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Federal Government Contracts: New SBA Certification Program for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
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Conducted on Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will guide counsel on navigating the Small Business Administration (SBA) certification program for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) effective Jan. 1, 2023. The panel will review eligibility requirements, crucial certification procedures, and compliance obligations for entities and joint ventures. The panel will also offer certification best practices for receiving future set-aside or sole source federal government contracts.


The SBA's new certification program for veteran-owned businesses establishes a significant government-wide initiative and transfers previous control from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to the SBA. The new program virtually eliminates, after a one-year transition period, self-certification for VOSBs and SDVOSBs except in the case of self-certifications for subcontracts and for goaling purposes.

Among other nuances, one important change under the SBA program for purposes of federal government contracts is that for a business to be certified as a VOSB or SDVOSB, the business can qualify if they are "small," including domestic and foreign affiliates, pursuant to any North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code listed on the System for Award Management (SAM) profile. Prior guidance entirely focused on an entity's primary NAICS code. The second key change eliminates the requirement for a business to demonstrate "good character" to be VOSB or SDVOSB certified. The previous rule prevented certification due to incarceration or parole or probation status, even though not otherwise disqualified from contracting with the federal government.

Under the new SBA program, a certified VOSB or SDVOSB may enter into a joint venture agreement with one or more other small business concerns, or with an approved "mentor," for the purpose of submitting an offer for a VOSB or SDVOSB contract. The joint venture itself does not need to be a certified VOSB or SDVOSB. However, the managing partner must be SBA certified.

Listen as our authoritative panel reviews the recent SBA final rule and its certification requirements and implications for existing veteran-owned businesses competing for federal contracts. The panel will also offer practitioners practical advice about how to guide VOSB or SDVOSB government contractors to strategically prepare for this new regime for the certification of veteran-owned businesses.



  1. New SBA certification program for VOSBs and SDVOSBs
    1. Definitions
    2. Eligibility requirements
  2. Recent changes and key compliance issues
  3. Joint venture considerations
  4. Advising existing VOSB and SDVOSB contractors on how to prepare for the impact of the new regime


The panel will review these and other important issues:

  • What are the new SBA certification program requirements and what entities are covered?
  • How does a business qualify as a VOSB, SDVOSB, or VOSB/SDVOSB joint venture for federal government contracts?
  • What present and future strategies should counsel offer clients to ensure they are prepared for this significant shift in the regime for the certification of veteran-owned businesses?


Estevez, Erin
Erin Estevez

Holland & Knight

Ms. Estevez has broad government contracts experience and focuses her practice on advising companies ranging from...  |  Read More

Fish, Peter
Peter A. Fish

Reston Law Group

Mr. Fish has over 25 years of professional experience balanced between law firm practice and serving as in-house...  |  Read More

Overman, Todd
Todd R. Overman

Chair Government Contracts Practice Group
Bass Berry & Sims

Mr. Overman has established himself as a leading government contracts practitioner. He has nearly two decades of...  |  Read More

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