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Department of General Services: Small Business and Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise Certifications (SB)/(DVBE):

The Department of General Services serves as the business manager for the State of California. They offer two certifications, the SB and DVBE. Typical certification time can be within a few hours or weeks depending on the type of industry. For instance, service based businesses can be certified very quickly while manufacturing companies need to upload documentation which then needs to be verified by a DGS officer. The DVBE certification is reserved for veterans who are at least 10% disabled and honorably discharged. Documents such as dd214 and discharge papers need to be uploaded.

California State government requires state agencies to award at least 25% of their annual contracting dollars to certified Small Businesses and at least 3% to certified Veteran Owned Businesses. The State may give a 5% bid preference to certified Small Businesses and may offer up to a 5% incentive to Certified Veteran Owned Businesses in the formal bid process. As a California certified Veteran Owned Business, your business is added to the Department of General Services database which state agencies use to find Certified company’s.

For DVBE certification purposes, a “disabled veteran” is:

  • A veteran of the U.S. military, naval, or air service
  • The veteran must have a service-connected disability of at least 10% or more
  • The veteran must reside in California

To be certified as a DVBE, your firm must meet the following requirements:

  • Your business must be at least 51% owned by one or more disabled veterans
  • Your daily business operations must be managed and controlled by one or more disabled veterans. NOTE: The disabled veteran who manages and controls the business is not required to be an owner of the applicant business
  • Your home office must be located in the U.S. (the home office cannot be a branch or subsidiary of a foreign corporation, foreign firm, or other foreign based business)
  • All existing and all new DVBE applicants must submit to the Office of Small Business and DVBE Services (OSDS) complete copies of the DVBE’s federal income tax returns for the previous three years. DVBEs who have been in business for less than three years shall submit the federal tax returns for each year they’ve been in business.
  • A DVBE applicant that is not a sole proprietorship and rents equipment to the state must provide the federal income tax returns for each of their disabled veteran owners or your firm will be deemed to be an equipment broker.
  • DVBE limited liability companies must be wholly owned by one or more disabled veterans