Is there an SBA Contracting Program for me?
The Federal Government is the largest buyer of products and services in the US. The SBA has a variety of programs to help small businesses compete for these federal contracts. Is your business eligible for one of our contracting programs?
The 8(a) Business Development (BD) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s).
The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program allows set-asides for WOSBs in industries where firms are underrepresented. WOSBs must be at least 51% owned and controlled by women.
The Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBzone) Program allows federal contract set-asides for small businesses in economically depressed communities.
Answer the questions below to find out if your firm may meet criteria to participate in one of these programs.
Firms owned by Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, Native Hawaiian Organizations, Community Development Corporations, and small agricultural cooperatives may have different criteria for acceptance into SBA’s small business programs. Refer to SBA.gov for more information.
About your business
Are the qualifying individual(s) of the firm who are applying for SBA small business programs U.S. citizens?
A U.S. citizen means a person born or naturalized in the United States. Resident aliens and holders of permanent visas are not considered to be citizens for program purposes.
Is the 51% ownership of the firm unconditional and direct?
- Qualifying individual(s) mustunconditionally and directly own and controlat least 51% of the business.
- In general, the 51%ownershipmay not be through another business entity.
- Controlmeans that both the long-term decision making and the day-to-day management of the business are controlled by qualifying individual(s).
Is the firm organized for profit?
- Non-profit entities are ineligible to participate in most SBA small business programs.
- The firm may be in the legal form of an individual proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, S Corporation, or C Corporation.
- Exceptions: This rule does not necessarily apply to Community Development Corporations (CDC) or businesses interested in participating as mentors in Mentor Protégé programs.
Do you affirm that neither this firm, nor any of its owners, have ever been debarred or suspended by any federal entity?
Debarred or suspended firms or firms owned by debarred or suspended individual(s) are ineligible for admission to SBA small business programs.
Does the firm have a place of business in the U.S. and operate primarily within the United States, or make a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labors?
Is the firm considered small in accordance with its primary North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code?
- SBA’s size standards define whether a business entity is small and, thus, eligible for Government programs and preferences reserved for “small business” concerns. Size standards have been established for types of economic activity, or industry, under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). To determine the size standard associated with a particular NAICS code, refer to the table of size standards in the Small Business Size Regulations, 13 CFR § 121.201. Size standards are expressed in annual receipts for services NAICS codes and in number of employees for manufacturing NAICS codes. Information about how SBA calculates a firm’s size can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 13 CFR § 121.104 and 13 CFR § 121.106.
- If you do not know the NAICS code(s) in which your business operates, please review the NAICS manual available at http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/.
Are the qualifying individual(s) of the firm women who own at least 51% of the firm?
Are WOSB Federal Contract Program set-asides available in your primary NAICS code?
The federal government may restrict competition under the WOSB Program only in certain industries.13 C.F.R. 127.500. SBA has designated those industries applicable to the WOSB Program by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. There are two types of set-asides under the WOSB Program: set asides for Woman Owned Small Businesses and set asides for Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Businesses. The type of set-aside allowed under the WOSB Program is dictated by the applicable NAICS code of the solicitation. To learn more about the types of set-asides and the designations available via this program, please visitSBA.gov/WOSB.
Are the qualifying individual(s) economically disadvantaged women under the guidelines of the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program?
Firms owned by economically disadvantaged women may qualify as Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSBs) under the WOSB Program. Under this program, the determination of whether an individual is an economically disadvantaged woman requires an evaluation of her total assets, net worth, and personal income for the past three years. To be considered an economically disadvantaged woman for the WOSB program, the individual must meet the thresholds described below:
- The woman’s total assets must be valued at $6 million or less. This calculation is based on the fair market value of all assets, including the primary residence and the value of the business concern. This calculation excludes funds invested in a qualified IRA account or other official retirement account that are unavailable until retirement age without a significant penalty.
- The woman’s net worth must be less than $750,000. This calculation excludes the woman’s ownership interest in the applicant concern, her equity interest in her primary personal residence, funds invested in a qualified IRA account or other official retirement account, and income received from an S Corp, LLC or partnership that was reinvested in the business or used for paying taxes arising in the normal course of operations of the business.
- The woman’s personal income must be $350,000 or less. This calculation is based on the woman’s adjusted gross income averaged over the last three years.
Are the individual(s) interested in participating in SBA small business programs economically disadvantaged under 8(a) BD Program guidelines?
Firms owned by economically disadvantaged individuals may qualify for the 8(a) BD Program. Under the 8(a) BD Program, the determination of whether an individual is economically disadvantaged requires an evaluation of the individual’s total assets, net worth, and personal income for the past three years. To be considered an economically disadvantaged individual for the 8(a) BD Program, the individual must meet the thresholds described below:
- The individual’s total assets must be valued at $6 million or less. This calculation is based on the fair market value of all assets, including the primary residence and the value of the business concern. This calculation excludes funds invested in a qualified IRA account or other official retirement account.
- The individual’s net worth must be less than $750,000. This calculation excludes the individual’s ownership interest in the applicant concern, the individual’s equity interest in his or her primary residence, funds invested in a qualified Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) or other official retirement account that is unavailable until retirement age without a significant penalty, and income received from an S Corp, LLC or partnership that was reinvested in the business or used for paying taxes arising in the normal course of operations of the business.
- The individual’s personal income must be $350,000 or less. This calculation is based on the individual’s adjusted gross income averaged over the last three years.
Has the firm previously been certified as an 8(a) participant?
- There is a “one time use of eligibility” restriction for individuals and firms to participate in the 8(a) BD Program.
- This applies to any business that previously participated in the 8(a) BD Program, even if ownership and control of the firm has completely changed.
Have any individual(s) claiming social and economic disadvantage previously used their one time 8(a) eligibility to qualify a business for the 8(a) BD Program?
- If you are not a member of a presumed group, you may still be eligible for admission to the 8(a) BD program on a case-by-case basis if you demonstrate you have experienced bias of a chronic and substantial nature.
Is the address of the location where the majority of the firm’s employees work located in a HUBZone?
- The Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program provides federal contracting assistance for qualified small business firms located in HUBZones in an effort to increase employment opportunities, investment, and economic development in such areas.
- Use the HUBZone Map to find out if your principal office is located in a HUBZone.
- A firm’s principal office is the location where the greatest number of the firm’s employees perform their work. Job site locations for service or construction companies may be excluded as locations to be considered as the principal office. See 13 CFR 126.103 for more details.
Do 35% or more of the firm’s employees reside in a HUBZone?
- A firm which has at least 35 percent of its employees residing in a HUBZone may qualify for the HUBZone program.
- Use the HUBZone Map to find out if your employees reside in a HUBZone.
The results below are a preliminary assessment of which SBA contracting programs may be a good fit for your firm. If you’re ready to get started with applying to any of these programs, use the links within the results below to get started today!