What You Need to Know Before Applying

To enjoy the benefits of certification, you will need to submit an application along with payment and various supporting documents. Some of the documentation will be quite detailed but it is necessary in order for us to verify a variety of issues—including veteran status and 51% veteran ownership and control—that are essential to qualifying for veteran owned business status per the Department of Defense requirements. Service Disabled Veterans must also submit their annual disability letter from the Veterans Administration (VA). Please review the following information thoroughly before applying.

What is a Veteran?

The NVBDC uses: Title 38 U.S. Code § 4211 – as our standard to determine the definition of a Veteran

Applicant must be a Veteran of a branch of the United States military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard).

Veteran status is determined using the official government DD Form 214 (DD214) that has been received directly from the Veterans’ military records location. The NVBDC cannot accept DD214's from the applicant. Our online application will provide all the instructions and the proper form for the applicant to request that their DD214 military records be sent directly to the NVBDC.

Applicant must have served a minimum of 180 consecutive days in an Active Duty capacity or meet one of the following exceptions:

  1. Was discharged or released from Active Duty because of a service-connected disability.
  2. Was discharged or released fromactive duty by reason of a sole survivorship discharge (as that term is defined in section 1174(i) of title 10).


Was as a member of the National Guard or a reserve component under an order to Active Duty pursuant to section 12301(a), (d), or (g), 12302, or 12304 of title 10, served on Active Duty during a period of war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge was authorized.


Served in the National Guard or Reserve for 20 years and retired.

  • Applicant must have received an Honorable Discharge (HD) or Discharge Under Honorable Conditions (UHC).
  • Applicable Geographic Region - United States and all US territories.
  • Applicant must be a US Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident

Veteran Owned Business Certification Criteria


Fifty-one percent ownership by a Veteran or Veterans. The applicant must share in all risk and profits commensurate with their ownership interest.

Control and Management: 

Proof of active management of the business. Veteran must possess the power to direct or cause to direct the management and policies of the business including the  dissolution or sale of the company without restriction by any other party.

Contribution of Expertise and Capital:

Contribution of capital and/or expertise by Veteran owners to acquire their ownership interest  shall be real and substantial and be in proportion of the interest acquired.


The Veteran owner(s) shall have the ability to perform in their area of specialty/expertise without 
substantial reliance on non-Veteran-owned businesses.

Though achieving Veteran Owned Business Certification requires some work, our process will clearly guide you through the various steps necessary to accomplish this task much faster than you could accomplish on your own.

Use FASTRACK & Get Certified FASTER!

If your company has previously been authorized by one of the following minority organizations, then you may apply for Veteran Owned Business Certification using our FASTRACK application process. Using FASTRACK could reduce your application review process to a little as 30 days, or less!

NVBDC will accept your application under FASTRACK if you have a current certification from any of the following organizations:

  • National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
  • The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
  • National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)

What Documents Will I Need?

All Registration, Payment, and Application processes take place online. All information and supporting documents must be submitted using our secure online process unless otherwise instructed by NVBDC personnel. Do not send any information or supporting documents to our offices. Click on the link below to download a checklist of the documents you'll need to provide to us in order to apply for certification.

Download the Document Checklist Here

How Long Will it Take?

For those company's not using FASTRACK, it will take approximately 60 days from the date that your application is submitted for the NVBDC to process your request for certification. Depending on yours and our availability, addition time may be required in order to complete the required Site Visit which will be conducted by an NVBDC auditor.

Will I Get a Certificate?

After successfully completing the certification process, you will receive a signed, stamped, and uniquely numbered Certificate with an expiration date of one year. In addition, you will also receive access to the NVBDC logo and an SDVOB or VOB Badge (whichever is applicable) that can be used in your marketing and branding materials.

I'd Like to Speak with an NVBDC Representative

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