Legal Meets Practical: Accessible Solutions

The New VetBiz Website: It’s Not You, It’s Them

UPDATE: As of June 6, 2018, the VetBiz site is still down with the exception of the search function. Document requests continue to be suspended, and there is no information as when the CVE will be back to business as usual (to include the processing of applications and complete usability of VetBiz portals).

I write this to clear up confusion for folks involved with veteran-owned small businesses registered with the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (“VA”) VetBiz registry, which is the database for all businesses approved for SDVOSB and VOSB set-aside work with the VA.

Specifically, if you’re undergoing verification and/or have been on their new site, you might be tearing your hair out in light of the new login system. For example, if you’ve logged in, where on earth is your business information? Why can’t you log in? If you can’t log in, what about that pending document request or your expiring verified status?

Here’s the gist. On May 21, the VA shut down all access to the VetBiz site while completing updates, relaying that it would be up and running in 30 days. This meant that if you wanted to get VetBiz-verified, or re-verified, you had to hit “submit” on May 20 before the system went down (during the system upgrades, applications were still being processed).

On June 22, the VetBiz site was updated with information on how to get an account under the new system. The process is different for veteran owners compared with non-veterans and representatives, with the latter requiring inputting multiple codes sent via text and the answering of several security questions (similar to the D&B process). However, when one logged in to the system, they would find no information in their portal, while their old account still worked.

Earlier this week, the old system was phased out, meaning that no one had (or still has) access to it, with business information in the process of being migrated over to the new one. Here are the major snags:

  • The business information from the legacy system is not yet in the new system. This means that for those of you who have logged into your new portal, it looks empty. Accordingly, if you were looking forward to getting back to work on your application after the 30-day hold, or have a document request pending, you won’t be able to complete these tasks.
  • Anyone who is not the veteran owner has been booted from any and all business accounts for which they are a representative. The only way for them to be added to the account is for the veteran owner (only) to sign up for an account under the new system and to add the non-veteran as a representative.
  • If you are not yet in the new system, you will not be receiving alerts relating to document requests and the expiration of your verification period because these are generated from the legacy system. As such, when access to the new system becomes available, make sure you have an active account so you receive any alerts pertinent to your verified status/verification application. (As an FYI, however, while I was informed of this via the help desk, I am still receiving alerts despite having been removed as a representative across the board).

So. . . what can you do? .

  • If you have a pending document request – If you have a document request that is outstanding, the CVE will be extending your time because they are aware you can’t access your account.
  • If your verification period is expiring soon – As of now, the system has now been out of commission for approximately 35 days. The hope is for those businesses that are expiring soon, the CVE will provide a reasonable extension of their verified period. However, there has been no announcement has of yet, and it might be difficult for the CVE to identify the affected companies and take appropriate steps.
  • If you have been unable to apply for verification for the first time, or for re-verification – There is no information available as to when the site will be up. However, as soon as it goes up, if you have the ability to hit “submit,” do so before it goes down again. That will at least get you in the queue to be assigned to an intake analyst (which has been taking about three weeks). During this system upgrade, it is still business as usual on the examination side.

I’ll share any updates there are to provide, and please know this information is from my own experience, conversations with the help desk and other pertinent individuals, and the website. It is as accurate as possible, and I’ll update this article to reflect any changes.

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One Response to “The New VetBiz Website: It’s Not You, It’s Them”

  1. Sarah: Thanks for this update. This is a much more confusing and difficult process than it needs to be. Keep up the good work!

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