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Veterans Business Development Programs

(reference FAR subpart 19.14)

Veteran and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business

To qualify as a VOSB, a business in concern must be at least 51% owned by one or more eligible veterans; or, in the case of any publicly-owned business, at least 51% of the stock is owned by one or more veterans, and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by such veterans.

The Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) in the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) provides the following services free to anyone who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released there from under conditions other than dishonorable:

  • Vendor Information Pages (VIP) – a veteran business database that lists businesses that are 51% or more owned by veterans or service-connected disabled veterans.  VIP averages over 4500 visits per month accounting for over 4100 vendor searches by federal agencies, prime contractors and private citizens.  This database is also the sole source for all inquiries for market research requested through CVE and VA.  VIP is located at http://www.vip.vetbiz.gov/.
  • Assistance Program Pages (APP) – an electronic clearinghouse that provides a wealth of resources for the veteran contemplating small business ownership and veteran small business owners considering expansion.  This database of professional business development organizations provides assistance in startup, financing, and procurement, in addition to other areas within your local community.  APP provides a one stop resource center for veterans interested in business ownership that can be found at http://app.vetbiz.gov/.
  • Business, Coaching, Networking, and Outreach – In-house experts help veteran business owners with specific business questions, brainstorming, and counseling.  For information, call toll free at 866-584-2344 or send an email to VACVE@va.gov.

Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses 

In 2003, Congress created a procurement program for small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans (commonly referred to as the "Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Procurement Program").  The purpose of the program is to provide federal contracting assistance to SDVOSBs.  

The SDVOSB program requires that federal contracting agencies establish and achieve a participation goal of 3% of the total value of all prime contract and sub-contract awards for each fiscal year for small businesses owned and controlled by veterans with service-connected disabilities.

There is no federal SDVOSB certification program.  The service disabled veteran business owner self represents his or her service-disabled status and small business status in the contract representations and certifications.

To be eligible for the SDVOSB program, a veteran must be able to produce one of the following stating that s/he has a service-connected disability in the event of a protest:

  • Adjudication letter from the Veterans Administration; or
  • Department of Defense Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

According to the Center for Veteran’s Enterprise, Defense Form 214 is needed to prove that the individual is honorably discharged and it also documents the type of service disability. The letter from VA is needed for confirmation that individual is eligible under the program and that there is a disability.  0% disability or above is eligible.  

To be seen as a SDVOSB, a small business concern must meet the following two conditions through a self-certification process:

  • At least 51% owned by one or more Service-Disabled Veterans or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock of which is owned by one or more Service-Disabled Veterans; and
  • Management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more Service-Disabled Veterans or, in the case of a veteran with a permanent and severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such a veteran.

More information on the SDVOSB Program can be found on the Veterans Affairs website at: http://www.vetbiz.gov/.  Also, FAR 19.14 provides details of the program at https://www.acquisition.gov/far/current/html/Subpart%2019_14.html .

Updated: Monday, December 22, 2014