SDVOSB program administration

As a contracting officer, you can help disabled veterans’ businesses get their fair share of contracting opportunities.


Meeting your agency goals for the disabled veterans’ business program

The federal government's goal is to award three percent of all prime and subcontracting dollars to businesses in the disabled veterans’ business program each year.

Types of disabled veterans’ business program contracts

As the contracting officer, you’re responsible for determining the type of contract to use. There are two kinds of contracts you can use:

  • A competitive disabled veterans’ business program set-aside contract can be awarded if the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that at least two responsible disabled veterans’ small businesses will submit offers and that the resulting contract can be awarded at a fair market price.
  • A sole-source disabled veterans’ business program contract can be awarded if the contracting officer doesn’t have a reasonable expectation that two or more qualified disabled veterans’ small businesses will submit offers, determines that the qualified disabled veterans’ small business is responsible, and determines that the contract can be awarded at a fair price. The government estimate cannot exceed $7 million for manufacturing requirements or $4 million for all other requirements.

When contracts are worth at or below $250,000, they are automatically set-aside for small businesses. If possible, you can choose to set it aside specifically for businesses in socio-economic programs like the disabled veterans’ business program.

Both SBA’s regulations and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) require you to consider socio-economic programs first for set-aside contracts above $250,000. There is no order of preference among the programs.

You must document the rationale you used to make your decision in the contract file. Include information about your research and documentation of the winning contractor’s certification in the System for Award Management (SAM).

If a requirement has been accepted by SBA under the 8(a) program, it must remain in the 8(a) program unless SBA agrees to its release.

How to find disabled veterans’ program contractors

As part of your market research, you can find disabled veterans’ program-certified businesses using SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS).

Additionally, you can:

  • Get personal assistance from SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development
  • Contact your agency’s Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization or your Agency Small Business Specialist
  • Issue a sources sought announcement in FedBizOpps seeking interested disabled veterans’ small businesses
  • Use the GSA Schedule program to find disabled veterans’ small businesses

Consider using language in your sources sought announcement that specifically encourages targeted small businesses to respond, along with the other federal small business categories if applicable. Ask only for key pieces of information you need to make the set-aside determination and include a page limit to make it easier for interested businesses to respond.

A man looking at a laptop computer.

Contractors live at DSBS

As a contracting officer, you can use the Dynamic Small Business Search to find small government contractors that can do the work.

Disabled veterans’ program protests

As with the other federal small business contracting programs, a challenge is possible on the program status of the successful offeror. As a contracting officer, you have specific responsibilities during a protest.

A status protest is one that challenges the business’ eligibility for the disabled veterans’ program on the grounds of disability, military service, or ownership and control. The processing of status protests for the disabled veterans’ program is explained in Title 13 Part 125 Subpart D of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

A size protest is one that challenges whether the business qualifies as small. The processing of size protests is outlined in 13 CFR 121.

Protests serve to maintain the integrity of the program. SBA's Office Government Contracting will guide you through the process and help make the determination in an efficient and timely manner.


You can reference the disabled veterans’ program regulations in 13 CFR 125, and FAR Subpart 19.14.

Need help?

Office Government Contracting
409 3rd St., 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20416

Last updated May 1, 2024