Find resources to support small businesses and disabled veteran business enterprises in contracting with the state of California.

Departments can adopt a SB/DVBE First policy to support procurement with SBs and DVBEs. A SB/DVBE First policy helps departments streamline the procurement processes for buyers. Each policy varies from one department to the next, but all have a common theme. The policies strongly require procurement opportunities be fulfilled by a SB/DVBE.

To request a copy of any of the policies listed below, email

Departments with a SB/DVBE First Policy

  • Department of General Services
  • Franchise Tax Board
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Department of Public Health
  • California Highway Patrol
  • California Department of Technology
  • California Public Utilities Commission
  • Department of Consumer Affairs
  • Department of Health Care Services

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What does the Online Certification Offer? 
    • Provides the ability to complete the certification application entirely online.
    • Certified firms have access to the certification online 24/7 for updating information or to simply print a copy of the certification.
    • Provides the ability to recertify your certification(s) within 90 days of expiration.
    • It's a self-paced, interactive system that will guide applicants through a series of questions, based on your business structure and functions. At the end of the submittal, applicants will receive one of the certification statuses: Approved, Denied or Waiting for Review.


  2. What does the Online Application Entail? 
    • First time applicants must first register with Cal eProcure at User Login before being allowed access to the certification application.
    • Once the registration is complete, applicants may begin the application.
    • When the application is submitted, applicants will receive one of the certification statuses: 'Approved', 'Waiting for Review' or 'Denied'.
    • If you receive a 'Waiting for Review' status, your application has been received and is in the queue for a Certification Officer's review. A status will be provided upon the Certification Officer's review.
    • If a response to an application item deems the applicant ineligible, applicants will receive an immediate 'Denial' certification status.
    • If denied, the applicant may reapply for certification via the online process at any time. However; the applicant will not receive an immediate approval status and will likely go into a 'Waiting for Review' status.


  3. How much time do I have to complete the online application? 
    • The application timing is self-paced; however, the application will time out after 20 minutes of inactivity. The applicant will need to login again if the system times out.


  4. Can I save and exit the application to complete it at a later time? 
    • Yes. The system allows you to "Save and Exit" the application in order to login again to complete it at any time.


  5. Do I have to send in additional support documentation? 
    • Based on the information provided, applicants will be directed to upload specific support documentation at the end of the online application process.
    • All certified businesses are subject to re-verification of status at any time. The Office of Small Business & DVBE Services (OSDS) conducts random audits to ensure certification requirements are met.
    • Although applicants or certified businesses may not have been required to previously submit support documents, OSDS can request documentation at any time to support certification eligibility.
    • Failure by a business to provide requested information that supports its eligibility by the date and time specified by the OSDS, may be grounds for denial for non-response, certification discontinuance or revocation.

      Note: Sanctions may be imposed for certification program abuse.


  6. How long does it take to get Certified? 
    • In some cases, the application is may be approved online automatically once submitted.
    • If the application goes into a "Waiting for Review" status, it generally takes up to 30 days for an application to be reviewed by a Certification Officer.


  7. What if I'm bidding on a State Contract, can my application be expedited? 
    • Yes. When bidding on a State solicitation, a completed certification application and required documentation must be submitted a minimum of five business days prior to the bid due date. For more information see, Certification Expedite Process 
    • The expedite process does not guarantee that your application will be processed or approved by the bid due date.


  8. Is there a fee to get certified? 
    • No. There is no fee for any of the State of California's certifications.


  9. How long is the certification valid? 
    • Up to 2 years.


  10. I didn't receive a certification letter. Can you re-send me one? 
    • Yes. Contact the OSDS and a copy of the letter can be resent.


  11. What is the status of my application? 

    - Enter your Certification ID # or Business Name

    - Click search

    - Click on your business name to view your Supplier Profile

    - Look under 'Active Certifications' to view the status

    Status definitions (PDF)


  12. What are the requirements for certification? 
  13. Is my information secure or shared with the public?
  • We take precautionary measures to keep the information provided on an application confidential. In the case of a public records request, certain information will not be disclosed to the public. This information includes tax returns, social security numbers, home addresses, salaries, bank account numbers, medical records, correspondence to and from the Governor and records relating to pending or potential litigation from or to an attorney/law firm or personal matters. (See Public Records Access Guidelines)

Please select a link below for Frequently Asked Questions regarding Small Business for the Purpose of Public Works certification.

Small Business for the Purpose of Public Works FAQs - Suppliers

Small Business for the Purpose of Public Works FAQs - State Agencies

Affiliation FAQs - For Small Business & Small Business for the Purpose of Public Works Certification

  1. Why is the certification program only for California disabled veterans? It should be like the federal disabled veteran program?
    • The DVBE certification program is authorized by the California Military and Veterans Code Section 999 et seq. and mandates that the disabled veteran be domiciled in California.


  2. Must a DVBE business be located in California? 
    • No. The home office must be located within the United States. It cannot be a branch or subsidiary of a foreign firm. A foreign firm is considered a company outside of the United States.


  3. Does the corporation or a partnership have to be at least 51 percent owned by a disabled veteran to receive DVBE certification? 
    • Yes. One or more qualified disabled veteran can meet this requirement.


  4. Can a disabled veteran owning only 51 percent of a limited liability company receive certification? 
    • No. One or more disabled veterans must own 100 percent of a limited liability company.


  5. Must the disabled veteran manage and control the corporation? 
    • The disabled veteran must demonstrate his/her ability to manage and control the day-to-day operations of the firm, as well as, the overall destiny of the business.


  6. Do the disabled veteran majority owners who own at least 51 percent of the business need to also manage and control the daily operations of the firm? 
    • A disabled veteran who manages and controls the daily business is not required to be a business owner. However, an Award of Entitlement letter is required.


  7. What percentage rating of service-connected disability must a disabled veteran possess? 
    • A disabled veteran must possess at least a 10 percent service-connected disability rating as stated in the Award of Entitlement Letter.


  8. How do I obtain a copy of my Award of Entitlement Letter? 
    • To obtain a copy of your letter for free, you may go to Veteran Affairs eBenefits Homepage. Under "Manage Benefits", click on VA Letters to register and obtain an updated copy of your letter. As a Veteran, there is no cost to you for this service.


  9. Do you need my Discharge Papers (DD214)? 
    • No. Only the Award of Entitlement Letter is required.
    • Note: The Letter must be dated within one year of the DVBE application date.


  10. Why do you need federal tax returns? 
    • Federal tax returns are mandated by the California Military & Veterans Code. Tax returns aid in establishing that the disabled veteran is the majority owner of the business.


  11. Do I need to submit federal tax returns for businesses that are affiliated with my firm? 
    • Business affiliates are not required to be disclosed to obtain DVBE certification. However, disclosure of business affiliates is a Small Business application requirement.


  12. Do I need to submit the Employment Development Department's Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (Continuation) DE 9C with my application? 
    • No. This is a Small Business application requirement.


  13. Why do we need to provide the Penalty of Perjury Declaration (812C) every time I renew my DVBE certification? 
    • An 812C is required for each application.


  14. How do I apply for DVBE certification? 


  15. Can I renew my DVBE Certification online? 


  16. What is the term for DVBE certification? 
    • The term is two years.


  17. How can I expedite my application? 


  18. I didn't get a certification letter. Can you send me one?
  • Yes. Contact the OSDS via phone or email to request a copy of your letter.
  1. Can a NP or NVSA be certified as a Small Business?

    No. A certified Small Business must be a "for-profit" entity. A Non-Profit is not a for-profit entity. Therefore, NPs or NVSAs does not qualify for the Small Business certification.


  2. Can a NP or NVSA be located in a different state?

    Yes. However, they must be registered with the California Secretary of State Office.


  3. How do I inform a state agency that my firm is a certified NVSA and/or a recognized NP for invoicing?

    You may submit a copy of your Supplier Profile along with your invoice if you wish to show your active certification or registration.


  4. How do I qualify for a NP Recognition?

    The NP must meet all program requirements.


  5. What are the benefits to being recognized as a NP?

    NPs are entitled to Prompt Payment benefits.


  6. What are the eligibility requirements for a NVSA?

    The NVSA must meet all eligibility requirements and must continuously comply with requirements to maintain the certification. (See maintaining a NVSA certification.)


  7. What are the benefits to being certified as a NVSA?

    NVSAs are entitled to the Small Business Benefits.


  8. Can a NVSA be certified as a DVBE?

    No. NVSA organizations are not eligible for DVBE certification because the applicant business must be at least 51 percent owned by one or more disabled veterans.


  9. What percentage of Direct Labor must be performed by veteran employees of the NVSA?

At least 75 percent of direct labor must be performed by veteran employees of the agency for each and every awarded State and/or local government contract.

SB/DVBE Legislation


Certification and Outreach Branch
Procurement Division

707 Third Street, 2nd Floor
West Sacramento, CA 95605


Phone: (916) 375-4940

  Certification Inquires:

  Outreach Inquires: