Thank you for your interest in the National Veteran Owned Business Association’s Certified Veteran’s Business Enterprise™ (VBE) and Certified Service-Disabled Veteran’s Business Enterprise™ (SDVBE) programs. This initiative creates a nationally recognized gold standard in certification for veteran-owned businesses of all sizes and enables corporate America to proactively source and confidently utilize businesses that are at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by U.S. military veterans.
Before we begin with the application, we wanted to ensure you fully understand what to expect with the application process as well as how to use your certification once your firm is approved. First, this is not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ verification through its Center for Verification and Evaluation. VBE™ certification is a private-sector program that mirrors those certifications that already exist for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) selling to corporate America.
Second, all applicants must provide significant documentation to validate that your firm is in fact veteran-owned. Corporations can’t risk reporting spending with firms that are owned by veterans if they aren’t absolutely certain of the ownership, operation, and control. VBE™ certification provides that certainty.
Third, NaVOBA’s Certified Veteran’s Business Enterprise™ (VBE) and Certified Service-Disabled Veteran’s Business Enterprise™ (SDVBE) firms all will have gone through an on-site interview at their business location to validate the information amassed in the initial document review.
Finally, just like with all other private sector certifications, all applicant firms must pay a fee to process the application. We’ve been sharing this news and working with NaVOBA member businesses over the past year to learn how best to implement the program and address many questions that need clarification.
For detailed information about NaVOBA’s VBE™ certification, please read the feature article in Vetrepreneur magazine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will this certification help my business get government contracts?
No it will not. The federal government does not require third-party certification. VBE/SDVBE certification is focused on private sector contracting with NaVOBA's Corporate Allies.
Who authorized NaVOBA to certify my business?
NaVOBA’s Certified VBE™ and Certified SDVBE™ credentials are offered in response to the need expressed by NaVOBA’s Corporate Allies.
Why do I have to get certified?
You don’t. This certification is a marketing tool you can use to do business with corporations that want to work with Certified VBEs™ and Certified SDVBEs™. If your customer matrix does not include these firms, forego the cost and effort of applying for certification.
Why do I have to pay to get certified?
The process required to certify that one or more veterans legitimately own, operate, and control a business concern requires skilled staff and a lengthy review, coupled with a site visit. Simply put, it’s expensive to do. It must be viewed as a hunting license. If you do not intend to hunt, don’t buy the license.
What is the fee structure?
The application fee is based on your company's most recent annual review.
Why do corporations want me to get certified?
Corporate supplier diversity programs have been around for decades. The established standard for those firms to buy from minority- or women-owned businesses requires that a third party such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) or the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certify those supplier firms to ensure they are actually spending money with deserving firms.