Right now, organizations of every shape and size are getting registered to make their first bids on the federal marketplace.
Though considering the trillions of dollars that the U.S. Federal Government spends contracting out work and awarding grants to certified businesses every year, it doesn’t take a marketplace expert to see why so many business owners are getting registered to access these federally supplied benefits.
And for some organizations, like those operated by U.S. veterans, there’s even more to be gained.
However, the Federal Certification process is a complex one to navigate and it shouldn’t be approached lightly. A single filing error can cause lengthy delays while key federal opportunities are lost, and many eligible veteran business owners aren’t entirely clear on what it takes to complete VOSB certification processes, or even how to make full use of their advantages once they’ve finished.
That’s why professional federal registration services are available to step in and do all the heavy lifting for you. Though even when you team up with a prime registration service, to ensure a clean certification experience it helps to know how long things are supposed to take and what’s going to be expected from you.
A Quick Overview of Veteran Benefits in the Federal Marketplace
First things first, while any U.S. business owner can register to work alongside the Federal Government, if your organization is a veteran-owned small business (VOSB) or a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) then the Federal Marketplace opportunities available to you will be much more valuable and easier to access.
For example, VOSB organizations are given special privileges including:
- 3% of exclusive access to annual federal contracts
- Additional contracts reserved in the private sector
- Bidding Preferences for open-bid contracts
- and other VOSB benefits you can learn about here…
Advantages like these have been around since the Veterans Benefits act of 2003, and were created to provide fairer business opportunities for every American who devotes years of service to their country before entering the world of enterprise.
The biggest eligibility requirements for both VOSB and SDVOSB certifications are that organizations maintain a 51% majority ownership of full-time veteran managers who handle day-to-day operations, they qualify as a small business—and lastly but importantly—they navigate a complex application processes to accurately represent their business status.
Weighing the Options: Self-Registration vs. Professional
Aside from professional services, it is also true that business owners are able to navigate each application and apply for VOSB/SDVOSB certifications all on their own—and for free—by starting at the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) website.
However due to the level of complexity which self-registration entails, and the heavy costs that come from filing errors and accidental omissions of information, this is not a path recommended for those who aren’t already deeply familiar with how to navigate a lengthy federal certification.
At the end of the day, professional federal registration services are a much safer and more efficient route.
However, even when working alongside expert registration professionals, it’s important to keep in mind that some follow up action will be required on the business owner’s end before their applications can be sent off.
What to Expect from your Professional VOSB or SDVOSB Certification
After agreeing to work together, registrations services will begin by guiding veterans on the range of documentation they’re going to need to provide to fully demonstrate their veteran and small business statuses—among other things.
This part of the process often isn’t as straightforward as it sounds.
Since every business in this country operates in its own unique way, every application process is going to have variations in its requirements as well, which makes some professional guidance here an invaluable time-saver. It also means clear and consistent communication between business owners and registration specialists is paramount.
That said, regardless of the differences in each application, every veteran business owner should be prepared to:
- Schedule a preliminary call with their registration specialist
- Send their registration specialist key information and documentation as requested
- Continue coordinating with their registration specialist until certification is completed
- (Optional) Continue working alongside specialists after certification to best navigate their federal marketplace opportunities
Ways to Hurry Things Along
On average, the full VOSB/SDVOSB certification processes takes anywhere between 30 to 90 days.
How long your own certification takes will largely depend on the volume of the certifying council that’s servicing your area of business, but there are a couple other factors at play which business owners have control over.
Refine your Business Presentation
How professionally you present your business’ documented information directly impacts how quickly it can all be processed.
The underwriting stage of an application gets bogged down easily by filing technicalities and clerical misunderstandings, which is why it’s so important for your business information to be cleanly organized in an easily digestible manner.
Stay Responsive and Compliant with your Registration Specialist
It has been mentioned before but can’t be overstated.
The speed and efficiency at which business owners cooperate with their registration specialist’s requests will play the largest part in how effectively a VOSB/SDVOSB application goes in every respect. Do your best to maintain tight-knit communication with your specialist whenever action is necessary on your end, just as they should be doing with you.
On that Note: To ensure the registration services you partner with are of the professional quality your business deserves, be sure to search customer testimonials and reviews from trusted sources.
Getting your VOSB or SDVOSB Certifications Started
Professional federal registration services are available to get you on your way toward a VOSB or SDVOSB certification right away, and the U.S. Government is contracting out more lucrative work than ever before.
If interested in getting your own qualified organization certified as a type of veteran-owned small business, or want to learn more about the other sides of registering a business to work with the federal government, feel free to look over FAMR’s other resources or reach out by any means you prefer.