An SBA size protest occurs when your competition challenges your small business size standard after award of a government contract. There are a few things that small business can do to avoid an SBA size protest. They include:
- Making sure that teaming partners or subcontractor does not perform the primary vital parts of the contract
- Making sure that hiring incumbent employees is approached with caution
- Demonstrating that the prime contractor is in control of contract performance
Many government contractors are getting up to speed on teaming arrangements and making better use of subcontracting agreements. However, the plan is shattered when an SBA size protest is launched.
- The risk of losing the contract becomes a reality. What can you do to prevent this? Know the size limitations for the specific NAICS code.
- The key to avoiding an SBA size protest is to make sure that the combined revenues (if not employees) cannot surpass the size limitation.
Get Information About Your Teaming Partner or Subcontractor
When you meet with a prospective teaming partner or subcontractor, information about average revenues and a number of employees should be disclosed. You can also go to Dunn and Bradstreet to see if you can find the information.
Burden of Avoiding a Size Protest is Yours to Prove
When the size protest is filed, the burden is now up to you to defend yourself. A proposed teaming agreement or subcontract does not by itself save you. You also have to get past the ostensible subcontractor rule. The SBA also looks at factors such as:
- Previous relationships
- The actual subcontract, and
- The division of work for the particular project
There are many reasons that you can get caught in a bid protest. Some examples can be providing too much control to a subcontractor, allowing the teaming partner to fulfill the key aspects of the contract or being entirely dependent upon the other contractor.
- Participants in the SBA 8a Business Development Program must be particularly careful in these types of bid protests.
- Although in the 8a Program, statistics show that the SBA frequently finds affiliation with 8a companies, you should consider conducting a careful assessment of your proposal before submitting to government agencies.
SBA Makes Final Decision
The SBA is the ultimate decision maker when it comes to small business size protests and size determinations. Although you can appeal the decision to SBA OHA, the result can still impose substantially harm your business revenues and ability to bid on future government contracts. It is often wise to analyze your particular situation if you are contemplating teaming up with another company to pursue a particular government contract.
If you are in this position and need help, contact an SBA small business size protest lawyer for immediate help.
Call us Toll-Free at 1-866-601-5518 or at (202) 827-9750.