u s small business administration




Release Date: January 9, 2023

Release Number: 23-01                     



Contact: Press_Office@sba.gov

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SBA Now Accepting Applications for SBA Veteran Small Business Certification Program

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) began accepting applications through the Veteran Small Business Certification (VetCert) program as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to expanding access to resources for Veterans and other underserved populations.  The improvements in the customer experience for Veteran entrepreneurs and business owners made by VetCert will build upon the $25 billion in government contract spending with service-disabled Veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) in Fiscal Year 2021. 

The program will be the Agency’s primary certification vehicle for all Veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) and service-disabled Veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs), important classifications that enable those businesses to qualify for sole-source and set-aside federal contracting awards. Certified VOSBs are eligible to compete for sole-source and set-aside contracts at the Department of Veterans Affairs, while certified SDVOSBs can compete for sole-source and set-aside contracts government-wide. The Agency began accepting applications on January 9, 2023. As the SBA moves forward to ensure more Veteran entrepreneurs have access to economic opportunities, Administrator Guzman has granted a one-time, one-year extension to the current Veteran small businesses verified by the Veterans Administration Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) as of January 1, 2023.  

The SBA is implementing several improvements to streamline the certification experience for Veteran entrepreneurs. These include: 

  • Providing Veterans with a central support platform for their small business certification needs.
  • Providing reciprocal certification for businesses with remaining eligibility in the women-owned small business (WOSB) and 8(a) programs.
  • Creating a more business-friendly approach by streamlining the application process and aligning ownership and control requirements across the VetCert, 8(a), and WOSB programs.

All changes to the certification process, along with new eligibility requirements may be viewed at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/11/29/2022-25508/veteran-owned-small-business-and-service-disabled-veteran-owned-small-business-certification

Background on the Veteran Small Business Certification Program 

To be eligible to apply for the Veteran Small Business Certification Program, an applicant must: 

  • Be considered a small business, as defined by the size standard corresponding to any NAICS code listed in the business’s SAM profile.
  • Have no less than 51% of the business owned and controlled by one or more Veterans.
  • For certification as a SDVOSB, have no less than 51% of the business owned and controlled by one or more Veterans rated as service-disabled by VA. 
  • For those Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled and unable to manage the daily business operations of their business, their business may still qualify if their spouse or appointed, permanent caregiver is assisting in that management.
  • Eligible new applicants certified by the SBA after January 1, 2023, will receive the standard three-year certification period.

Firms verified by the VA Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) as of January 1, 2023, are automatically granted certification by SBA for the remainder of the firm’s eligibility period. The SBA has granted a one-time, one-year extension of certification to current VOSBs and SDVOSBs. This additional year will be added to the existing eligibility period of a current participant. 

The 2021 National Defense Authorization Act grants a one-year grace period for self-certified SDVOSBs until January 1, 2024. During the grace period, businesses have one year to file a certification application with the SBA. Self-certified SDVOSBs that apply before January 1, 2024, will maintain eligibility until the SBA makes a final eligibility decision. 

Beginning January 1, 2024, both Veteran and service-disabled Veteran small business owners will need to be certified to compete for federal contracting set-asides unless an application from a self-certified firm is pending an SBA decision.  

For the latest information on the Veteran Small Business Certification program, visit www.sba.gov/vetcert, reference the program’s FAQs, or email vetcert@sba.gov. To read the original press release in full, click here


About the U.S. Small Business Administration 

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.