The Complete SDVOSB Certification Guide
SDVOSB Guide Includes:
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Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) must be officially registered and verified by the Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE), a division within the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The CVE calls this SDVOSB process a “verification” or a “registration,” but most people on the street use the more common general term “certification,” which is why we use the word “certification” on this website.
If you speak with a government official, however, please refer to the SDVOSB process as a “registration” and “verification” process to avoid confusion.
Regardless of what you call the process, you can only refer to your company as a “SDVOSB” for the purposes of VA contracting after you are formally approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE).
Other federal agencies may accept self certifications from Veterans but having the CVE verify and register your company as a SDVOSB will let federal procurement personnel in all federal agencies know that your SDVOSB has been vetted and approved by the federal government. This can be a significant factor when Veteran owned businesses compete with one another for federal contracts.
Simply declaring your company to be a “SDVOSB” on your website and/or in your marketing literature is not sufficient for VA contracting purposes, risks reversing your federal contract awards, and might place you and your company at risk of being accused of fraud by the government, thus it is important to formally register your SDVOSB with the VA. In addition, you cannot use the official VA SDVOSB logo on your website or letterhead unless you are registered by the CVE.
Although you do not receive a paper SDVOSB certificate from the VA to hang on your wall, the registration process and approval letter from the CVE will certify that your SDVOSB is formally approved by the federal government for federal contracting purposes.
PLEASE NOTE: Federal SDVOSB status does not automatically cascade down to the state level, so be sure to check with your state of formation if you want state-level SDVOSB status too.
According to the United States Code of Federal Regulations, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) is formally defined thus:
"A service-disabled veteran-owned small business concern is a business not less than 51 percent of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans, or in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans; the management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans, or in the case of a veteran with a permanent and severe disability, a spouse or permanent caregiver of such veteran. In addition, some businesses may be owned and operated by an eligible surviving spouse. Reservists or members of the National Guard disabled from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty or while in training status also qualify.”
Benefits of formally registering as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) with the federal government include:
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