Information from about helping veterans get into small businesses. Please check out their site or the links below for more details

The Department’s Veteran and Small Business Programs implement the requirements to aid, counsel, assist, and protect the interests of Veteran and Small Business concerns to ensure that a fair proportion of total purchases, contracts, and subcontracts for property and services for VA are placed with Veteran and Small Businesses.  For acquisition purposes, Veteran and Small Businesses must be independently owned and operated, not dominant in the field of operation in which they are bidding on Government contracts, and otherwise qualify as Small Businesses under the criteria and size standards developed by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Small Business Set-Asides

This program requires agencies to limit competition on certain contracts to qualified Small Businesses so that small firms do not have to compete with large ones for the same contracts.  However, because the law requires the Government to buy at competitive prices, contracts are set aside when two Small Businesses are expected to submit offers to ensure adequate competition.  SBA establishes size standards that determine a firm’s eligibility to competitive offers in terms of market price, quality, and delivery.  These standards are established on an industry-by-industry basis, using dollar volume of sales or number of employees, to determine eligibility.

Additional SBA Resources

Non-Manufacturer Rule

“Nonmanufacturer rule” means that a contractor under a small business set-aside contract shall be a small business under the applicable size standard and shall provide either its own product or that of another domestic small business manufacturing or processing concern (see 13 CFR 121.406FAR 19.001 and the Nonmanufacturer Rule Fact Sheet (pdf 20.6k)).

Consistent with Public Law 109-461, awarding contracts to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) firms is the highest priority within the Small Business programs for VA.  Consistent with the mandate and the mission of VA, participation of SDVOSBs in VA Acquisition programs is strongly encouraged.  OSDBU is the advocate that monitors the Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Program, with a special emphasis on SDVOSBs.  Under the authority granted in Public Law 109-461, VA is authorized to set aside contracts and/or award sole source contracts, to SDVOSB and VOSB firms.

Additional information may be found at

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) promotes the maximum utilization of Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB) as practicable.  Under the Veterans First program, VA contract specialists conduct market research in an effort to seek out VOSB firms to meet their needs.  VA is the only agency which sets a goal and which tracks participation of VOSBs.

Additional information may be found at

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program, named for a section of the Small Business Act, is a Business Development Program created to help Small Disadvantaged Businesses compete and access the Federal Procurement market.  Contacting the local SBA district office serving your area is the first step.  An SBA representative will answer general questions over the telephone.  Some district offices may also have 8(a) orientation workshops to provide additional information regarding the eligibility requirements and to review various SBA forms.

What are the basic requirements an 8(a) applicant firm must meet?  The applicant firm:

  • Must be a small business,
  • Must be unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who are of good character and citizens of the United States, and
  • Must demonstrate potential for success.

Additional information may be found at the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program web site.

The purpose of the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program is to provide Federal contracting assistance for qualified Small Business concerns located in HUBZones to:

  • Increase employment opportunities
  • Stimulate capital investment in those areas
  • Empower communities through economic leveraging and reinvestment within the community of wages and taxes

To be a qualified HUBZone Small Business concern a company must:

  • Be a Small Business
  • Be 51% owned and controlled only by U.S. citizens
  • Have the “principal office” located in a HUBZone
  • Have at least 35% of the company’s employees residing in a HUBZone (doesn’t have to be the same HUBZone as the company’s principal office)
  • Be certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration

Additional information may be found at the Small Business Administration’s HUBZone web site.

For the purpose of improving and stimulating this Small Business segment, VA established a realistic Department-wide goal for the award of contracts to Small Business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.  OSDBU is also responsible for the VA program to encourage greater economic opportunity for minority entrepreneurs.  To implement these requirements, goals are established for award of contracts to Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs).

If a business is; (a) Small for the NAICS Code under which it is to perform, (b) At least 51% owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged and; (c) Managed and controlled by one or more such individuals, they may be eligible to self-certify as an SDB under this program.  The Government wide prime and sub-contracting goal for SDBs is 5%.  Full definitions of social and economic disadvantage are outlined in 13 CFR § 124.

Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identities as members of groups and without regard to their individual qualities.  The social disadvantage must stem from circumstances beyond their control.

Additional information may be found at the SBA Small Disadvantaged Businesses web site.

In response to the need to aid and stimulate Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs), Federal Acquisition officials are directed to take appropriate action to ensure full participation by women in the free enterprise system.  Appropriate action includes the award of prime contracts and subcontracts and counseling of Women-Owned Small Businesses.  OSDBU is responsible for negotiating annual goals with VA Acquisition officials to increase Federal prime contracts with Women-Owned Small Businesses.  The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA) set an overall goal of 5% for Women-Owned Small Businesses.

Effective February 2011, the WOSB Federal Contract Program aimed at expanding Federal opportunities for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs), authorizes contracting officers to set-aside certain Federal contracts for eligible:

  • WOSBs or
  • Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSBs)

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, a firm must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women.  The women must be U.S. citizens.  The firm must be “small” in its primary industry in accordance with SBA’ps size standards for that industry.  In order for a WOSB to be deemed “economically disadvantaged,” its owners must demonstrate economic disadvantage in accordance with the requirements set forth in the final rule.  Eligible firm must complete the following steps to participate in the program:

4 Steps to participate in the WOSB program:

  1. Read the WOSB Federal Contract program regulations in the Federal Register and the WOSB Compliance Guide.
  2. Register and represent your status in the System for Award Management (SAM)as WOSB or EDWOSB.
  3. Log onto SBA’s General Login System (GLS).  (Obtain an account now if you don’t already have one.)
  4. Go to the WOSB program repository (through GLS) and upload/categorize all required documents.

Additional information may be found at the Small Business Administration’sWoman-Owned Small Business Program web site.