Across the country, local and federal government agencies, as well as major corporations have legislations, programs and initiatives designed to assists veteran business owners in their quest to win government and major corporation contracts. One of the main tools used to ensure that business owners are indeed veterans are ‘veteran certification’ programs. Many institutions have ‘diversity goals’ on contracts where a certain percentage is allocated for certified veteran businesses. For example, the federal government has an agency-wide goal that 3% of contracts awarded go to veterans. Even though there may be variations for different agencies and corporations…ALL require that the business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a veteran or veterans.
Below are links to learn more about, and apply for, veteran certification with various federal and state agencies.
Veterans Administration Vets First Verification Program
The Vets First Verification Program affords verified firms owned and controlled by Veterans and Service-disabled Veterans the opportunity to compete for VA set asides. During Verification, the Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) verifies SDVOSBs/VOSBs according to the tenets found in Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 74 that address Veteran eligibility, ownership, and control. In order to qualify for participation in the Veterans First Contracting Program, eligible SDVOSBs/VOSBs must first be verified.
As part of the MyVA Verification Process, applicants move through four stages: Intake, Assessment, Federal Review, and Decision.
U.S. Small Business Administration Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)
A procurement program for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concerns (SDVOSBC). This procurement program provides that federal contracting officers may restrict competition to SDVOSBCs and award a sole source or set-aside contract where certain criteria are met. The Service Disabled Veteran (SDV) must have a service-connected disability that has been determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Defense and the SDVOSBC must be small under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code assigned to the procurement.
City of Chicago – Veterans Business Enterprise (VBE) Certification
The City of Chicago VBE certification can be awarded to small and local business that are owned and operated by veterans who have been generally or honorably discharged. To take advantage of City of Chicago veteran programs/incentives, veteran-owned businesses must be VBE certified by the City of Chicago. www.cityofchicago.org/vbe
Cook County of Illinois – MBE/WBE/VBE Certification
The Cook County of Illinois VBE certification can be awarded to small and local business that are owned and operated by veterans who have been generally or honorably discharged. To take advantage of Cook County veteran programs/incentives, veteran-owned businesses must be VBE certified by the Cook County.
State of Illinois Veteran Business Program (VBP)
The Veteran Business Program (VBP) assist businesses owned by qualified service disable and veteran-owned business gain access to State of Illinois contracting opportunities and participation in the competitive procurement process.
National Veteran Owned Business Association Certification
The National Veteran Owned Business Association’s Certified Veteran’s Business Enterprise™ (VBE) and Certified Service-Disabled Veteran’s Business Enterprise™ (SDVBE) programs creates a nationally recognized gold standard in certification for veteran-owned businesses of all sizes and enables corporate America to proactively source and confidently utilize businesses that are at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by U.S. military veterans.
Minnesota: Veteran Status Verification for the Minnesota Small Business Procurement Program
The Minnesota Department of Administration operates a Targeted Group, Economically Disadvantaged and Veteran Owned (TG/ED/VO) Small Business Procurement Program where a Certified Veteran Owned Small Business may be eligible for up to a 6% preference in selling their products or services to the State. The business must have its principal place of business in Minnesota.
In order to apply for Certification as a Veteran Owned Small Business under the Program the owner must first be verified by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) as a Veteran under Minnesota Statutes section197.447 or as a Veteran with a service-connected disability as determined at any time by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USVA). Veteran Status Verification Request Form.
Wisconsin Veteran Owned Business Certification
The Veteran Owned Business Certification assist businesses owned by qualified service disable and veteran-owned business gain access to State of Wisconsin contracting opportunities and participation in the competitive procurement process.