Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Are you a service-connected disabled veteran and own a business? Then the SDVOSB program is for you! But what are your next steps? How do you get ahead and compete? One of the best ways to do this to obtain your SDVOSB certification from the VA. It will set you apart, enabling you to have an advantage in the public bidding processes at the state and federal level.
SDVOSB starts with SAM
First, make sure that business is listed with SAM (System for Award Management) https://www.sam.gov/SAM/. You will need to have your EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS. Ensure that you have your business physical and mailing address squared away before you start, along with a bank account where funds may be deposited. If you start this process and don't have everything that you need or have questions, reach out to any of the resources available to assist you. You can work with your lawyer to guide you through this process.
SDVOSB needs your VA paperwork Squared Away
Second, gather together all of your business documents and head over to https://www.vip.vetbiz.va.gov/. This is the website where you can process your application. Remember to be patient; even though the VA has made great strides in streamlining the process, there are still many administrative hoops that you need to jump through. Be prepared to have some additional informational requests. The staff are responsive and usually call you to discuss the document requests as well, so if you see a (202) calling, it is probably one of the vetbiz staff calling to talk about your application.
SDVOSB badge & Entrepreneurial Battle Buddies
Third, once you have completed these steps, you should start looking for federal bid opportunities. Make sure to draft a capabilities statement that includes your NAICS code so that you are ready to send it out should you find something of interest or if a contracting officer calls you. A great place to start is attending an OSDBU (Office of Small And Disadvantaged Business Utilization) event. They can help you with tips on how to reach your government contracting goals. Your SDVOSB certifies your service, but you still have to earn the business from the agencies. These buyers are open to talking to you, but YOU have to step up.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carolyn Dragseth is an attorney with over 25 years of experience in Contracts, Business and IP law. She is a member of the National Business Association Leadership Council. She currently resides in Louisiana and is an active member of the Entreprenurial community. She enjoys writing, horseback riding and hiking. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 225-888-0015.
This is not intended to be legal advice, please contact an attorney if you are in need of legal assistance.