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Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization


Vets First Verification Program


The Vets First Verification Program affords verified firms owned and controlled by Veterans and Service-disabled Veterans the opportunity to compete for VA set asides.


The Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-461) provides the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with unique authority for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) set-aside and sole source contracts.

This procurement authority, and its subsequent implementation, is a logical extension of VA’s mission to care for our Nation’s Veterans. VA refers to this program as the Veterans First Contracting Program.

The Vets First Verification Program affords verified firms owned and controlled by Veterans and Service-disabled Veterans the opportunity to compete for VA set asides. During Verification, the Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) verifies SDVOSBs/VOSBs according to the tenets found in Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 74 and 13 CFR Part 125 that address Veteran eligibility, ownership, and control. In order to qualify for participation in the Veterans First Contracting Program, eligible SDVOSBs/VOSBs must first be verified.

As part of the Verification Process, applicants move through four stages: Intake, Assessment, Federal Review, and Decision.
Start Verification

Verification Guides and Popular Resources

DS Logon and Account Instructions
VEMS Portal User Guide
Required Documents for VIP Application

Verified firms may use the following links to download the appropriate logo for use on marketing material and business cards.
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Logo
Veteran-Owned Small Business Logo

Laws and Regulations

38 CFR Part 74 - VA Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Guidelines
13 CFR Part 125  - Government Contracting Programs
38 U.S.C. § 8127 - Contracting Goals and Preferences
38 U.S.C. § 8128 - Contracting Priority
VA Procurement Policy Memorandum 7/25/2016
VA Acquisition Circular

CVE Standard Operating Procedure

Standard Operating Procedure (September 2015)

VA Moves Against Non-Compliant and Fraudulent Firms

CVE has established a process to report firms alleged to be non-compliant with one or more of the regulatory requirements for the Vets First Verification Program. Learn about the reporting process

The VA Office of Inspector General is committed to protecting the rights of SDVOSBs/VOSBs by vigorously investigating and seeking prosecution of those who commit fraud against Veterans. CVE does not process allegations related to fraud or acquisition violations. If you desire to allege a firm is fraudulent, please submit a complaint via the VA OIG Hotline .

Read news release: Company Owners Plead Guilty to $13.8 Million 'Rent-A-Vet' Scheme

Verification Assistance Counselor Certification

VA continues to offer its “Understanding the Verification Process” training series to certify Verification Assistance Counselors across the United States. The course presents an integrated approach to learning about CVE internal processes, Verification policy and regulation, and how to navigate the Vets First Verification Program application process. PTAC Counselors who are interested in becoming VA-certified may register to receive a self-paced certification DVD. To register, contact CVE at or 202-632-9099. Certification is issued when a counselor has demonstrated comprehensive understanding by passing a final assessment.

Verification Webinars and Town Halls

CVE hosts recurring training sessions on various aspects of the Verification process. Consult the list of upcoming webinars and town halls to register for a session that will best address your current or future Verification status.

View List

Verification Assistance Program

The Verification Assistance Program provides support and resources to SDVOSBs/VOSBs interested in applying for the Vets First Verification Program. Aid is available every step of the application process to prevent and reduce Verification denials.

View List

Verification Assistance Counselors

VA trains and certifies Verification Assistance Counselors through its Verification Assistance Counseling Program. Under this program, counselors are trained to provide application assistance to SDVOSBs/VOSBs that are interested in becoming verified. VA-certified Verification Assistance Counselors work with applicants to:

  • Offer insight regarding 38 CFR Part 74  and  CFR Part 125
  • Review a firm’s business model
  • Assist owners with resource tools
  • Review documents for application submission

Counseling services are available at Procurement Technical Assistance Centers/PTACs throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam at no cost. Veteran business owners are encouraged to contact a counselor in the state where their business is licensed or permitted to operate.

Locate a Verification Assistance Counselor in your area

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For advice on potential procurement opportunities in your area, contact your local
VA Small Business Liaison