Maryland’s VSBE Program provides contracting opportunities on state-funded procurements for qualified veteran-owned small businesses. Designated agencies and departments are directed to spend at least 1% of the dollar value of their procurement contracts with certified VSBE firms.
Only the work of a certified VSBE firm, performing as either a prime contractor or a subcontractor, can be counted toward an established VSBE contract goal. There is no cost to obtain certification, and once certified, firms must renew annually.
The number of certified vendors in the VSBE Program, and the diversity of products and services they provide, makes a big impact on how VSBE goals are set on a contract. Increasing the VSBE vendor pool will ultimately lead to increased VSBE goals on state-funded contracts.
Businesses seeking to participate in the VSBE Program must (1) meet the size standards adopted by the United States Small Business Administration in 13 C.F.R. 121.201
and any subsequent revision of that regulation, and; (2) must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are veterans. A veteran is defined as an individual who is verified as having served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, other than for training, and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.
Certification in the VSBE Program
requires three (3) steps:
STEP 1: Vendor Registration
STEP 2: Veteran Verification
STEP 3: VSBE Certification
Vendor Registration - VSBE firms must be registered as a vendor on the state's e-Procurement platform - eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA). Vendors registered in eMMA receive email notices of procurement opportunities from state agencies and departments valued over $15,000. County and local governments use the platform to advertise their procurements as well. There is no cost to register in eMMA.
When registering as a new vendor on eMMA, look for the section titled Procurement Programs, State Programs, and navigate to the Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise (VSBE) section. Select "No" to indicate you are not currently enrolled in the VSBE Program, then a new box will appear. Select "Yes" to indicate you would like to apply to the VSBE Program, then continue with the registration process. Once you have successfully registered as a vendor, log into your account. You will see a notice of "Missing Mandatory Credentials/Documents." Follow that link to the Credentials section. Navigate to the Certifications section and select Add Certifications. Under the Type category, choose Certification/VSBE Application, and answer the questions to verify you meet the program's eligibility standards and accept the terms and conditions. Save and Submit the application.
Veteran Verification - The veteran verification process includes, but may not be limited to, completion and submission of DD Form 214, Certificate of Release, or Discharge from Active Duty. Veteran status must be verified by one of the following entities:
(1) VSBE Veteran Verification Form.pdf
Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs- To be uploaded in the eMMA Application
Vets First CVE Verification Program (VetBiz)
Complete information regarding the verification
process can be found by utilizing the
website links provided above.
VSBE Certification - Upon completing the eMMA registration and verifying your veteran status, log into your eMMA account to complete the application for the certification process. Select the Company Profile tab to be routed to the Company Info section. Under Procurement Programs, State Programs, select "Yes" to enroll in the VSBE Program. This will populate the VSBE Application under Documents to be completed.
- The state veteran verification number, issued by Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, is a combination of letters and numbers.
- The federal veteran verification number, for firms certified through the Vets First CVE Verification Program, is the company's SAM UEI number.
Upon entering your veteran verification type, be sure to save your changes before exiting eMMA. All veteran verification numbers are verified during the certification process.
Change of Status Notification - Notify the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority and Women’s Business Affairs within thirty (30) days of any change affecting the firm’s ability to meet the VSBE Program eligibility requirements.
Please take time to learn more about these programs and their eligibility standards.
Program Qualification Warning
Providing False Information
A person providing false information to the State in connection with retaining, obtaining or attempting to obtain a contract or subcontract through the VSBE Program may be subject to one or more of the following:
- A determination by a Procurement Officer that a bidder or offeror is not responsible;
- A determination by a Procurement Officer that the company is ineligible to participate in a VSBE goal designation;
- A determination that a contract entered into is void or voidable under §11-204 of the State Finance and Procurement Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland;
- Suspension and debarment under Title 16 of the State Finance and Procurement Article;
- Criminal prosecution of procurement fraud under §11-205.1 of the State Finance and Procurement Article, perjury, or other crimes;
- Civil penalties under the Maryland False Claims Act under Title 8 of the General Provisions Article; and
- Other actions permitted by law.