Navigating V-DOBE and SDV-DOBE Certification: Empowering Veteran-Owned Businesses

Navigating V-DOBE and SDV-DOBE Certification Empowering Veteran-Owned Businesses

 V-DOBE and SDV-DOBE Certification: For many, serving their country doesn’t end with their military discharge; it evolves into a different brand of leadership. For some, entrepreneurship is their next life mission of choice. The U.S. is a global leader in recognizing and providing resources specifically for V-DOBE (Veteran-Disabled Owned Business Enterprises) and SDV-DOBE (Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprises) to empower and support veteran-owned businesses and allows for exclusive business opportunities to veterans by opening doors and windows enabling them to win government contracts certainly a competitive advantage.

The Importance of V-DOBE and SDV-DOBE Certification

V-DOBE and SDV-DOBE are critical certifications for veterans who pursue entrepreneurship, which indicates that a business is at least 51% owned, controlled, and primarily operated by veterans or service-disabled veterans. They serve as a recognition not only for their service, but also as an imperative for gaining important resources, and training, and being able to win government contracts set aside only for these groups. Additionally, in the marketplace, the certification helps to differentiate them and strengthen their credibility.

The Options to Federal Government Contractors: A Key Competitive Advantage

Federal Contract Opportunities and Preferences

The federal government has a goal of allocating a specified percentage of its contracting budget to V-DOBEs and SDV-DOBEs. A significant market is thus created that is exclusively for such certified businesses. The federal government has established this preferential procurement mechanism to support veteran entrepreneurs. Subject to certain contracts, these companies are now the first to be considered. By leveraging these market opportunities, business capacity can now be expanded, and substantial growth experienced by all veteran-owned businesses.

The Certification Process

There are a series of steps involved, and each is intended to validate each of the applicants’ ownership, control, and veteran status. The process may vary somewhat from one certifying body to another. However, the basic requirements are the same, across the board.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for V-DOBE or SDV-DOBE certification, the business must, at a minimum, be 51% owned by one or more veterans or service-disabled veterans. The veteran owners must also control the daily operations and make long-term decisions for the business.

Documentation and Application

Veterans must gather documentation such as the DD214 or equivalent verifying their military service. SDV-DOBE applicants must also submit to the VA a copy of the document from the VA in which the service-connected disability is awarded to the veteran or evidence of the determination of the service-connected disability made by the VA. Financial records, organizational documents, and other evidence showing that a veteran controls the management and day-to-day operations are generally required.

Submission and Verification

Once they’ve completed their applications and assembled the necessary documentation, business owners submit all materials to the agency that handles the certification. Depending on the type of certification and the region, this may be the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC), or other recognized organizations.

Examination and Site Visits

The body that grants the certification reviews all documentation to ensure that the applicants meet the requirements. They may also conduct site visits to confirm that the veteran owner(s) are indeed in firm control of the business.

Approval and Certification

If the business clears the examination, it’s approved and the rite of certification takes place. The hard work of putting together a would-be-certified Do-It-Yourself project can end up taking several months, but the benefits that accrue to certified businesses in the marketplace are well worth the time it took to make all the preparations.

The Benefits of Certification

The tangible benefits that come from certification include:

Access to set-aside contracts with the federal government and other public and private sector entities seeking to work with businesses owned by disabled veteran entrepreneurs, or those owned chiefly by such individuals who are also service-disabled veterans.

Participation in mentor-protégé programs designed to further opportunities for disabled veterans in federal contracting.

Networking opportunities with international, national, and local veteran entrepreneurs

Clear benefits in business and financial training, counseling, and mentoring.

Stated commitments from corporations and government agencies that want to do business with veterans-owned companies.

Increased exposure to businesses looking for veteran-owned firms from which to buy.

Maintaining Certification and Compliance

To retain certification as V-DOBE or SDV-DOBE, a business must comply with all regulatory, statutory, case, and administrative requirements necessary to secure and maintain contracts and subcontracts that have been, or maybe, “set aside” by a contracting agent. That means the company must continue to be not less than 51 percent unconditionally and directly owned and controlled by DVBEs, with the veterans having permanent physical and financial (meaning they have invested real money in the company) control.

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