The SBA took over certification of service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and veteran-owned small businesses on January 1, 2023. Soon, all companies will require an SBA certification to qualify as an SDVOSB or VOSB.
In this course, Govology Faculty Instructor, Legal Analyst & retired founder of Koprince McCall Pottroff LLC, Steven Koprince offers a plain-English look at eligibility under the new SBA certification program. The webinar will cover the SBA’s often-misunderstood “unconditional” ownership requirements, the unique control requirements, and much more. Steven will also debunk some common SDVOSB/VOSB eligibility myths. Register here.
One of the key criteria for being a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) is, as you might expect, that a service-disabled veteran control the company. Under Small Business Administration rules, an agreement similar to a franchise agreement can render an SDVOSB applicant ineligible, because the franchisor restrictions on the actions of the company are too strong. A recent case reminds us of the control imposed by these types of arrangements.
To honor the sacrifice made by our country’s veterans, the federal government has made it a priority to set aside federal contracting opportunities for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB). To qualify for these opportunities, businesses must meet certain specifications in ownership and control. Let’s take a quick look at some the general qualifications needed to qualify as an SDVOSB and bid on SDVOSB set-aside contracts.
The SBA has issued its draft rules on how it will go about certifying Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) and Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs). Below, we highlight some of the main components of these rules. The changes stem from Congress’s requirement in the 2021 NDAA to to eliminate SDVOSB self-certification and adopt a government-wide SDVOSB certification requirement, while transferring control of the certification process from the VA to the SBA. For the most part, SBA has taken a simple approach, combining its existing rules on eligibility with much of the application procedures from VA. But the details do matter, and below we’ll walk through some of them.
The case of Superior Optical Labs, Inc. (Superior) v. United States focuses on the control of a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and how that control, or more precisely, lack of control, can disqualify an SDVOSB with 69% service-disabled veteran ownership from a solicitation set aside for SDVOSBs. This particular Solicitation was set aside entirely for an SDVOSB to provide prescription eyeglasses and related services through the Veterans Integrated Services Network (VISN). Superior was awarded the contract, which was then protested by PDS Consultants, Inc. (PDS) challenged the SDVOSB eligibility of Superior. In the end, OHA held that Superior did not qualify as a SDVOSB for purposes of the procurement due to a lack of control as required by SBA rules. PDS then challenged OHA’s decision at the Court of Federal Claims.
Sometimes, task force meetings are held just for the sake of having meetings. However, on June 2nd and 3rd the Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development (IATF) and Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs (ACVBA) met to discuss important issues facing small businesses. This shed much needed light on the issues fast approaching and what steps the SBA needs to take.
The main topic of discussion was the pending CVE transfer. The transfer, as I soon found out, is deceptively complex. In a separate point, SBA noted that the Biden Administration announced it will use the purchase power of the federal government to make more awards to disadvantaged businesses, raising the target from 5% to 10%.
The star of the show, however, was the CVE transfer. So, what does this mean for you?
The House and Senate have agreed to eliminate service-disabled veteran-owned small business self-certification and adopt a government-wide SDVOSB certification requirement, while transferring control of the certification process from the VA to the SBA.
The Conference Report on the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act would require government-wide SDVOSB certification (eventually) and transfer control of the the Center for Verification and Evaluation from the VA to the SBA. Assuming the President signs the bill into law (which, unlike the typical NDAA, remains to seen), SDVOSB self-certification–which is still the law for non-VA contracts–is on its way out.