By: Danielle Dietrich

Are you a service-disabled veteran who owns a small business and wants to work with the federal government? If so, you need to know about a new rule that affects how you can qualify for contracts and subcontracts that count towards the government's goals for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs).

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued a direct Final Rule that eliminates self-certification for SDVOSBs that are awarded federal contracts or subcontracts that count towards agency or subcontracting goals. This rule is effective August 5, 2024 without further action unless adverse comment is received no later than July 8, 2024. If significant adverse comments are received, the SBA will publish a withdrawal of the rule.

When the rule goes into effect, businesses must be certified by SBA's Veteran Small Business Certification (VetCert) Program to be eligible for those federal contracts or subcontracts, starting October 1, 2024.

This rule implements a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (NDAA 2024), which aims to ensure that only eligible SDVOSBs receive the benefits of the government's contracting preferences.  The rule also creates a grace period for firms that file an application for certification with SBA by December 22, 2024, allowing them to continue to self-certify until SBA makes a final decision.

If you are already certified by VetCert, you do not need to take any action to comply with this rule. However, if you are currently self-certified as an SDVOSB in the System for Award Management (SAM) and you want to pursue federal contracts or subcontracts that count towards SDVOSB goals, you should apply for certification with SBA as soon as possible.

To apply for certification, you need to submit an online application through SBA's portal, and provide supporting documents that demonstrate your eligibility as an SDVOSB. You will also need to apply for recertification every three years to maintain your status.

If you have any questions about SDVOSB or any other certifications, please contact Danielle Dietrich, Esq. at or 412-449-9141.

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