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Veteran-Friendly Business Enterprise Procurement Program (VBE)

Veteran-Friendly Business Enterprise Procurement Program (VBE)

The state of Ohio's Veteran-Friendly Business Enterprise (VBE) Procurement program provides preference or bonus points to certified companies that compete to contract with the state to supply the goods or services it needs, including eligible construction services.

VBE Eligibility

To be eligible for certification, the applicant business must satisfy one of the following criteria:

  • At least 10% of its employees are veterans or on active service.
  • At least 51% of the applicant business is owned by veterans or persons on active service.
  • If the applicant business is a corporation 51% of which is not owned by veterans or persons on active service, at least 51% of the board of directors are veterans or persons on active service.
  • The business is certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business or a Veteran-Owned Small Business and the owner(s) of the business meets the definition of veteran as defined in Rule 123:5-1-01(II) of the Ohio Administrative Code.

Benefits of VBE Certification

The VBE program applies to all state agencies' purchases made by bid or proposal under chapter 125 of the Ohio Revised Code (R.C.). Essentially, the program allows for:

  • Prices on bids submitted by veteran-friendly businesses to exceed those prices on bids submitted by businesses not certified as veteran-friendly by up to 5% and still be eligible for winning the award.
  • Scores on proposals submitted by veteran-friendly businesses to be up to 5% lower than the proposal scores submitted by businesses not certified as veteran-friendly and still be eligible for winning the award.

Steps for VBE Certification

The applicant must complete a Veteran-Friendly Business Enterprise application and provide supporting documentation as required. The business applying for certification must provide records verifying veteran status, demonstrating an owner's or employee's status as a veteran or person on active service. Acceptable records include:

  • U.S. Department of Defense form 214 (DD-214).
  • U.S. Department of Defense form 215 (DD-215).
  • U.S. Uniformed identification card (DD Form 2).
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs identification card.
  • U.S. Department of Defense military identification.
  • Ohio driver's license with armed forces logo.
  • National Guard Bureau Form 22 (NGB-22).
  • Any other official documentation verifying status.

Steps to Certification