A Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) is a business operated by a former member of the U.S. military that has been injured in combat. Specifically, the business must be considered small by Small Business Administration standards and be owned and controlled by a service-disabled veteran or group of service-disabled veterans.
A small business is considered owned by a service-disabled veteran when at least 51% of the company is controlled by a service-disabled veteran. The daily operations of the company must also be under the direct supervision of a service-disabled veteran or his or her caregiver.
Creation of the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Program
The SDVOSB program was established on October 20, 2004, when President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13360. This executive order outlined the role that federal agencies were to play in providing federal contracting and subcontracting services for SDVOSBs.
A contracting goal for federal agencies was established by Public Law 106-50. Under this law, federal agencies are to award three percent of their best contracts to SDVOSBs. Larger contractors also have additional SDVOSB subcontracting goals.
There are no federal requirements for SDVOSB certification because the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business owner only has to represent his or her status through contractual negotiations. Still, a formal process has been established by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for ensuring that a small business does indeed meet all necessary requirements for the SDVOSB program.
While any small business owned by a service-disabled veteran can technically be a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, obtaining certification through the VA assures clients and customers that a small business has been thoroughly vetted for meeting all the requirements.
Qualifications for the SDVOSB
A veteran that has been disabled during active duty must meet several requirements for their small business to earn consideration as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. To begin, disabled veterans must:
· Certify their military service by presenting their Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, also known as DD Form 214. This is needed to prove that the veteran served in the armed forces.
· Validate their service-related disability by presenting related documentation. This can take the form of a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or a discharge paper from the veteran’s branch of the military. Either of these documents must state the veteran has a service-related disability.
Disabilities are not evaluated in terms of severity. In other words, even though there is a disability rating scale of 0 – 100, veterans with any service-related disability can qualify for the SDVOSB program. What matters is that they are disabled and not the degree to which they have been disabled.
Benefits of Working with Businesses Participating in the SDVOSB Program
There are significant benefits to working with a business classified as an SDVOSB. First and foremost, because the government sets aside certain contracts exclusively for the SDVOSB program, working with a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business guarantees you access to contracts that would otherwise be unavailable.
Working with a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business also increases the odds that your company will partner with a dedicated, and disciplined team. Many of those who have served their nation in active duty are known for their dependability and follow-through. Your business will also be doing a service to those who have served. There are few better ways to give thanks to veterans than by doing business with them and helping them adapt to life in the private sector.
In addition, your company may find itself with additional customers and marketing opportunities available only to SDVOSBs. Simply stating that your company works with a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business can draw in veterans, military families, and those who wish to support them as potential customers.
Working with an SDVOSB Benefits Everyone Involved
By working with a business classified as an SDVOSB, you can have access to work that your company would never have encountered otherwise due to the veteran owned business benefits those companies enjoy. Your growing business increases its chances of working with a steadfast team. Additional marketing opportunities and customers may come your way - and you’ll have the opportunity to assist those who have served our country in the armed forces.