Written by attorney David Andrew Burkhouse

Maryland's Veteran Owned Small Business Program (VOSB and SDVOSB)

Veteran-Owned Businesses

Q: What is Maryland’s Small Business Preference Program and what are the requirements for eligibility?

A: Effective October 1, 2008, Governor O’Malley signed a bill into law establishing Maryland’s Procurement Preference for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs). The Program sets up a procurement preference of 7% for certified VOSBs and a preference of 8% for certified SDVOSBs. Under the Program certified VOSBs and SDVOSBs compete for State contracts alongside non-preference businesses. If a non-preference business submits the lowest bid a SDVOSB would be awarded the contract if their bid does not exceed the low bid by more than 8%. Similarly, a VOSB would be awarded a contract if its bid does not exceed the low bid by more than 7%. [1]

To be eligible for certification under the Program businesses must meet size standards set forth by regulation for each industry. Bear in mind that the size requirements differ from those for set forth in the Federal Program for service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses. Furthermore, certification under the Program requires at least 51% ownership and control by either a veteran or a service disabled veteran. Finally, certification is restricted to veterans domiciled in the State of Maryland.

Certification as VOSB or SDVOSB under Maryland’s Small Business Preference Program can be a valuable asset for businesses seeking to develop and maintain procurement relationships with various State agencies. As certification for the program requires businesses to meet specific size, ownership, control, and for SDVOSB certifications, disability requirements, a veteran-owned business desiring certification as a VOSB or SDVOSB may consider obtaining legal advice concerning eligibility requirements prior to applying for admission to the Program.

[1] Factors other than low bid may apply in contract awards. See COMAR

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