Do I qualify for small business contracting programs?

  • Small business – A business is designated as SMALL if it meets the criteria as defined by the Small Business Size Regulations. These regulations can be reviewed at the following US SBA. The small business designation is self-certifying. The Federal Government has a goal of awarding 23% of prime contracts to small business.
  • HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone) – A business certified as a HUBZone business becomes eligible for limited competition on identified requirements and can receive up to a 10 per cent price evaluation preference. A business may qualify for HUBZONE status based on the following
    • it must be a small business by SBA standards
    • it must be located in a “historically underutilized business zone(HUBZone) (click here to see if
      your company is located in a HUBZone)
    • it must be wholly owned and controlled by person(s) who are U.S. Citizens
    • at least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone

    Detailed information and on-line registration is available at the HUBZone website. There is a formal certification process. The Federal Government has a goal of awarding 3% of prime contracts to HUBZone certified businesses.

  • 8(a) Business Development Program –The 8(a) certification is the SBA’s business development program . To qualify for the 8(a) program, a business must be classified as small, be at least 51% owned and operated by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who are citizens of the United States, and demonstrate a potential for success. Businesses certified as 8(a) are eligible for contracts that are set aside for limited or no competition. More on the 8(a) program and on-line certification is available at 8(a) website. There is a formal certification process. The 8(a) certification has a 9 year term. The Federal Government has a goal of awarding 5% of prime contracts to Small Disadvantaged Businesses, of which the 8(a) program qualifies.
  • SDB (Small Disadvantaged Business) Program – This classification targets small businesses that are at least 51% owned and operated by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s). This program is self-certifying. The Federal Government has a goal of awarding 5% of prime contracts to Small Disadvantaged Businesses.
  • SDVOB (Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business) – This business classification requires that at least 51% of the business is owned, controlled and operated by one or more service disabled veterans, or in the case of a veteran with a permanent and severe disability, a spouse or permanent caregiver of service disabled veteran. To be classified as a SDVOB requires a formal verification to be considered for work with the Veterans Administration and requires a self-certification for other federal agencies. Additional information is available at the US SBA website and the verification is available on-line at www.vetbiz.gov. The Federal Government has a goal of awarding 3% of prime contracts to SDVOBs. In addition, the Veterans Administration has a goal of awarding 10% of its prime contracts to SVOBs and 12% of prime contracts to Veteran Owned Businesses.
  • WOSB (Woman Owned Small Business) set-aside – This classification targets small businesses that are at least 51% owned and operated by one or more women. On October 7, 2010, the U.S. Small Business Administration published a final rule effective February 4, 2011, aimed at expanding federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs). The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible Women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) or Economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs). This is a self-certifying program. Additional information on the program is available at the US SBA website. The Federal Government has a goal of awarding 5% of prime contracts to WOSBs.