Congress Approves Government-wide SDVOSB Certification Requirements Eliminates SBA’s Self-Certification Process

April 28, 2021 – The Veteran Owned Business Roundtable (VOBRT) today announced full support for the new order from Congress to adopt a singular VA process for certifying service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB).  The Congressional act eliminates the once accepted Small Business Administration’s (SBA) self-certification process.

On January 8, 2021, the Congress of the United States signed into law the Congressional agreement to adopt a government-wide SDVOSB certification requirement based on Center for Veteran and Evaluation (CVE) process and eliminate SBA’s self-certification of service-disabled veteran-owned small business.  The VA’s CVE program which is the gold standard five-star program will be transferred to SBA to insure elimination of the self-certification process.

“We are in full support of Congress’ decision to standardize the SDVOSB certification process,” said Roderick Rickman, VOBRT President and CEO of Rickman Enterprise Group.

This is clearly and opportunity to provide clarity on who’s eligible to be certified and ensures only qualified veterans are afforded the opportunities certification provides.

Section 862 of the Conference Report on the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act requires government wide SDVOSB certification.  Previously, only VA required a rigorous verification of honorably discharged veterans and verification of a 51 percent owned and operated veteran owned business entity.  Since SBA runs all of the other Government-wide socioeconomic programs, it makes sense for SBA to continue providing oversight over SD/VOSB.  However, the VA will continue to determine whether an individual qualifies as a veteran or service-disabled veteran. Current CVE certified/verified SD/VOSB will be transferred to SBA and contacted when their recertification is due.

The previous SBA self-certification program was generally unacceptable for many private businesses and allowed some third-party certification organizations to fill the void.  The new program will now require prior self-certified companies to be certified under the new SBA administered CVE certification/verification process within two years.

No Third-Party Certifier Will Be Accepted by Any Government Agency

During this time of change and reconfiguration, some have added confusion and, in some cases, outright exaggeration.  For example, the difference between the terms “certification” and “verification” added confusion for some to say verification was low level certification.   CVE chose the term “verification” because it is more specific to what is completed during the process.  CVE basically defined “certification” as it is used by other governmental agencies that requires a test.  For example, your doctor, dentist, or attorney is not certified because they have a degree; it is because they each had to pass a board-certified test. However, the industry convention is to use the term certification even if there is no test.

The CVE verification process is the most rigorous evaluation, analysis and examination of all the required documentary processes.  There is a thorough examination of active-duty military requirements and substantial challenges when reviewing all supporting documentation of the business to insure it is a viable 51 percent owned and operated business by a qualified veteran that includes random onsite visits.  When a company no longer meets the definition of a small business based on NAICS code, gross sales and number of employees, a company seeking veteran owned business designation has the option to reach out to a third-party certifier.

Fact Check:

Congress Approves Government-wide SDVOSB Certification Requirement; Transfers CVE to SBA

If there are any questions or if we can assist in any way, please contact us; VOBRT is committed to providing clarity and direction

Based in Sterling Heights, Mich., the VOBRT is a non-profit veteran organization that provides participants with leadership, networking opportunities, training and mentorship programs that offer access to veterans in industries that support the inclusion of veterans.  For more information, go to