Why the Veteran Owned Business Verification Process Matters
Veterans should not ignore the importance of having their businesses verified as a Veteran-Owned Business. Veterans are being sought out for many different opportunities within society due to their honorable service. Therefore, having your business verified as a Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) or Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) gives you access to more business opportunities, such as government and corporate contracting.
How to get verified as a Veteran Owned Business
The verification process for VOSBs can be a bit involving, which tends to steer veterans away from the process. However, it is indeed worth the effort, considering the benefits.
Center for Verification and Evaluation
When you successfully apply through the Vets First Verification Program, you will receive a CVE verification and your business will be added to the Veteran Administrations Vendor Information Pages. This verification process will ensure that your business is eligible for government contracts, as well as, many corporate contracting opportunities that accept the CVE verification.
National Veteran-Owned Business Association*
NaVOBA has a verification process that veterans can follow when they join the association. NaVOBA verifies all its members to ensure that they are indeed VOSBs and SDVOSBs, and it currently has over 3 million members. In order to be verified, you must show a 51% ownership in the company, as well as, an involvement in day-to-day operations of the business which is pretty much a standard across all verifications. You should read more information about the Vet’s First Verification program by downloading the Initial Application Reference Guide. You should also have your DD Form 214 from the Department of Defense in order to prove that you’re a veteran, after which you can apply for certification through the VA.
National Veteran Business Development Council*
NVBDC is a third party authority for the verification of VOSBs and SDVOSBs of all sizes. The verification process involves submitting the application and various supporting documents.
There are also various states that issue their own verification of VOSBs and SDVOSBs, especially in their efforts to include these businesses in their state contracts. California, Arkansas, Illinois and Indiana are some of the states which have established their own verification procedures and have established mandates for setting aside 3% or greater of spending for VOSBs and SDVOSB’s.
*It is important to note that the verification from third-party organizations cannot be used as a method to verify a Veteran-Owned business that is interested in pursuing government contracts. The CVE verification is the ONLY verification that is accepted in order to bid on government contracts and your business must be registered in the System for Awards Management (sam.gov) website. Businesses looking to bid on ONLY corporate contracts and are not interested in pursuing government contracts can simply obtain a third-party verification.
Why Verification is Important? Diversification
Access to Government Contracts
A CVE verification of your VOSB will enable you to compete for the 3% of prime government contracts and subcontracts that are set aside for veterans. If your business has the capacity to compete and obtain some of these contracts, it can open up numerous growth opportunities and diversify your business.
Attract More Business
70% of Americans prefer to do business with VOSBs than non-VOBs. Therefore, proudly displaying the VOSB or SDVOSB logo in your stores, website, emails, and letterheads will naturally attract more business from local contractors, suppliers and corporations that are seeking to work with VOSBs.
Take part in Corporate Supplier Diversity Initiatives
More and more private corporations are looking to diversify their supplier networks to include VOSBs and SDVOSBs. They are setting aside a certain percentage of their supplier contracts for VOSBs to bid on in order to develop partnerships with them. For example, Ford Motor Company was one of the first corporations to announce a 3% target spend with VOSB’s. The company also pushes many of its suppliers to set the same standard for diversifying their business purchases. However, many of these initiatives require verification from the CVE or an approved third-party verification in order to ensure that your business is indeed veteran-owned.
Access to Programs Offered by the VOBRT
The Veteran Owned Business Round Table (VOBRT) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to protect and advance the interests of both Service-Disabled and Veteran Owned Businesses. Qualified and experienced VOB’s and Corporate Members who support the VOBRT’s mission to honor those who have faithfully served our country offer three (3) distinct programs to assist veteran business owners. These programs provide VOBRT members with contracting opportunities, mentorship from other seasoned veteran business owners and education on various topics to assist veterans in navigating through some of the most common experiences as a business owner.