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The Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Certification Program (SDVOSB Certification) is steadily making its mark in government contracting.
However, small businesses sometimes are not aware of the various veteran government contracting rules that apply to set-asides, bid protests and the many nuances that apply to the SDVOSB certification process.
The government contract law attorneys at Watson & Associates, LLC often serve as general counsel for veterans and service disabled government contractors and help them to overcome the common hurdles associated with the program.
Whether there are disputes with the unique VA qualifying regulations, SDVOSB set-asides, sole source decisions or other disputes, our SDVOSB lawyers provide legal advice and litigation services to clients across the country.
SDVOSB Certification Services
As a verteran-owned small business law firm, Watson & Associates, LLC serves as general counsel for SDVOSB contract clients across the United States by helping them to avoid frequent and costly mistakes made during the contract performance stage and during litigation. Our government contract legal services include:
- Help with certification disputes
- SDVOSB applications
- Teaming agreements
- Joint venture agreements,
- Bid protests,
- Size protests and determinations
- Contract claims
- NAICS Appeals to OHA
- Limitations of subcontracting and relationships with large businesses
- Litigation and appeals
- Small business development assistance
- VA sole source acquisition and set aside and status disputes
- Joint venture relationships and how to get veteran owned small business certification
- Consulting services
To speak with an experienced Small Business government contract lawyer about how to become SDVOSB , call 1-866-601-5518 for a free initial consultation.
SDVOSB Certification Requirements
In order to be eligible for the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business Certification Program, you and your business must meet the following requirements for set asides and sole source awards.
- The Service Disabled Veteran (SDV) must have a service-connected disability that has been determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Defense
- Must be small under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code assigned to the procurement
- The SDV must unconditionally own 51% of the company
- The qualifying member must control the management and daily operations
- The SDV must hold the highest officer position
WHAT IS CONSIDERED A SERVICE-CONNECTED DISABILITY?
The meaning of service-disabled veteran is discussed in U.S.C. 101 section (2) and (16), the Department of Veterans Affairs, United States Code. If you are claiming veteran status, then you must be able to prove your active duty service with the US Navy, the US Air Force etc plus proof that you obtained a discharge under other than dishonorable conditions.
According to Business Defense’s Website, and for government veteran contracts eligibility, “service-connected” means, with respect to disability or death, that the claimed disability was incurred or aggravated, or that the death resulted from a disability incurred or aggravated, in line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service.
If you are applying for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business SDVOSB status for the sole purpose of getting federal government contracts, you must make sure that all eligibility requirements are met before applying the VA.
WHAT IS A SERVICES DISABLED VETERAN?
If you served in the U.S. Military on active duty for the active military, naval, or air force services, you must also have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. Apply for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Certification to the VA for federal veteran contracts is not the place to challenge whether or not you should have received disabled status.
- A service disabled veteran is a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.
- Your disability must have occurred or been aggravated in line of active duty in military, naval, or air service and can result from injury or disease Such disability does not require a minimum rating to be considered. A veteran with a 0 to 100% disability rating is eligible to self-represent as a Service-Disabled Veteran for Federal contracting purposes.
- ( Self- representation) A veteran with a 0 to 100% disability rating is eligible to self-represent as a Service-Disabled Veteran for Federal contracting purposes.
- A business hoping to be considered a “Service-Disabled Veteran Owned” must be at least 51% unconditionally owned and controlled by an individual who is considered, by the government, a Service-Disabled Veteran. …
And among other requirements, of course, the business must be “small” under the NAICs code chosen by the government Contracting Officer for the specific contract that the business hopes to win.
For information regarding the requirements that must be met to qualify as a “service disabled veteran,” the Department of Defense Office of Small Business Programs provides a detailed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) website. See: https://business.defense.gov/Small-Business/SDVOSB/
Basic eligibility requirements for both of the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business programs are set by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 13 CFR 25.11-125.16.
Can You Get SDVOSB Sole Source Contracts?
Fortunately, if your company has been certified, you can get sole source contracts with the federal government. You have to meet the legal requirements of 13 C.F.R. 125.19 and 125.20. These are all areas where our SDVOSB certification lawyers and consultants can help you.
Under the FAR, a contracting officer has to consider a contract award on a sole source basis before considering small business set-asides. The limits for sole source contracts are as follows:(i) $6.5 million for a requirement within the NAICS codes for manufacturing; or
(ii) $4 million for a requirement within any other NAICS code; By refining your business within your DUNS number and NAICS code, marketing directly to agencies, and establishing relationships with Contracting Officers and Agencies, you can significantly improve its chance of obtaining a sole source contract.
Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business Control Disputes
There are certain service disabled veteran owned business certification requirements that address control of the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Entity. They include::
The management and daily business operations of the concern must be controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans.
Control by one or more service-disabled veterans means that both the long-term decision making and the day-to-day management and administration of the business operations must be conducted by one or more service-disabled veterans
The management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans or, in the case of a service-disabled veteran or, in the case of a service-disabled veteran with permanent and severe disability, the spouse of permanent caregiver of such veteran
- Service-disabled veteran means a veteran with a disability that is service-connected.
- Ownership must be direct. Ownership by one or more service disabled veterans must be direct ownership.
- A concern owned principally by another business entity that is in turn owned and controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans does not meet this requirement.
THREE EASILY AVOIDABLE TRAPS:
THE “PART-TIMER” TRAP:
This occurs where the Veteran is not working full time for the company and is frowned upon because of the importance of the Veteran’s presence and active involvement in the company.
THE “NOT IN CONTROL OF KEY CORPORATE DECISIONS” TRAP:
The Veteran not only must be actively involved, but the veteran must also be in the captain’s chair for making certain key corporate decisions – this can include hiring and firing employees, entering into loan agreements, and having final say on proposals and solicitations.
THE “SLOPPY SELF-CERTIFICATION” TRAP:
The Veteran made mistakes with the self-certification process (non-VA programs). The Veteran cannot be in a position where someone else can override, or must approve certain kinds of corporate decisions. It is great to be able to self-certify, but that can lead to the false impression that there is no need to worry about the details when submitting the self-certification data.
How to Self-Certify with the Department of Defense as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern (SDVO SBC):
The Veterans Benefits Act of 2003 that established restricted contracting in Federal procurement for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business Certification (SDVO SBC) did not require a formal process to certify concerns as SDVO SBC. Aself-represents its status for all Federal contracts.
In order to place an offer on a Federal contract, the SBC must be registered in the Government’s Central Contractor Registration (CCR). Once the SBC is registered in CCR, and an offer is submitted on a Federal Contract, the company will need to fill out an “On-Line Representations and Certifications Application.” To get more information about those databases and to register online, go to the Government’s Business Partner Network (BPN) at http://www.bpn.gov/.” See also Source: https://business.defense.gov/Small-Business/SDVOSB/
The law requires that government agencies establish contracting goals. Agencies must reach out and consider small businesses and for SDVOSB contracting opportunities. Twenty-three percent of contracts must be awarded to small businesses and three percent to service-disabled veteran owned businesses. The VA is one of the largest federal procurement organizations, awarding over $3 billion to Veteran owned companies.
Opportunities with GSA: There are also opportunities with the General Services Administration (GSA). GSA contracts are designed to meet diverse agency requirements. Federal agencies may issue task orders and some are set aside exclusively as opportunities for SDVOSB.
The nutshell is: the SDVOSB is a great pathway to build success as a Service Disabled Veteran with a keen awareness of the opportunities out there and how to navigate the regulations.
So, there are definitely opportunities out there. And, understanding the government’s procurement rules is critical to your success as a government contractor under the FAR and relevant VA procurement regulations.
SDVOSB Joint Ventures Rules
One way to leverage both your skills and that of other companies is by forming SDVOSB joint ventures. Find Subcontracting Opportunities – An alternative to seeking prime contracts is to explore subcontracting opportunities. Many companies make the fatal mistake of simply copying and pasting their joint venture agreements without getting professional direction about 13 CFR 125.18 – What requirements must an SDVO SBC meet to submit an offer on a contract? This rules states in part under section (b)(1):
(1)Size of concerns to an SDVO SBC joint venture.
(i) A joint venture of at least one SDVO SBC and one or more other business concerns may submit an offer as a small business for a competitive SDVO SBC procurement or sale, or be awarded a sole source SDVO contract, so long as each concern is small under the size standard corresponding to the NAICS code assigned to the procurement or sale.
(ii) A joint venture between a protégé firm that qualifies as an SDVO SBC and its SBA-approved mentor (see §§ 125.9 and 124.520 of this chapter) will be deemed small provided the protégé qualifies as small for the size standard corresponding to the NAICS code assigned to the SDVO procurement or sale.
SDVOSB Certification Application – Can You Appeal a Denial?
This dynamic program seeks to develop strong protégé firms through mentor-provided business development assistance and to help them successfully compete for disabled veteran government contracts. Rather than creating separate programs for each constituency (Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses, Women Owned Small Businesses, Historically Underutilized Business Zones) the SBA created one all-inclusive program. This new program was modeled after
the successful SBA 8(a) Mentor-Protégé Program.
The SDVSOB appeal process starts with a Request for Reconsideration. After you receive your denial letter, you must provide an appeal letter clearly and conclusively addresses the concerns raised in your appeal. Provide evidence and documentation that substantiates your claims (you want to stay away from providing screenshots. Get certified copies of your documents. The appeal board must have a rational basis for granting your Request for Reconsideration.
Nationwide Help With Veteran Owned Business Certification Set Aside Contracts
Our federal veteran owned business certification services offer general counsel for federal VA small business contractors seeking to meet the certification requirements and help with federal disabled veteran government contracts in all states regarding legal and non-legal matters about the certification process.
We help with service disabled veteran owned business certification and SDVOSB certification disputes in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Call Our SDVOSB Certification Consulting Team and Lawyers
If you need legal advice about federal government contracting small business programs and SDVOSB certification requirements, general counsel, or SDVOSB consulting services for veteran owned businesses, call our government small business contract lawyers at 1-866-601-5518.