SBA Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business program
SBA Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program
If you are a service-disabled veteran and small business owner, you may qualify to compete for special government contracts.
There is plenty of annual funding set aside for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. The US Small Business Administration reduces competition for these small businesses under the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999 and Title 13 Code of Federal Regulations.
The government spends $500 billion per year on contracts and aims to award at least 3% of all contracting dollars annually to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. Each agency is required to have a plan to meet the 3% prime or government contracting and sub-contracting goal.
To qualify for the contracting assistance program, a small business must be at least 51% directly owned and controlled by at least one service-connected disabled veteran. Daily operations and long-term decision making must be managed by at least one service-connected disabled veteran.
The business must be a for-profit business of any legal structure, independently owned and operated, not nationally dominant in its field, and physically located within the US.
The Small Business Administration classifies a small business by industry, affiliations, gross income, and the average number of employees. For instance, manufacturing companies with 500 or fewer employees and non-manufacturing companies earning a maximum gross income of $750,000 are considered small businesses.
What are service-disabled veteran-owned contracts? They are government awards that are set-aside by the Small Business Administration using one of the following procurement methods:
- Sole-source noncompetitive selection. The award is directly offered to the small business because there are no contractors in the program offering the product or service or the small business has been a responsible contractor in its performance. The award can be made at a fair and reasonable price.
- Set-aside and partial set-aside awards based on competition restricted to SCVO small business concerns (SBCs). Portions of or an entire solicitation are set aside specifically for small businesses when there is an expectation of two or more bids from qualified SDVO small businesses.
- Reserved awards based on SDVO SBCs in solicitation for a multiple-award contract. Procurement can be broken up into smaller portions like contract line items or small business concerns.
- Orders set-aside for SDVO SBCs against a multiple-award contract that had been awarded in full and open competition. Orders for services or delivery orders of supplies are issued under a delivery contract and set-aside for SBCs.
The program requires no formal certification, but proof of veteran statuses such as DD Form 214 and service-connected disability such as a letter from the VA may be requested. To represent your small business as a service-disabled veteran-owned to the federal government, create your business profile on the System for Award Management website SAM.gov. Your business profile will appear in the Dynamic Small Business Search database where government agencies search for small business contractors for upcoming contracts.
Are You Ready to Get Started But Need Help?
The Small Business Administration offers several avenues of assistance for newbies and experienced small business owners trying to win a government contract.
Procurement Center Representatives
Help business owners win federal contracts by viewing federal procurement and acquisition strategies before they are announced and influencing the government agency for opportunities to set aside for small businesses.
Subcontracting Program Assistance
Helps answer questions once a contract has been awarded, can help with tools to match prime contractors and subcontractors, and help market services to prime contractors.
The SBA Learning Center
Offers online courses to help small businesses understand contracting.
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers
Helps small businesses determine if they are ready for government contracting, assist with registering in the procurement databases find and bid on contracts.
SCORE is a nonprofit association of thousands of business volunteer counselors around the country. The counseling services are free and provide online and in-person counseling and educational workshops.
Small Business Development Centers
Offer in-person free counseling and low-cost training to include assistance with procurement and contracting program support and market research.
Some federal agencies have offices in place to identify opportunities to work with small businesses usually called the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization or Office of Small Business Programs. Contact the SBA’s Office of Government Contracting to get started.