42 U.S. VETERANS MAGAZINE WWW.USVETERANSMAGAZINE.COM
VOBs & SUPPLIER DIVERSITY
more likely to be self-employed than non- veterans.
f you are a veteran who owns or is looking to own their own small business, one of the greatest steps you can take to business success is to become certified. The title of a veteran owned business enterprise (VOBE) and/or a service-disabled veteran owned business enterprise (SDVOBE) not only lets potential customers know that they're supporting a veteran owned business, but opens doors to
How to Become a Certified Veteran-Owned Business
more eligible veterans; or, in the case of any publicly- owned business, at least 51 percent of the stock is owned by one or more veterans, and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by such veterans. There is no certification program for VOSBs. 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 three percent 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 their 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 they have 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. To be seen as a SDVOSB, a small business concern must meet the following two conditions through a self- certification process: At least 51 percent owned by one or more service-disabled veterans or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51 percent 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.
How Do I Register My Business?
Most veterans certify their business through Vet Biz, a business certification organization led by the Department of Veteran of Affairs and the Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU). Depending on the type of business you run, your first steps may look a little different from other businesses. As a general rule, however, the process begins by submitting a collection of documents that prove your veteran and business statuses. Specifics for your business can be found upon beginning the certification process, but typically include: Business License Payroll Information Articles of Organization Resume Proof of Veteran Status Once the required documents are submitted, your next step will be to work with Vet Biz and the OSDBU for status updates and any questions you may have. They can be reached at [email protected] or by calling their help desk at (866) 584-2344.
What Other Benefits Does Certification Allow Me to Have?
When registering your VOSB, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides an abundance of benefits through their Vets First Certification Program. These include: The ability to do business with the Department of Veteran Affairs Priority when you bid on contracts for other federal or state government agencies Tax relief Better access to capital Support in finding VA procurements, contract awards and acquisition resources Resources, education and training to help you learn how to do business with the VA Help building business partnerships and connecting with the people who make decisions about procurement in government and large private sector firms Resources to guide you through every step of becoming an entrepreneur To learn more about and begin the certification process, visit vetbiz.va.gov.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, Vet Biz
resources and opportunities you wouldn't have access to otherwise such as funding, networking and collaboration opportunities. Here's how you can get your certification process started:
Does My Business Qualify?
To qualify as a veteran- owned small business (VOSB), a business must be at least 51 percent owned by one orPrevious Page