What is a veteran-owned business?
A veteran-owned business is maintained by a veteran who has 51 percent of the ownership and control of the enterprise. A veteran is a person who served on active duty with the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines or Coast Guard and was released under conditions other than dishonorable. People who were called to active duty, as well as reservists or National Guardsmen who retired or were injured while in training status, also qualify as veterans.
What is a service-disabled veteran-owned business?
A service-disabled veteran-owned business must meet the same requirements as a veteran-owned business, plus the veteran or veterans owning the controlling interest must have a VA-rated service-connected disability. If a veteran is severely disabled, the day-to-day management of the business may be performed by a spouse or personal caregiver.
I’m currently in the Army and will be getting out in a year. Where can I get startup info for a new business or buying a pre-existing business?
The best way to find that information is to contact our Veterans program manager at 270-763-6961 or visit our veterans business website at http://www.kyvetbiz.com/ so that we can connect you with your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Their counselors can work with you to get the information that you need.
I’m a veteran and want to open a business. What programs do you have for me?
There are several organizations set up to help those who want to start a business. In Kentucky, you can visit our website at http://www.kyvetbiz.com/. This website is your connection to information and resources to help you start, run and grow your business. We will connect you with a local SBDC representative to assist you in answering your questions, or to work with you personally in a confidential, no fee setting. We also have a listing of resource partners who can help you in many areas, including procurement, microlending, etc. Our consultants will provide you with a personalized look at your needs and create an action plan and/or training plan to help you. We can also provide you with a listing of SBA participating lenders for Kentucky.
Are there special programs for service-connected disabled veterans?
There are special emphasis programs for service-disabled business owners in the world of federal procurement. There is a new law that permits the consideration of noncompetitive or competitive set aside contract awards limited to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB). It’s essential that SDVOSB concerns looking to take advantage of these programs have the ability, experience and at least a demonstrated commercial background.
I’m interested in purchasing a franchise. Would that be considered as a veteran owned business? Are there any special programs for Veterans?
Yes, if you own a franchise business and are qualified as a veteran, then it would be a veteran owned business. Veterans Affairs (VA) has an agreement with the International Franchise Association to create a program called VetFran. This is an excellent opportunity for veterans to become business owners. The Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, commonly known as “VetFran,” allows veterans to acquire a franchise at a discounted rate that is established by the franchisor. Franchising companies absorb the difference.
For more information on the VetFran program, visit the website at http://www.vetfran.com/
Can I get a Veterans Affairs (VA) loan to open a small business?
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has no funds or authority to provide either small business grants or loans except through the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment “Self-Employment Track” program. Congress stopped the direct business loan assistance program for veterans in 1986.
Is there any special consideration given to veterans for loans?
By law, the Small Business Administration (SBA) places applications from veterans at the head of the list. SBA also has a loan guarantee program specifically for Veterans, called Patriot Express. Eligible military community members include: Veterans, Service-disabled veterans, Active-duty service members eligible for the military’s Transition Assistance Program, Reservists and National Guard members, current spouses of any of the above, and the widowed spouse of a service member or veteran who died during service or of a service-connected disability. You can learn more at http://www.sba.gov.
I am not a veteran business owner, but have been impacted by the loss of an employee who has been “called up” to active duty as a military reservist. Are there any loan programs available to help out?
Yes, there is a Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan program through SBA. It is designed to provide funds to eligible small businesses to meet their ordinary and necessary operating expenses that it is unable to meet due to an essential employee being called to active duty. These loans are intended to provide working capital needed to pay necessary obligations as they mature until operations return to normal after the essential employee is released from active duty.
How can I register with Veteran Affairs (VA) to do business with their agency?
With the introduction of PL 109-461, veterans have certain benefits in contracting with VA. The law:
* Redefines priorities for contracting preferences within VA, placing SDVOSBs and VOSBs first and second, respectively, in satisfying VA’s acquisition requirements.
* Allows sole source contracts over the Simplified Acquisition Procedures Threshold up to $5,000,000 (including options).
* Implements restricted competition via Set-Aside Procedures for each category of SDVOSBs and VOSBs.
* Allows additional credit evaluation factors for SDVOSB or VOSB status.
You must be registered in the (VIP) database at http://www.vip.vetbiz.gov/ in order to participate in this program. If you are interested in doing business with VA specifically, please contact the VA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) by calling toll free 1-800-949-8387 or visiting their site at http://www.va.gov/osdbu/.
How do I get my business certified as a Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) or a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)?
Registering on the Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database with Veterans Affairs is a way of self-certifying your status as a VOSB or SDVOSB. If you are a veteran business owner who is not already registered, please go to www.vip.vetbiz.gov to register your business.
I’m not interested in selling to the government. Should I register on the VIP website?
The VetBiz.gov Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database is a collection of all types of veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs). As the popularity of the database grows, it is a way for anyone in the general public to find a VOSB near them. Supporting VOSBs is a way to give back to those who gave so much for all of us. Small business is the backbone of the American economy, and supporting a veteran owned business is a way to show pride in our country.
What is the 3% goal for government contracts?
Public Law 106-50 and Executive Order 13360 have established procurement goals for all Federal agencies. The law sets a goal of 3% of all Federal procurement dollars to be spent with service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs).
Are there any set-aside programs for non-service disabled veterans?
Currently, VA is the only Federal agency with a goal for veteran-owned small businesses. Each year the Secretary of VA establishes a goal for VOSBs. In FY 2008 the VA VOSB goal is 10%, which includes a 7% SDVOSB goal.
Do SDB, HubZone, Women Owned or 8(a) businesses get preference over SDVOSBs?
The Federal Acquisition Regulation establishes that 8(a) businesses have first priority in small business programs followed by the HubZone businesses. VA has special legislation that applies only to their Department that puts SDVOSBs and VOSBs first in small business programs.
I am a Veteran and would like to buy 51% of a business that I have been involved with for two years as a manager. How long do I need to be 51% owner and operations manager to qualify as a bidder for VOSB or SDVOSB contracts?
The short answer is “It depends.” There are a couple of scenarios where the outcome would be different. If we are looking at the purchase of the business and subsequent contracts from a purely procurement stand, there is no waiting time from becoming an owner to bidding on contracts.
When a waiting time would come into play would be in an ethics case. If, for example, you have been a silent partner in the company for some time, but also held a position at a VA medical center where you would have influence in decisions, then there is an ethical waiting period. This is typically 2 years.
Can my spouse continue my SDVOSB as a SDVOSB after I die?
At this time there are no survivor benefits for spouses in most Federal agencies. However, according to PL 109-461, an eligible surviving spouse may continue the business for up to 10 years.
I am considered to be a large veteran-owned business. Do I get a preference?
No. Large businesses are excluded from competing in the small business programs for 8(a), HubZone, Service-Disabled Veterans, and other small businesses. Large businesses can, however, partner with smaller businesses.