Legal Meets Practical: Accessible Solutions

VetBiz Second Chances

If the Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) does not verify a company upon an initial application, it enters one of three stages: VetBiz pre-determination, VetBiz pre-decision, or VetBiz reconsideration (known as a “request for reconsideration”). Know what they are and what your business needs to do in order to become verified on the “second try” offered by these processes.

If you have further questions or would like  to learn more about my services relating to the VetBiz Pre-Determination process, the VetBiz Pre-Decision process, and VetBiz requests for reconsideration, contact me at scs@legalmeetspractical.com or (703) 552-3220.

VetBiz Pre-Determination

After scores of complaints from veterans denied verification due to a simple problem in their corporate documents, the CVE launched the VetBiz Predetermination process in May 2013. This is designed only for VetBiz application issues that involve a quick drafting fix relating to issues with corporate documents, such as impermissible transfer restrictions or quorum and voting requirements that make it possible for someone other than the veteran to “control” the business. Rather than receiving a denial, a business owner receives a letter asking him whether he wants to: 1) withdraw his application; or 2) fix the problems in his application. If he chooses the latter option, he has 48 hours to notify the CVE of this choice, and five business days to fix the issues with his corporate documents and resubmit.

VetBiz Predetermination is truly only one second chance. If you re-submit the “problem” documents and any issues remain, you will be forced to withdraw your application. This will happen even if the issue is small and you could easily fix and resubmit – there is no “third time’s a charm” opportunity. If this happens, it means you may encounter significant delay in having your VetBiz application approved.

Don’t be hasty with your second chance. As an attorney experienced in the regulations governing VetBiz and a CVE-certified VetBiz counselor, I can help make sure your “quick fix” is done right by redrafting the necessary provisions of your corporate documents.

VetBiz Pre-Decision

The new VetBiz Pre-Decision process functions as a much-improved request for reconsideration. If the CVE determines that a busines has eligibility issues that prevent it from being verified, it no longer sends a denial. Rather, it sends a business a letter outlining its “findings” of issues precluding verification. These are more than simple drafting errors – issues can include the veteran’s inability to show he works for the business full-time; the existence of evidence that someone else controls the business; or information showing dependence on a non-veteran-owned entity (such as the applicant’s receipt of equipment from the non-veteran-owned entity, sharing of office space not at full market value, or shared employees between the companies). The veteran is given two choices: 1) accept a denial letter; or 2) withdrawn his application. If he chooses the latter option, he must withdraw within 48 hours, and he is permitted to resubmit at any time. There is no waiting period.

The VetBiz Pre-Decision process provides the veteran with a blueprint for how to approach resubmitting the application. The veteran knows what issues were found the first time, and can tackle them accordingly.

The trick, however, is knowing the right way to approach these issues. Also, it is possible that in a re-submission, the CVE will identify different issues, as the CVE will re-examine the entire application. This is fairly common. As an experienced VetBiz attorney, I can help your business address the issues identified in the VetBiz Pre-Deicision finds, and I will also complete a “clean sweep” to identify and address any other issues that may preclude verification. My expertise can help you use the VetBiz Pre-Deicision process to your advantage.

Requests for Reconsideration

When a business is denied verification in the VA’s VetBiz Program, it has two options: 1) it can wait six months to reapply; or 2) it can file a request for reconsideration within 30 days.

There is no required form or format for filing a VetBiz request for reconsideration, other than that the request must be sent to the Center for Veterans Enterprises (CVE) within 30 days of receipt of the denial letter. It must also “clearly and conclusively” address the issues raised by CVE in denying the application. As required, supporting documentation must be included. This may include amended corporate documents.

VA VetBiz requests for reconsideration undergo a de novo (meaning “new” review) by the Office of General Counsel, which means that they are met with scrutiny. In the request for reconsideration process, businesses bear the burden of proof to show that they are eligible for verification, so it is extremely important that the requests be as strong as possible. According to statistics posted on the VetBiz website on February 28, 2013, 50% of VA VetBiz requests for reconsideration are denied. This is after the current 131-day wait period for processing.

I help businesses prepare the strongest possible VA VetBiz requests for reconsideration. I review application documents and denial letters to: 1) see if the CVE made a legal mistake in processing applications; and 2) address and correct the issues with applications that resulted in the denial (and potential issues that CVE may have missed).

 

Good luck with your second chance! Use it well.

Mission Statement

My mission is to provide accessible, high-quality legal services to small business owners and to veterans. I will strive to clearly communicate, understand objectives, and formulate and execute effective legal solutions.

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