start your VOSB verification through the VA CVE.
Create a Sam.gov profile here: SAM.gov.
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers many resources for Veteran owned businesses to help teach them to growtheir business and information regarding applying for the VOSB certification. The VA advises that you look over some of these resources to get general tips before applying for a VOSB certification.
Step #3. Required – Filling out the application online
The VA site to apply for VOSB certification: VOSB Certification
Step #4. Required – Maintaining Certification
Firms need to update their certification information with the Department of Veteran Affairs every 3 years to maintain their status with the VOSB Federal Contracting program. For a more detailed outline of the verification process, refer to the VA’s Reverification Process Fact Sheet.
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How long does it take to get certified?
Once your application is considered complete, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs should approve or deny it within 90 days.
100+ years of combined knowledge
WOSB certification could fuel your business’s growth – and expertise can be invaluable. If you are a women owned small business, gaining your WOSB certification could fuel your businesses growth and offer expertise that can be invaluable to your business.
At Select GCR, you are assigned a Government Procurement Adviser to help you navigate the Federal contracting maze. Our team has processed thousands of applications and maintains a 98% acceptance rate. Contact us today to discover how we can help your business.