Over the past few years, the SBA has been taking over more and more aspects of federal contracting, centralizing everything under their umbrella. Taking more certifications, registrations (such as UEI numbers), and other aspects in-house, they’ve now announced that the responsibility of VOSB and SDVOSB certifications will be transferred to them in 2023. This is going to have a lasting impact on all registered veteran-owned businesses, so let’s discuss what the change is, when it’s happening, and how it affects your business.
Who handled VOSB verification & certification previously?
Prior to this change, the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) handled all VOSB and SDVOSB certifications and their verifications. This was done through their Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE), who assess applicant businesses to ensure that they meet the criteria and tenets from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Once the CVE verified a company, they could be approved for VOSB or SDVOSB certification.
Why is it being transferred to SBA?
SBA proposed this change to further centralize federal certifications for contractors, and eliminate self-certification. This trend has been in the works for several years at this point, as the federal government consolidates its two similar programs. To manage these new responsibilities, the SBA is establishing a Veterans Certification Program (VCP) to oversee and handle everything.
When is this happening?
The official transfer date is January 1, 2023, when SBA will take over responsibility for all veteran-owned certifications. At this time, any renewals of these certifications will need to go through the SBA. Between October 24, 2022 and January 1, 2023, all verifications are frozen to help the SBA get up and running. If you’re VA verification is set to expire in that window, you’ll have to wait until the new year to re-verify with the SBA.
What does this impact?
The SBA says that nothing else about the actual verification process will change from the CVE, besides who you submit applications and paperwork to. This change gives all veteran-owned small businesses 1-3 years to renew or re-file with the SBA, otherwise your certification will expire. VOSBs who are certified through the VA will have up to three years, while SDVOSBs will only have one year.
The other big change they’re making is the removal of self-certified SDVOSBs, which has been an option for organizations in the past. However, these businesses weren’t granted access to set-asides and sole source contracts.
Other SBA VOSB FAQs
There are a lot of questions that people have right now. We’re trying our best to keep all of our customers and partners informed and up to date so you know new information as soon as we do. Here are some other common questions we’ve seen since the announcement of this change:
Will certification criteria change?
Thankfully, the eligibility criteria for both VOSB and SDVOSB programs won’t change. This means that if you were previously verified by the CVE, SBA won’t change requirements and potentially exclude you.
How will this affect me if I’m already certified through the VA?
If you have a VOSB certification already active, it will remain active until the end of its current three-year term (at which point you’ll have to renew with the SBA). SDVOSBs will only have a one-year grace period to file an application for their certification with the SBA.
What are the implications for self-certified SDVOSBs?
One of the primary objectives and changes of this transfer is to eliminate self-certification, so this path to certification will no longer exist. After January 1, 2024, any self-certified SDVOSBs will need to apply for SBA certification to maintain their veteran-owned small business status.
Optimize your contracting efforts with FAMR
With all of these changes happening that can seriously impact your business if not prepared for, it pays to have an expert in your corner. At FAMR, we’ve spent years working with the SBA and other federal contracting organizations, so we understand how to get things done and stay on top of changes like this. We can help you keep (or register for the first time) your VOSB or SDVOSB certifcation status, and then we’ll stay with you to make sure you’re set up to be successful in the federal marketplace. If you’re ready to get started, get in touch with our team of certification specialists today!