Publications

Federal Contractors’ Guide to Small Business Administration Set-Aside Contracts, Size Standards, Size Protests, and Affiliation

March 16, 2018E-Books

The federal government sets aside a significant portion of its procurement dollars each year for purchasing goods and services from small businesses.

Small business set-aside procurements and small business contract awards (“Set-Aside Procurements” and “Set-Aside Contracts,” respectively) provide substantial opportunities for a certified small business concern (SBC) to compete for and perform federal contract work. However, SBCs awarded Set-Aside Contracts are frequently subjected to size protests filed with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) by disappointed competitors looking to challenge the awardee’s size, and if successful, to disqualify the awardee from the procurement.

This guide educates federal contractors on the following issues and concepts:

  • SBA Set-Aside Procurements, Set-Aside Contracts, and Size Standards;
  • The parameters and purposes for SBA size protests, how they are filed, and how contractors can avoid and defend against such protests; and
  • The parameters of SBA affiliation, which contractors can use to their advantage to challenge Large Businesses masquerading as small business concerns (also referred to as “SBCs” or small business “concerns” throughout this article), and, as importantly, to protect themselves from being adversely affected by a finding of affiliation at the hands of a size protest.