SBA Set-Aside Contracts: Guidance for Federal Contractors

Interplay Between Entity Size Standards, Affiliations, and Bid Protests in the Procurement Process

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, April 27, 2018

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will provide critical insights for government contractors and their counsel on qualifying and competing for set-aside contracts with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Our expert panel will discuss entity size requirements and affiliations and how each factor into the qualification for and potential protest of set-aside procurements.


Every year the federal government purchases approximately $400 billion in goods and services from the private sector, with a stated goal of awarding at least 23% to small business concerns (SBC). These set-asides, led by the SBA, are a fixture of the federal procurement process and include targeted sub-goals for women-owned small business (5%), small disadvantaged business (5%), service disabled veteran owned small business (3%), and HUBZone (3%) certified firms.

Qualifying as a SBC under SBA and Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) guidelines is critical not only to a business’ ability to compete for these contracts but to fend off size protests once a set-aside contract is awarded. Counsel for offerors must understand the interplay between the entity-size requirements and affiliations with other business entities, large and small.

Concerning entity size, the standard is procurement-specific – based upon the selected NAICS code for the procurement - and based on the SBC’s annual revenue or number of employees. Regarding affiliation, counsel for offerors must be keenly aware of regulations addressing issues like common ownership and management, joint venture agreements with other entities, subcontractor relationships, and financial and family connections between businesses.

Listen as our authoritative panel provides guidance on navigating the set-aside procurement process along with practical insight on pursuing or defending size protests after a set-aside contract is awarded.



  1. SBA set-asides
    1. SBC qualifications
    2. Sub-groups
  2. Size standards
    1. Annual revenue: 13 C.F.R. 121.104
    2. Number of employees: 13 C.F.R. 121.106
  3. Affiliations
  4. The protest process


The panel will review these and other critical issues:

  • What steps can federal contractors take to preserve the advantages of an SBC qualification when pursuing set-aside awards?
  • What impact do guidelines like the “ostensible subcontractor rule” and “newly organized concern rule” have on affiliation determinations?
  • How can SBCs best navigate the requirements of 13 C.F.R 121.104 and 13 C.F.R. 121.106 when complying with procurement-specific size standards?


DeMella, Jonathan
Jonathan A. DeMella

Davis Wright Tremaine

Mr. DeMella is a member of the firm’s Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation Practice. He advises prime...  |  Read More

Moore, Jackson
Jackson W. Moore

Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan

Mr. Moore's practice focuses on government contracting and business dispute resolution, including litigation,...  |  Read More

Petel, George
George E. Petel

Wiley Rein

Mr. Petel counsels and represents government contractors on a broad range of government contracting issues, including...  |  Read More

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