Certified Vet-Owned Biz: Benefits & Advantages

Benefits of Being a Certified Vet-Owned Biz

As a veteran, starting your own business can be a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor. Not only does it provide you with the opportunity to showcase your skills and expertise, but it also allows you to contribute to the economy and create job opportunities for fellow veterans. One way to gain a competitive edge in the business world is by becoming a certified vet-owned business. Being a certified vet-owned business comes with a variety of benefits, including access to federal contracting opportunities, eligibility for special programs, and recognition as a veteran-owned business. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of being a certified vet-owned business, the process of certification, and the various programs available for veterans in the business world.

Understanding the Concept of Vet-Owned Businesses

Before we delve into the benefits of being a certified vet-owned business, it is important to first understand what exactly a vet-owned business is. In the United States, a vet-owned business is a small business that is owned and operated by a veteran of the armed forces or an active duty service member. These businesses play a crucial role in the economy, as they contribute to job creation, innovation, and overall economic growth. The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a vet-owned business as one that is at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more veterans or active duty service members who have been honorably discharged or released from active duty.

Defining a Vet-Owned Business

A vet-owned business status is a result of a verification process with the SBA, which ensures that the business meets the requirements set forth by the Small Business Act. This process involves providing detailed documentation to prove the eligibility of the business owner(s) as veterans or active duty service members. Once a business is verified as a vet-owned business, it is afforded certain benefits, particularly in federal procurement. This certification can be a significant advantage for veterans seeking business opportunities in the United States.

Importance of Vet-Owned Businesses in the Economy

Vet-owned businesses play a crucial role in the economy, contributing to job creation, innovation, and economic growth. They offer opportunities to veterans to utilize their skills and expertise, as well as support their business relationships in the federal government contracting space. The Small Business Administration (SBA) recognizes the importance of vet-owned businesses and has established programs and initiatives to support and promote their growth. These programs include procurement opportunities, training, and counseling services to help veterans succeed in the business world.

The Path to Becoming a Certified Vet-Owned Business

Now that we have a better understanding of what a vet-owned business is and its significance, let us explore the path to becoming a certified vet-owned business. The process of certification involves meeting certain eligibility criteria and following specific steps to apply for certification. By becoming a certified vet-owned business, you can access a wide range of benefits and opportunities in federal contracting. Let’s dive deeper into the eligibility criteria and the steps involved in the certification process.

Eligibility Criteria for Certification

To be eligible for certification as a vet-owned business, certain requirements must be met. These requirements include being a small business as defined by the SBA, having a veteran or active duty service member as the majority owner, and meeting certain size standard requirements. Additionally, veterans with a service-connected disability may be eligible for the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) certification, which is administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and requires proof of disability, discharge status, and other eligibility requirements in line of duty.

Steps to Apply for Certification

The process of applying for certification as a vet-owned business involves several steps. Firstly, it is important to research and understand the certification requirements of the specific certification program you are interested in, such as the SDVOSB certification or the Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) certification. Next, you will need to register your business on the System for Award Management (SAM) website, also known as SAM registration, which is a requirement for federal contracting opportunities. Once you have completed the registration process, you can begin the certification process, which typically involves submitting documentation, completing forms, and undergoing a verification process by the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD). One important document that may be required is the DD Form 214, also known as the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

Insights into Veteran Small Business Certification (VetCert) Program

In addition to the certification programs mentioned earlier, such as the SDVOSB and VOSB certification, there is a program specifically designed for veteran small business certification called the Veteran Small Business Certification (VetCert) program. This program offers veterans a streamlined process to obtain certification, opening doors to federal contracting opportunities and providing access to various benefits. Let’s take a closer look at the core features of the VetCert program, including the changes implemented from the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, and the benefits that can be garnered from it.

Core Features of the VetCert Program

The SDVOSB/VOSB program, administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), provides veterans with small business certification opportunities. Through this program, veterans can achieve certification as a VOSB or an SDVOSB, depending on their eligibility. The certification process under the SDVOSB/VOSB program is overseen by the SBA, ensuring that veterans meet the necessary requirements and eligibility criteria. By obtaining certification under the VetCert program, veterans can access a wide range of benefits and opportunities in federal contracting, including the core feature of SBA certification for SDVOSBs.

Benefits Garnered from the VetCert Program

Certification under the Veteran Certification program opens up a myriad of benefits and opportunities for veterans seeking federal contracting opportunities. Some of the benefits include eligibility for federal contracts set aside specifically for vet-owned businesses, access to sole source contracts, and priority in contracting opportunities. Additionally, certified veterans can leverage their certification to establish business relationships, joint venture agreements, and pursue opportunities in various industries. This certification can truly be a game-changer for veterans looking to expand their business opportunities and secure federal contracts.

Exploring the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program

Apart from the Veteran Certification program, there is another program available for veterans known as the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) program. This program focuses on providing procurement opportunities to veterans who have a service-connected disability. Let us delve deeper into understanding the SDVOSB program and the advantages of self-certifying as an SDVOSB.

Understanding the SDVOSB Program

The SDVOSB program aims to provide procurement opportunities for veterans who have a service-connected disability. To qualify for SDVOSB certification, veterans must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as owning at least 51% of the business, controlling the day-to-day operations, and having a disability rating of a certain percentage. This program ensures that veterans with service-connected disabilities have a level playing field in federal contracting, allowing them to compete for contracts and contribute to their business growth. Any interested party can also protest the apparent successful offeror’s SDVO SBC status for competitive set-asides, providing a fair and transparent process for all involved.

Advantages of Self-Certifying as an SDVOSB

Self-certifying as an SDVOSB comes with several advantages, making it an attractive option for veterans seeking federal procurement opportunities. Some of the advantages of self-certifying include:
  • Streamlined certification process
  • Flexibility in business relationships
  • Expedited opportunities for federal contracts
  • Access to sole source contracts
  • Priority status in the eyes of contracting officers

Surplus Personal Property for Veteran-Owned Small Business Programs

In addition to certification programs, there are also programs available that provide access to surplus personal property for veteran-owned small business programs. These programs offer veterans the opportunity to acquire surplus federal properties at a reduced cost, thereby supporting small business concerns and contributing to the growth of vet-owned businesses. Let us take a closer look at the key benefits of these programs and the eligibility requirements for veterans.

Key Benefits of the Program

The surplus personal property program, administered by agencies such as the General Services Administration (GSA), offers several benefits for veteran-owned small business programs. Some of the benefits include:
  • Access to surplus federal properties at a reduced cost
  • Opportunities to expand business operations and capacities
  • Support from federal agencies in disposing of surplus property
  • Increasing procurement opportunities for veterans

Meeting the Eligibility Requirements

To participate in surplus personal property programs, veterans must meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements may include being a small business concern, being registered in the System for Award Management (SAM), and complying with the eligibility guidelines set by agencies such as the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Surplus Asset Sales Program (SASP). By meeting these requirements, veterans can access surplus federal properties and utilize them to support and grow their businesses.

Harnessing Contracting Opportunities for Vet-Owned Businesses

Certification as a vet-owned business opens up a world of contracting opportunities, providing veterans with the chance to secure federal contracts, expand their business, and contribute to the economy. Let us explore an overview of contracting opportunities and how a certified vet-owned business can successfully navigate the contracting landscape.

Overview of Contracting Opportunities

Contracting opportunities offer veterans the chance to secure federal contracts and contribute to various industries. To successfully navigate the contracting landscape, veterans should conduct market research and identify opportunities that align with their business capabilities. It is also essential to determine the relevant NAICS code for your business, as it helps in identifying contract opportunities. By staying informed, veterans can make strategic decisions and position their certified vet-owned business for success in federal contracting.

Navigating the Contracting Landscape Successfully

Successfully navigating the contracting landscape requires strategic decision-making and collaboration. Building strong business relationships, establishing joint venture agreements, and ensuring the status of a small business concern can enhance opportunities for federal contracts. By positioning their certified vet-owned business effectively, veterans can leverage their certification and increase their chances of securing federal contracts.

How does getting certified boost a vet-owned business?

By becoming a certified vet-owned business, a small business gains numerous benefits that can significantly boost its growth and success. Let’s explore how certification can enhance a vet-owned business.

Is Certification Worth the Effort for a Vet-Owned Business?

Obtaining certification, such as VOSB certification, can be a time-consuming process that requires effort and dedication. However, the benefits of certification far outweigh the effort for a vet-owned business, particularly when it comes to federal contracting opportunities. With certification, a vet-owned business gains credibility, eligibility for set-aside contracts, and priority status with federal agencies. For example, certification through the Center of Verification and Evaluation (CVE) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides verification of a business as a veteran-owned and operated small business, thereby opening doors to government contracts and opportunities within the Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies.


In conclusion, becoming a certified vet-owned business has numerous benefits. It provides opportunities for growth, access to government contracts, and enhanced credibility in the marketplace. Certification programs like VetCert and SDVOSB offer core features that support and empower veteran entrepreneurs. Moreover, participating in surplus personal property programs allows businesses to acquire valuable assets at a reduced cost. By harnessing contracting opportunities, vet-owned businesses can secure long-term partnerships and generate consistent revenue. While the certification process may require effort, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. So, if you are a veteran entrepreneur looking to take your business to the next level, consider getting certified and unlocking the full potential of your vet-owned business.
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