What is SDVOSB Certification?

SDVOSB Certification is a special designation given to businesses that are majority-owned by veterans who have service-related disabilities. Recognizing the sacrifices made by these veterans and the challenges they might face upon returning to the civilian world, this program is designed to give them an advantage in the business sphere. For a business to qualify, it must be located within the United States and be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans.

A History of the SDVOSB Certification

The journey of the SDVOSB certification began as an acknowledgment of the unique challenges faced by service-disabled veterans transitioning back into civilian life. While the U.S. government has a long history of supporting veterans, the push to particularly uplift those with service-related disabilities gained momentum towards the end of the 20th century.

The pivotal moment came with the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999. This act was a turning point, recognizing that service-disabled veterans often faced even greater challenges in the business world due to their injuries. The act established the groundwork for what would later become the SDVOSB program, aiming to level the entrepreneurial playing field for these veterans.

In 2003, the Veterans Benefits Act further emphasized the importance of supporting service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs. It set the foundation for the specific government contracting preferences we see today, ensuring a portion of federal contracting dollars are reserved exclusively for SDVOSB enterprises.

Why Get Certified?

Acquiring the SDVOSB Certification opens doors for veteran entrepreneurs. These businesses get preferential treatment when bidding for government contracts, particularly when the government agency has set goals for contracting with service-disabled veteran-owned companies. Such initiatives ensure that those who have served and sacrificed for the nation get a fair chance at entrepreneurship. Moreover, companies that align their procurement strategies with SDVOSBs can demonstrate their commitment to supporting veterans and can also avail of certain tax benefits.

How to Get Certified

The SDVOSB certification process ensures that only genuine service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs benefit. Here’s a quick guide to help you understand the certification process:


  • Business must be at least 51% owned by one or more service-disabled veterans.
  • Such veterans must have a service-related disability determination from the Department of Defense or the VA.
  • The service-disabled veteran owner must hold the highest officer position in the company.
  • This veteran owner must be involved in the day-to-day operations and management of the company.
  • The company must be small, as defined by the NAICS code standards.