Government Contracting

Federal Contracts Upon A Veteran Business Owner's Death

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There are various Federal Contracts owned by particular classifications of individuals including veterans. The unexpected death of an individual, however, can leave an individual with numerous questions about how ownership of the contract will transfer. This blog post will note some elements about these contracts when the certified owner dies and another individual, which could be a spouse or a child, becomes the new owner of the contract. It is also important to remember that in many of these types of contracts, the assistance of an attorney who specializes in government contracts and bids can be especially useful.

Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB)


In the case of SDVOSB contracts, if the service disabled veteran dies, the company is still viewed as a service disabled veteran owned small business by the government. A surviving spouse is an individual who identified by the Veterans Benefits Administration and listed in their database as such. In these types of contracts, the veteran must have had a one hundred percent service-connected disability or died as a direct result of a service-connected disability.

The Veteran Administration’s Veteran’s First Program

The Department of Veteran’s Affairs offers a specialized program where veteran owned small businesses must be verified in advance of bidding on veteran administration contract. The Veteran Administration has complex rules to determine whether the new owner of this type of contract is the surviving spouse of a service-disabled veteran or not considered as such. If a veteran was one hundred percent disabled or died as a result of a service-connected disability, the surviving spouse is viewed as the new owner of contract and maintain this status until one of the several events occur. These events include remarriage of the spouse, the sale of the business or contract by the spouse, the date that the company no longer qualifies as small, or ten years after the death of the original owner of the business. A surviving spouse is much more limited in regards to options for the business if the deceased veteran was not one hundred percent disabled. In these cases, a surviving spouse is only allowed to honor existing contracts to the end of their term.

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Women-Owned Small Businesses and Federal Contracts


There is currently a lack of regulations regarding how ownership changes when the death of the owner of a woman-owned small business occurs. As a result, it is uncertain how ownership would transfer upon death in a woman-owned small business.

Obtain the Assistance of a Skilled Veteran Benefits' Attorney


In preparing for the passing of a company owner, it is an incredibly wise idea for government contracts to maintain a written succession plan that specifies how a transfer of ownership of the contract will occur in the event of death. With its founder, a member of the United States military, the practice of Whitcomb, Selinsky, & McAuliffe, PC is focused on providing veterans with strong legal representation. If you are a veteran who needs legal assistance, contact our skilled lawyers today or call us at (866) 476-4558 or fill out an online contact form.

About the AuthorJoe Whitcomb

Joe Whitcomb is the founder and president of Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC (WSM). In addition, he manages the firm and heads up the Government Procurement and International Business Transactions Law sections. As a result of his military service as a U.S. Army Ranger and as a non-commissioned officer in the Air Force, he learned mission accomplishment. While serving in the Air Force, he earned his Bachelor’s in Social Sciences and a Master’s in International Relations. His Master’s emphasis was on National Security and International Political Economics. After his military career, Joe attended law school at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.


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