SBA size protest for small businesses. Hire a lawyer or notAre you a small business owner who is facing a size protest or appeal from the SBA? Are you unsure of how to defend your business or file a protest yourself?

Our SBA Size Protest Lawyers offer aggressive representation and defense for small businesses in size protest cases. We not only represent companies defining size protest cases but also assess and prepare size protests. Additionally, we file size appeals to SBA OHA when the SBA makes an adverse size determination. We understand that your task as a business owner is stressful and cumbersome. Yet you only have a short deadline to act.

As a small business owner, you deserve to have an experienced and knowledgeable legal team on your side to protect your business interests. Our SBA size protest lawyers have a proven track record of success in these types of cases and will work tirelessly to defend your business against size protests or file a size appeal on your behalf.

If you are uncomfortable dealing with any of the below issues, then contact us today to schedule a consultation with our SBA Size Protest Lawyers and take the first step in protecting your business. Don’t wait until it’s too late! Call 1.866.601.5518.


Small Business Administration (SBA) size protests can be a critical aspect of business operations for entrepreneurs and business owners. Navigating the complex landscape of size protests requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. In this article, we will explore the various considerations involved in filing and defending against SBA size protests, as well as the role of legal professionals in the process.

Making the Executive Decision to File an SBA Size Protest

When faced with the possibility of a competitor benefiting from an unfair advantage due to misrepresentation of their size, making the executive decision to file an SBA size protest becomes paramount. A small business size protest serves as a mechanism to challenge the claimed size status of a small business that is awarded a federal government contract and seeks a fair evaluation of eligibility for government contracts and set-aside programs.

Can You Analyze Whether Your Case Has Merit?

Before initiating an SBA size protest, it is crucial to thoroughly analyze the merits of your case. This involves a comprehensive examination of various factors to determine the likelihood of a successful protest. Factors such as evidence of affiliation, misrepresentation of size, and compliance with SBA’s rules and regulations must be carefully scrutinized.

What Must You Look at to Decide Whether Your SBA Size Protest Has Merit?

To determine whether your SBA size protest has merit, a detailed assessment is necessary. Key considerations include evaluating the size standards applicable to your industry, analyzing the evidence of affiliation between the protested firm and other entities, and identifying any potential violations of SBA regulations regarding size eligibility.

Can You Conduct a Technical Review and Avoid Dismissal By the SBA?

Conducting a technical review of your SBA size protest is vital to avoid dismissal by the SBA. By meticulously adhering to the procedural requirements, providing factual evidence, and presenting compelling legal arguments, you can bolster the chances of your protest being taken seriously and avoid premature dismissal.

What are the Requirements to File an SBA Size Protest?

When filing an SBA size protest, it is essential to adhere to specific requirements to ensure your protest is considered valid. These requirements typically include submitting a written protest that clearly identifies the protested firm, describes the basis for the protest, and includes supporting evidence and legal arguments. Meeting these requirements is crucial for a successful protest.

Where to Submit a Small Business Size Protest?

Knowing where to submit your small business size protest is crucial. Generally, protests are submitted to the appropriate SBA Government Contracting Area Office (GCAO) or the contracting officer responsible for the procurement. It is essential to research and identify the correct submission location to ensure your protest is filed with the appropriate entity.

What are the Filing Deadlines to File and SBA Small Business Size Protest? 

The filing deadline for a Small Business Size Protest is 5 days after the basis of the protest is known, or should have been known, by the protester. The SBA highly recommends that protests be filed within five days of learning of the applicable matter to ensure a timely response.  Failure to file a protest within the deadline will result in an automatic dismissal. Therefore, it is important to stay abreast of all events and changes that may affect your small business size status or eligibility.

How Must You Assess an SBA Bid Protest Under Affiliation Rules for Compliance?

When assessing an SBA bid protest under affiliation rules, compliance is of utmost importance. Affiliation refers to the relationship between businesses that may impact their size status. Understanding the affiliation rules and thoroughly evaluating whether the protested firm meets the criteria for affiliation is crucial for a successful size protest.

What are Some of the Reasons the SBA Could Dismiss a Size Protest?

While striving to file a robust size protest, it is essential to be aware of factors that could lead to dismissal by the SBA. Some common reasons for dismissal include untimely filing, lack of standing, failure to provide adequate evidence, or failure to meet the requirements set forth by the SBA. Avoiding these pitfalls is crucial for a strong protest.

If You are Defending Or Intervening in Size Protest, How Can You Defend The Size Protest?

If your business is on the receiving end of a size protest, it is crucial to mount a strong defense. Engaging skilled legal professionals who specialize in SBA size protests can be immensely beneficial. They can help analyze the merits of the protest, identify weaknesses in the allegations against your company, gather evidence to support your position and construct a compelling legal argument to defend the size protest.

How Long Does the SBA Take to Make a Size Determination for a Size Protest Case?

The timeline for the SBA to make a size determination in a size protest case can vary. It depends on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the volume of protests being handled by the SBA at any given time, and the availability of resources. Generally, the SBA aims to resolve size protests expeditiously, but the process can take several months.

Can You Write a Legal Brief to Refute the Protestor’s Allegations?

When defending against a size protest, one effective approach is to prepare a well-crafted legal brief that refutes the allegations made by the protester. A legal brief is a comprehensive written argument that presents your position, analyzes the applicable laws and regulations, and provides supporting evidence. By clearly articulating your rebuttal and presenting a strong case, you can strengthen your defense.

Are You Prepared for the Fact that the SBA Can Make an Adverse Decision for Reasons Other Than Those Stated by the Protestor?

It is important to be prepared for the possibility that the SBA may make an adverse decision in a size protest case, even if the protester’s stated reasons are not upheld. The SBA has the authority to consider additional factors and make determinations based on their assessment of the evidence and compliance with size eligibility requirements. Therefore, it is essential to build a robust defense that anticipates potential alternative outcomes.

Should You Use Corporate Counsel to File an SBA Protest?

Engaging corporate counsel with expertise in SBA size protests can be a wise decision. Corporate counsel can provide valuable guidance throughout the process, ensuring compliance with legal requirements, assessing the merits of your case, and developing a compelling argument. However, this is only true if your business or corporate counsel is experienced in government contract law.  Many are not. Their experience and knowledge can significantly enhance your chances of a successful size protest.

If a Size Protest is Filed Against Your Company, Should You Intervene?

If your company becomes the target of a size protest, it is generally advisable to consider intervention. By intervening in the protest, you actively participate in the proceedings and have the opportunity to present your defense and protect your interests. Intervening allows you to assert your position, present evidence, and directly address any allegations made against your company.

What are the Mistakes that Companies Make When Preparing an SBA Size Protest?

Companies often make mistakes when preparing an SBA size protest, jeopardizing the success of their case. Some common errors include insufficient evidence to support the allegations, failure to adhere to the procedural requirements, lack of understanding of the applicable laws and regulations, and inadequate legal analysis. A small business owner’s task when deciding to file an SBA protest is a tough one. To avoid these mistakes, it is crucial to seek professional assistance and meticulously prepare your protest.

Can You Appeal an SBA Size Determination?

Yes, you have the right to appeal an adverse SBA size determination. If you disagree with the SBA’s decision, you can seek a review by filing an appeal with the Small Business Administration Office of Hearings and Appeals (SBA OHA). The appeal process allows for a reassessment of the size determination and an opportunity to present additional arguments or evidence to support your position.

How Can You Overturn an SBA Size Determination?

To overturn an SBA size determination, you must present a compelling case on appeal. It requires a thorough analysis of the SBA’s decision, identification of legal errors or misinterpretations of facts, and the presentation of strong evidence that supports your contention. Engaging experienced legal professionals specializing in SBA OHA appeals can significantly increase your chances of successfully overturning an adverse size determination.

What is the Legal Standard for SBA OHA to Review and Overturn an SBA Size Determination?

The legal standard for SBA OHA to review and overturn an SBA size determination is based on whether the decision was “clearly erroneous” or “arbitrary and capricious.” This standard requires showing that the SBA’s determination was not supported by substantial evidence, that there were errors in the interpretation of the law, or that there were procedural errors that affected the outcome of the case.

What Impact Does an Adverse Size Determination Have on Your Company?

An adverse size determination can have significant consequences for your company. It may result in the loss of contracting opportunities, exclusion from set-aside programs, and damage to your company’s reputation.  Oftentimes, if the SBA determines that your firm is other than small, you cannot bid as a small business under the specific NAICS code. It is crucial to take prompt and strategic action to address an adverse determination and protect your company’s interests.

If SBA OHA Rules Against You on Appeal, Can You Appeal OHA’s Decision?

If the SBA OHA rules against you on appeal, you have the option to seek further review by filing a petition for review with a federal court. Namely the US Court of Federal Claims (COFC) or the Federal Circuit Court. The federal court will assess the legal arguments, the record of the case, and the actions of the SBA OHA to determine if there were errors or abuses of discretion that warrant overturning OHA’s decision.

Do You Have to Travel to Washington DC to Litigate a Size Protest?

Litigating a size protest does not necessarily require traveling to Washington, DC. Most proceedings can be conducted through written submissions, teleconferences, or video conferences. However, there may be instances where in-person appearances are necessary, such as for oral arguments or evidentiary hearings. Your legal counsel can guide you on the specific requirements of your case.

How Can an SBA Size Protest Lawyer Help When Filing a Size Protest?

An SBA size protest lawyer can provide invaluable assistance when filing a size protest. They can assess the merits of your case, gather evidence, prepare a persuasive legal argument, ensure compliance with procedural requirements, and advocate for your interests throughout the process. Their expertise in SBA size protests can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your protest.

How Can an SBA Bid Protest Attorney Help When Defending or Intervening in a Size Protest?

When defending or intervening in a size protest, an SBA bid protest attorney can offer critical support. They can help assess the allegations against your company, gather evidence to refute the claims, prepare a strong defense, and advocate for your interests during the proceedings. With their knowledge and experience, an SBA bid protest attorney can bolster your chances of a favorable outcome.


SBA size protests require careful consideration, strategic decision-making, and meticulous preparation. Whether you are filing a size protest or defending against one, it is crucial to understand the process, adhere to legal requirements, and seek professional assistance when needed. Engaging skilled legal professionals specializing in SBA size protests can be instrumental in navigating the complexities of the process and protecting your business interests. The task for business owners can be cumbersome and stressful. By being proactive and diligent, you can increase the likelihood of achieving a favorable outcome in your size protest case.

For immediate help meeting the short deadlines of an SBA Size Protest, call our government contract bid protest lawyers at 1.866.601.5518.