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Criteria to Become a Certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) or Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has special authority for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business and Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB and VOSB) set-aside and sole source contracts.

Public Law (P.L.) 109-461 entitled “Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006” provides VA with unique authority for contracting with SDVOSB and VOSB.  A new procurement hierarchy within VA for open market procurements was created which places highest priority with SDVOSB then VOSB.  These small business groups are followed by 8(a), HUBZone, Women-Owned Small Business, then all other small businesses.  This procurement authority, and its subsequent implementation, is a logical extension of VA’s mission to care for our nation’s Veterans.

The core requirements for a company to become verified are:

  •  The Veteran owner(s) have direct, unconditional ownership of at least 51 percent of the company (38 CFR 74.3) and have full decision making authority (38 CFR 74.4 (g));
  •  The Veteran manages the company on both strategic policy and day-to-day basis (38 CFR 74.4);
  •  The Veteran holds the highest officer position (38 CFR 74.4(c)(2));
  •  The Veteran should be the highest compensated employee. If not, the Veteran will need to submit an explanation regarding how taking a lower salary than another employee(s) helps the business (38 CFR 74.4 (g) (3)); and
  •   The Veteran has the managerial experience of the extent and complexity needed to manage the company
  •  The Veteran bears the burden of proof of adequately establishing its claimed Veteran status Applicants must conform to the requirements of 38 CFR Part 74 in order to be verified


The Verification Process consists of the following stages:

  •  Pre-Application
  •  Initiation
  •  Examination
  •  Evaluation
  •  Determination

Serviced disabled/veteran owned small business (SD/VOSB)