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Get Certified as a DVBE

The certification process is the responsibility of the Department of General Services (DGS), Procurement Division (PD), Office of Small Business and DVBE Services (OSDS). The OSDS is available to assist in completing the necessary documents and appointments are available in Sacramento for personal assistance. Over 80% of the DVBEs also qualify for small business (SB) certification, which offers additional benefits. There is no cost involved with applying for DVBE or small SB certification. To obtain DVBE certification, a firm must:

  • Submit a completed application found at the CalEProcure website.
  • Provide a copy of an Award of Entitlement (AOE) letter from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the U. S. Department of Defense, dated within six months of the date the application is submitted to OSDS. To obtain an AOE letter, you may call the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at (800) 827-1000.

Applicants are encouraged to register their business and complete the certification application on-line. Using the on-line system, SBs may receive immediate certification. Prospective DVBEs will be prompted to send eligibility documentation. For more information, see Steps 1 and 2 of the How to do Business with California State Government. For certification assistance, call the OSDS during regular State business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) at (916) 375-4940.

DVBE Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for certification the business must meet the following criteria:

  • Disabled veterans must have a service-connected disability of at least 10 percent declared by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Department of Defense.
  • The disabled veteran(s) who own the firm must be domiciled in California.
  • Disabled veterans must have an established business that is operational and active prior to submission of an application.
  • Daily business operations must be managed and controlled by one or more disabled veterans. The disabled veteran(s) who managed and controls the business is not required to be the disabled veteran business owner(s).
  • Principal office must be located in the United States and cannot be a branch or subsidiary of a foreign corporation, foreign firm, or other foreign-based business.
  • For more information on eligibility visit the DGS informational brochure.

Certification DVBE Benefits

State agencies may use a streamlined process known as the "DVBE Option" by contracting directly with a California certified DVBE business for goods, services, information technology and public works projects. The solicitation must be valued at more than $5,000, and the State agency must obtain price quotes from at least two California certified DVBE businesses.

  • Your Business is added to the California Department of General Services database used by state and local agencies to find DVBEs.
  • The DVBE Option allows agencies to contract directly with a California certified DVBE for goods, services, and information technology goods and services valued from $5, 000.01 to $ 249, 999.99 (up to $291, 000 for public works contracts) after obtaining price quotes from at least two SBs or two DVBEs.
  • DVBE subcontractors can find contracting opportunities and place ads seeking work with potential prime contractors at no cost.
  • The state may offer up to a 5 percent incentive to bidders that promise to use DVBEs.

What You Should Know

DVBE certification is typically issued for two years. DVBE are subject to periodic reviews while actively certified. Certification does not guarantee you will be awarded a government contract. Contracting with the state is very competitive, you must market your business to the government agencies. If an applicant has a bidding opportunity, he/she may request an expedited application.

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Get Certified as a DVBE