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How Disabled Veterans Can Win Government Contracts

The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) is a program that allows small businesses to self-certify as service-disabled veteran-owned businesses providing them increased opportunities to win government contracts. Significantly and permanently impaired veterans may be assisted in the daily business operations by a spouse or permanent caregiver.

Should a competitor challenge a small business' standing as a service-disabled veteran-owned small business the case must be referred to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for resolution.

Even though having your firm certified as an SDVOSB business can help increase your competitiveness in winning government contracts, there are exclusions from SDVOSB set-aside rules, including: Federal Prison Industries; Javits-Wagner-O'Day organizations; existing IDIQ contracts; federal supply schedule sources; requirements currently in the 8(a) program; and commissary sales.

Two types of SDVOSB justification includes sole source and set aside, which are reviewed below.

The SDVOSB Sole source justification may be used if the Contracting Officer (CO) determines that: a SDVOSB concern is a responsible contractor with respect to performance; there is not a reasonable expectation that 2 or more small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans will submit offers for the contracting opportunity; the anticipated award price of the contract (including options) will not exceed $5 million in the case of a contract opportunity assigned in NAICS codes for manufacturing; or $3 million in the case of any other contract opportunity; and the contract award can be made at a fair and reasonable price.

To use the SDVOSB sole source, business owners should conduct market research, document findings, and, of course, negotiate as customary. Noncompetitive SDVOSB procedures may be used below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold.

The SDVOSB Set-Aside justification may be used if the CO determines that there is a reasonable expectation that not less than 2 small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans will submit offers and that the award can be made at a fair market price.

To use the SDVOSB set aside business owners should conduct market research, publish requirement as customary, and make note of their Service-disabled Veteran-owned Set-Aside status. The contract will be awarded on the basis of competition restricted to small business concerns owned and controlled by service disabled veterans. If only one offer is received, the CO may award if price is reasonable. If no offers are received, CO must cancel and compete as a small business set-aside.

Brian Cook is a freelance writer whose articles on government contracting have appeared on many websites. You can find more of these at http://www.contractsecrets.com

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