FAR Novation Agreement & Government Contract Novation Law Lawyers

  • Avoid Unnecessary Headaches with the Government Contract Novation Process.
  • When Novating a Contract, Increase the Chance of Business  Sales Getting Contracting Officer Approval
  • Avoid Violating the Anti-Assignment Act When Executing a Government Novation Contract
  • Our FAR Novation Lawyers Help Federal  Contractors and Companies in ALL STATES
  • Does your purchase or sale impact your small business status ? There are all important considerations for the furture.
  • Get a Free Initial Consultation. 1-866-601-5518.

The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR Novation Agreements) do not Mandate that the Government is always obliged to approve your novation agreement. The last thing you want to experience is that after substantial negotiations with the buyer or seller, the contracting officer disapproves the novation agreement.

With law offices in Washington, DC and in Denver Colorado, At Watson & Associates, LLC  experienced federal novation of government contracts attorneys frequently help clients nationwide to navigate through the confusing process. The goal is to help make the buying or selling transition a lot smoother while satisfying the contracting officer’s needs. 

Government Contract Novation Consulting Services

  • Assessment of facts involved with your purchase and sale for potential violation of government contract law
  • Oversight of state attorney transactions for FAR 42.12 compliance
  • Preparation of documents in compliance with FAR novation clause requirements
  • A-Z Government contract consulting services
  • GSA novation agreement matters and settlement solutions
  • Help with your novation in contract documents when buying or selling a business
  • Filing Pre-novation Contract Disputes Act claims against the government as the successor in interest ( Vought Aircraft Co., 95-1 BCA ,r 27,421 at 136,666)

At Watson & Associates, LLC our government contract novation lawyers help clients to develop and propose a more acceptable novation contract agreement package to the contracting officer. FAR 42.12 has specific requirements for novation of government contracts.

  • Get help from beginning to end
  • We work with state attorneys to make novation agreement FAR rules are in order
  • Avoid costly mistakes with asset transfers and Anti-Assignment Act violations
  • Prompt turnarounds when novating a contract

 Detailed Help Through the GSA and FAR Novation Process

Depending on what type of business sale you are involved with (stock purchase or asset purchase), the novation agreement government contracts process under FAR 42.12 can have its ups and downs. As the buyer or seller, you want to make sure that you understand what the government’s interests are. Only then can you intelligently move forward. By understanding the process, you can minimize unnecessary delays while getting the contracting officer to buy off on your plans. Watson’s FAR novation agreement attorneys will help you from the beginning of the business sale all the way through approval of the agreement by the contracting officer. Our government contract novation law firm can help with:

  • Assessing the overall business sale for potential problems under FAR 42.12 guidelines
  • Working with client’s corporate attorneys to validate and resolve potential novation in contract problems.
  • Preparation of government contract novation agreement
  • Reviewing asset purchase agreements to make sure that our client is not simply selling government contracts.
  • Overseeing the entire novation vs assignment process if requested

What Can You Do to Minimize the Possibility of the Contracting Officer’s Disapproval of Request for Novation of The Contract? 

As stated before, if your novation does not fall within the purview of what is in the Government’s interest, then the CO does not have to approve your requests.  Things that you can do to increase the chances of getting approved include:

  • Keeping the CO involved in the initial stages of your negotiations with the buyer or seller. CO’s don’t want to be surprised with a request for approval.
  • When you submit your novation letter, you may want to explain how the transfer of your contract to the buyer or seller would arguably be in the government’s interest.
  • What past performance does the new owner have that the agency should consider
  • Consider talking about the reduction of risk of non-performance

As federal novation contract law attorneys, we help in all aspects of the process.

Potential Conflict of Interest? 

One of the things that the CO must do when deciding whether to approve your  request to novate is to assess whether there is a potential conflict of interest under FAR 9.5 clause. If there is, and it cannot be resolved, and there is a still a decision that it is in the best interest of the government to approve the novation of contract, then you would want to submit a request for a waiver under FAR 9.503 .

Discover Potential Pitfalls in the Government Contracting Process and Avoid Them

 There is more to the novation of government contracts process than simply filling out forms. We help with the following:

  • Making sure that your small business status is still in place
  • Assessing whether your asset purchase and transfers are really true assets in the government’s eyes (this is one area where government attorneys scrutinize your purchase and sale transactions.)

Our federal government procurement attorneys can help with the assessment of asset purchase sales and prepare our clients to ultimately get through the buying and selling process.

  • Understand that the contracting officer is not obligated to approve your agreement

FAR  42.12 Novation Meaning?

Under federal procurement laws, the novation meaning may be somewhat different than in the commercial sector. To novate a government contract is appropriate when the party to contract somehow assigns their obligations under a current federal contract to a new party. In government contracting, the agency refers to the new part as a successor in interest.

The Anti-Assignment Act prohibits the sale of government contracts.

In other words, unless the responsible contracting officer decides that it is in the government’s best interest to novate a contract, then the government is not obligated to accept a novation agreement under FAR 42.12. 

  • If the only asset purchased is a government contract, there could be problems.
  • Contractors fail when the contracting officer is suspect of the actual assets sold.

When you are involved in a purchase and sale of a business, it is important to assess the possibility that option years to existing contracts may not be extended. This is a risk for the buyer of a stock purchase novation contract. When there is such a potential problem, the value of the sale of the business may be impacted.

What happens of the buyer’s small business status expires? Would the small business status be gone?

Generally no. The rule has been that once you were a small business at the initial bidding and award stage, then you should be fine. The transaction should not impact your status as a small business. 

Does Your Stock Purchase Sale Mean that The Government Has to Approve Your FAR Novation Contract Agreement?

Obviously, FAR 42.12 suggests that your agreement is unnecessary when there is a change in the ownership of a contractor as a result of a stock purchase, with no legal change in the contracting party, and when that contracting party remains in control of the assets and is the party performing the contract. However, under the FAR , when you execute stock purchase agreement, you should, by all means, seek approval of the contracting officer ahead of time.

  • The key to any approval of a FAR novation agreement is to get the contracting officer involved as soon as possible. Arguably if the government’s interest in jeopardy, there may be an exception.
  • Remember that approval of your agreement depends on what is in the best interest of the government.

To speak with a FAR novation law attorney, call Watson & Associates at 1-866-601-5518.

Does Your Executed Business Sales Documents Bind the Federal Government? When you executed a buy-sell agreement or an asset purchase agreement, the executed agreement does not automatically force the contracting officer to approve the novation of contract? The agency will only approve your letter for your private sale or purchase when it is in the best interest of the government.

  • You should always include the contracting officer in the loop from the beginning. This also includes GSA novation agreements
  • There are a few ways to reduce risk if the contracting officer does not approve your contract novation

Required Documents FAR 42.12o4

When government contractors seek approval of contract novation agreements they must provide the following:

  • Three signed copies of the proposed agreement
  • One copy each of the following:
    • The document describing the proposed transaction, e.g., purchase/sale agreement or memorandum of understanding.
    • A list of all affected contracts between the transferor and the Government
    • Evidence of the transferee’s capability to perform.
    • Any other relevant information requested by the responsible contracting officer.

Under FAR 42.12 clause, there are several other compliance issues required for purchase and sale transactions.  This is where Watson’s government contract novation consulting professionals can help balance the interest of the contractor and the government.

Common Issues With Novation Contracts

A Novation is Not just a Transfer Agreement and Purchase of Assets

One common requirement that is missed involves the transfer itself.  Many clients may think only an asset purchase agreement is required to demonstrate the sale/purchase of assets in a novation. This is not the case.  Among other requirements, a copy of the instrument effecting the transfer of assets; e.g., bill of sale, certificate of merger, contract, deed, agreement, or court decree must be provided.  This requirement is in addition to the actual transfer agreement / asset purchase agreement. There is also a novation agreement separate from the Asset Purchase Agreement.  These are just a few of the common requirements overlooked in novations of federal contracts.

How Does an Attorney Fit In to the Novation Process ?

Given these FAR requirements and a laundry list of other critical aspects of a novation, a federal contract novation will be denied without the approval of an attorney through an Attorney Opinion Letter stating all novation requirements have been met.

In order for a novation law attorney to ensure all requirements are met, he or she should be involved in the drafting of such documents and ensuring throughout the buying and selling process that nothing critical is overlooked.

Problematic Oversights Are Not the Only Things Commonly Missed in Government Contract Novations

Where a novation is to a company with a particular small business designation, such as HUBZone, 8(a), woman-owned, service-disabled veteran owned etc., under  §125.18(e)(1), which describe the effects of a post-award novation or merger, a procuring agency may “count the options or orders issued pursuant to the contract, from that point forward, towards its goals.


Our Federal government contract novation contract law attorneys provides legal counsel to defense contractors about DOD and GSA novation agreement processes throughout the United States and overseas including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Virgin Islands. Call our federal contract novation settlement solutions firm today for immediate help. 1-866-601-5518. We help with situations in  Dubai, Afghanistan, Iraq contractors and Saudi Arabia

Cities in which our federal government contract novation lawyers offer legal counsel and intervene in bid protests include Anchorage, AK; Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Colorado Springs, CO; Houston, San Antonio,  Wichita Falls, Dallas, TX; Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, IN; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Philadelphia, PA; San Antonio, TX; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Santa Clara, CA; and Tampa, FL.

Contact Our Government Contract Novation Law Firm

For help with FAR 42.12 requirements, call Watson’s government contract novation agreement FAR 42.12 law firm at 1-866-601-5518 for immediate help.