Five Things You Should Know About Veteran-Owned Small Business Certification


When a disabled veteran opens a small business, he or she can apply for a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) certification to conduct business with the VA. The U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have special programs designed for SDVOSBs that include sole source, set-aside, and subcontracting opportunities.  These opportunities can be very lucrative for an SDVOSB. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), a minimum of three percent of federal contracting dollars should be awarded to SDVOSBs each year.

However, to qualify for federal contracts, you must first meet all eligibility requirements for certification and go through the process of obtaining the certification. Our South Carolina business and corporate law lawyers assist Service-Disabled Veterans apply for their certification so that they can take advantage of opportunities only available to SDVOSBs. We also assist with all other aspects involved in operating a small business.

Things You May Not Know About Doing Business with the VA as a Disabled Veteran

The qualification process for obtaining your SDVOSB certification can be confusing and complex. Our South Carolina corporate lawyer can help you with each step in the process of preparing and filing your request for certification. Below are some facts about the requirements and steps involved in obtaining your SDVOSB certification.

  1. Your application for certification (also referred to as being “verified”) must be filed with the VAs Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE). Upon being certified, your small business is listed on the CVE’s Vendor Information Pages database.
  2. The veteran must be considered a Service Disabled Veteran (SDV) to qualify for an SDVOSB certification. In other words, the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense must have determined the veteran has a service-connected disability.
  3. At least 51 percent of the small business must be owned by an SDV. The SDV must also serve in the capacity of the highest officer for the business.
  4. The North American Industry Classification System code assigned to the procurement must recognize the SDVOSB as a small business under its size requirements.
  5. One or more Service-Disabled Veterans must control the daily operations and the management of the business. This requirement means that the SDV controls the long-term decisions made for the company in addition to the day-to-day administration and management of operations.

Since the federal government limits competition for some contracts to businesses that have received their certification as an SDVOSB, it is in your best interest to apply for certification so that you have access to this limited business opportunity.

Contact a South Carolina Corporate Lawyer for Help

The process for an SDV to qualify for an SDVOSB certification should be simple and quick so that the veteran can begin taking advantage of special programs for bidding on government contracts. However, because the VA thoroughly reviews all corporate documents and interprets the regulations and requirements for SDVOSB applications, many veterans who believe they qualify for certification are denied.

Contact our South Carolina small business and corporate law lawyers at Willcox, Buyck & Williams, P.A. Our lawyers can help you by preparing your application, reviewing your corporate structure and documents for compliance requirements, and appealing denials. Contact our law firm for more information.