Veteran Owned and Minority Owned Business verification

As I set up as a vendor with my first client, I was asked if I qualified for a number of different categories. As I looked at the long list, I did qualify – as a veteran owned and minority owned business.

Why would you “check the box?”  Upon researching it further, it became pretty clear:

  1. There are government set-asides for these classifications
  2. Corporate entities want to do business with other companies that carry these certifications
  3. There are support opportunities, like networking, mentoring and lead generation, through the VA, small business administration and other groups

Checking out the requirements, it looked like a daunting list. Here’s what I found:

  • For veteran owned businesses, as a start up, you need:
    • To own at least 51% of the business, and run it
    • Incorporation documents (if you are one – I’m a corporation, and the documents were sent by the state Secretary of State)
    • Resume for principals (that means you)
    • A DUNS number (it’s a database, takes 5 minutes to fill out the form, and they promise turnaround in 1 business day)
    • An EIN or your social security/taxpayer ID number
    • Be in the VA database – they refer to it as BIRLS – if you’ve registered for VA benefits at any time, you’re in it.  I also think it is part of your outprocessing.
    • At least 60 days to process
    • There were counseling services and pre-application information available.  I checked out the pre-application resources – very helpful.
    • It’s free
  • For minority owned business certification, you need:
    • To own at least 51% of the business, and run it
    • Many of the above documents
    • Business cards of the principals of the organization, with titles
    • At least 90 days to process, and there is a periodic recertification
    • There’s a fee, but I haven’t gotten that far in the process yet

As I continue down the path, I’ll post my progress.  Right now, I’m waiting for my DUNS number, and then I’ll start the VA process.

UPDATE:  I got my DUNS number in 8 hours.  Emailed to me overnight.  Fantastic.

Have you gone through this process?  Any tips, or tricks?

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