VA Veteran Owned Small Business Verification Assistance and Guidelines

Attention Veteran Business Owners and past/present military members interested in Entrepreneurship:

VetsFirst-Verificatin-Program-Guide-ImageVA has developed the Verification Assistance Program (VAP) to help Veterans understand the Verification policy and process. The goal of the program is to reduce the risk of denial due to lack of understanding and misinterpretation of the regulation. To accomplish this objective, the VA is establishing partnerships with Veteran service and small business support organizations that can provide assistance to Veterans considering applying for the Vet First program.

VA’s Verification Assistance Program (VAP)

Verification Assistance Program:

*Why Does My Business Need to be Verified to do Business with VA?
*What Companies Should Know Before Applying for Verification
*Verification Assistance Briefs
*Verification Self Assessment Tool
*Verification Counseling Program
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Why Does My Business Need to be Verified to do Business with VA?
As a part of the VA’s Veterans First Program, contract set-asides are available for Veteran Owned Small Businesses and Service Disabled Small Businesses; however, an applicant must be verified to qualify.  Verification is the process by which a Veteran is evaluated and determined eligible to be listed in the Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database.  The Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) is the office within the VA that manages the verification process and verifies VOSB/SDVOSBs for inclusion in the VetBiz database.

What Companies Should Know Before Applying for Verification
Verification is not a simple process.  In 2012, approximately 58 percent of applications were denied.  Analysis of the denial rates indicates a significant number were a result of misunderstanding of 38 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) Part 74, the governing regulation of the Verification process.  In an effort to reverse this trend and assist applicants with the Verification process, this website will provide you with information that will put you on the path to successful verification.  Because in part to the VA’s efforts educating applicants via the robust amount of information they post to their website, and facilitating the availability of “no-cost” application assistance via CVE Certified Verification Assistance Counselors listed on their website, 4 percent of all applications submitted were denied as of March 2014.

Step 1:  Have You Used the Tools and Resources That Are Available to Guide You Through the Verification Process?

*Verification Assistance Briefs
In an effort to assist applicants in obtaining Verification for the Veterans First program, the following Verification Assistance Briefs (VAB) have been provided.  The VAB were developed in order to clarify the rules associated with 38 CFR 74.  They are based on analysis of issues that cause the majority of denials.  View the Vets-First Verification Program Guide.

*Verification Self Assessment Tool
The Verification Self Assessment Tool was designed to provide the VOSB/SDVOSB the opportunity to freely navigate the Verification process, while gaining expert knowledge in the areas of eligibility and requirements, as it pertains to specific businesses.  Additionally, the Verification Resource Tool is available for use and will assist you in gauging your readiness and preparedness for the application process.  Begin a self-assessment.

*Guide for Applicants
This guide is intended to assist applicants to comply with the regulatory requirements in 38 CFR Part 74, in order to apply for Verification.  Whenever this guideline appears inconsistent with 38 CFR Part 74 VA Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Guidelines, the language in 38 CFR Part 74 applies.  View the Vets-First Verification Program Guide.

*Verification Counseling Program
The Verification Counseling Program was developed to provide training and assistance to Verification Assistance partners, who in turn provide Verification counseling to applicants.  If you are an applicant in need of counseling on the Verification process, we encourage you to visit the Verification Counseling Program as well.

*Training and Registration
Training for Verification Assistance Partners is conducted to explain the Verification process, along with the rules of the Veterans First Program (38 CFR Part 74).  The training component for Verification Partners consists of an 8 hour seminar that is conducted monthly and covers topics on the Verification process, policy and regulations.
Visit the Verification Assistance Program Counselor Training page to view upcoming training dates and to register for participation.

*Verification Assistance Partners and Resources
Verification Assistance partners are available to assist applicants who are interested in becoming eligible for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned or Veteran-Owned Small Business set-asides with the VA.  Services that Verification Partners provide include:
*Guidance on the regulation the governs the verification process (38 CFR Part 74)
*Assisting applicants with understanding  the documents that are required  for Verification
*Help with uploading documents in the Vendor Information Pages (VIP)
*Overall assistance to help Veterans form and expand their small businesses

*VA Certified Counselors
In an effort to enhance approval rates among Verification applicants, the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) in conjunction with the Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) has trained and certified counselors and partners from various Veteran Service Organizations, Small Business Development Centers and Procurement Technical Assistance Centers on the Verification Process.  These certified counselors are available throughout the region and can assist applicants in their application for Verification.

Verification Counselors listed on our website have been trained by the Department of Veterans Affairs through the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.  For convenience, Counselors are listed by state.  However, Veterans are encouraged to contact any Counselor that is accessible to them, not just those listed in their home states.

Locate a VA Certified Counselor to assist you.

*Procurement Technical Assistance Program/Procurement Technical Assistance Center Counselors
Congress created the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) to help businesses seeking to compete successfully in federal, state and local Government contracting.  Funded through cooperative agreements between DoD and state/local entities, PTACs provide a range of expert services at little or no charge.  No Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC) membership is required.  To engage a PTAC Counselor in your area to assist you with the Verification process, visit the APTAC website and select your state to get help.

Find a Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) in your area.

Veteran Service Organizations

*American Legion

It is the nation’s largest wartime Veterans Service Organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.  The American Legion is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization with great political influence perpetuated by its grass-roots involvement in the legislation process from local districts to Capitol Hill.  Legionnaires’ sense of obligation to community, state and nation drives an honest advocacy for Veterans in Washington.  The Legion stands behind the issues most important to the nation’s Veterans community, backed by resolutions passed by volunteer leadership.  If you are interested requesting help from a Verification Counselor in your area, please call Mr. Joe Sharpe (202) 861-2700 or Mr. Davy Leghorn (202) 263-5746 or via email at [email protected]

American Legion provides verification assistance free of charge.

*National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC)
NVSBC provide Verification assistance in the following areas.  NVSBC requires payment up front for all stages of reviews and assistance.  The Verification process, criteria, and standards continue to evolve.  NVSBC personnel have a current and detailed understanding of underlying statutes, regulations and guidance as implemented by CVE examiners and evaluators.  NVSBC cannot guarantee approval; however, with extensive training, knowledge, and communications with CVE, NVSBC can greatly enhance the opportunity for a successful conclusion.  NVSBC is committed to your success and will work quickly and diligently with you to obtain your Verification through any and all of the CVE Verification stages.  If you would like to contact NVSBC for help with the Verification process, or have any questions about the assistance they can provide, please contact Mr. Scott Denniston at (703) 282-4140 or via email at [email protected]

There is a sliding fee associated with counseling services.  For more information, please contact the NVSBC at (703) 282-4140

*The Veterans Entrepreneurship Task Force (VET-Force)
VET-Force organized in 1998 to advocate for the development and passage of Public Law 106-50, the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999, wherein Congress realized that the United States must provide additional assistance to Veterans, particularly Service-Disabled Veterans, with forming and expanding their own small businesses; and thereby enabling them to “realize the American dream that they fought so hard to protect.”  Vets-Force provides Verification assistance free of charge.  For more information please send inquiries to [email protected]

VET-Force provides verification assistance free of charge.

*The Veterans Enterprise Training & Services Group, Inc (VETS Group)
VETS Group offers training in Federal Procurement, Verification counseling, small business development, education in financial literacy, credit repair and identity theft; and is now in the process of implementing an initiative to identify more procurement opportunities for Veterans in the private-sector.  Partnerships are being formed with large corporate enterprises to offer Veteran employment opportunities, business education, mentoring, technical assistance, growth capital, and access to international markets.  VETS Group provides Verification assistance free of charge.  If you are interested requesting help from a Verification Counselor in your area, please call Mr. Joe Wynn at (202) 822-0011 or via email at [email protected]

VETS Group provides verification assistance free of charge.

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If your business is (or you know of another business) owned by a veteran (VOB), active duty military, reservist or service disabled  veteran (SDVOSB) of the United States, Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard or National Guard, please be sure to visit the VeteranOwnedBusiness.com sign up page to get your free listing.  In addition to joining over 22,000 other VOBs/SDVOSBs, once verified and approved, your profile will be immediately searchable by 1,000s of weekly visitors!

The objective of our FREE Veteran Owned Business Directory is to continue to offer a growing list of products and services that are unique in the fact that they are all owned by, sold by and/or serviced by past and present military members.

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