Business Participation Requirements

The majority of CalPERS solicitations include a mandatory Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE) participation commitment. Here are the three ways a firm can achieve this commitment. We’ve also provided you with additional resources from the Department of General Services (DGS) website.

Become a Certified DVBE

Firms can apply for DVBE certification with the DGS. Learn more about the certification process and access the application for both Small Business (SB) and DVBE certification.

For Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE) certification purposes, a "disabled veteran" is a veteran of the U.S. military, naval, or air service who resides in California and has a service-connected disability of at least 10 percent or more.

You must adhere to the following to be certified as a DVBE:

  • At least 51 percent of the firm, or 100 percent of the firm if it is a limited liability company, must be owned by one or more disabled veterans.
  • The firm’s daily operations must be managed and controlled by one or more disabled veterans (who do not have to be the owners).
  • The firm’s home office must be located in the United States.

Subcontract with a Certified DVBE

In many cases, subcontracting with a DVBE will be the most effective way for a firm to meet its DVBE participation requirement. To find a subcontractor, follow these steps:

  • Identify the role a subcontractor could play in the contract. Think broadly. What function would they perform? What services or supplies could they provide?
  • Search firms by certification type and keywords, or by the firm’s name.
  • Contact identified firms about working together.

Find more information about SB/DVBE vendors and subcontractors.

State law requires that all subcontractors perform a Commercially Useful Function as required under Military and Veterans Code for DVBEs and Government Code for SBs. The subcontracting firm:

  • Is responsible for executing a distinct element of the work of the contract.
  • Carries out its obligation by actually performing, managing or supervising the work involved.
  • Performs work that is normal for its business services and function, and
  • Cannot further subcontract a greater portion of the work than would be expected by normal industry practices.

Have a DGS-Approved Business Utilization Plan

Another way to achieve required DVBE participation is through the Business Utilization Plan. This option only applies to contracts for “Goods” and “Information Technology Goods and Services.”

Preparing a Business Utilization Plan and the subsequent reporting requirements take time and commitment. If you only bid on a few State contracts annually, it may be easier for you to fulfill the DVBE requirements each time you bid.

The more State contracts you anticipate being awarded, the more sense it makes to consider the Business Utilization Plan option.

Find more information about the Business Utilization Plan.

Dated: 07-30-2010