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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 DGS 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 the State of California. For certification assistance, call the OSDS during regular State business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) at (916) 375-4940. See the DGS informational brochure for a overview of the DVBE program.

Certification Benefits

•State agencies are required to award at least 25% of their annual contracting dollars to certified SBs and at least 3% to DVBEs.
•State agencies may give a 5% bid preference to certified SBs and may offer up to a 5% DVBE bid incentive.
•As a certified DVBE and/or SB, your business is added to the DGS' data-base which State agencies use to find DVBEs and SBs.
•Ability to participate in streamlined procurements known as SB/DVBE Options. Contracts awarded using the SB/DVBE Option are valued from $5,000.01 to $249,999.99 for goods, information technology, and services (or valued up to $250,000 for public works contracts). This option enables State agencies to contract directly with certified businesses when they obtain price quotations from at least 2 responsible and responsive SBs or at least 2 responsible and responsive DVBEs.

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Get Certified as a DVBE