Get Solutions From SBA HUBZone Certification Consultants and Lawyers That Help Small Businesses Nationwide 

SBA HUBZone Certification Application Consultants lawyersAlthough meeting the Small Business Administration SBA’s Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) certification requirements may seem easy at first glance, it is the detailed assessment conducted by the SBA that gets small businesses in deep legal trouble.

For example, SBA Program requirements require that 35% of a small business’s employees live in a HUB Zone. For construction or landscaping industries, the rule may be applied differently. Another common issue could whether your subcontractor meets the “similarly situated” small business requirements.

At Watson & Associates, LLC, our Government attorneys and HUBZone certification consultants help with various government contract small business issues on a daily basis with overcoming legal hurdles of how to get certified.

  • Avoid Costly Legal Mistakes
  • Get Help When the SBA makes Adverse Decision
  • Complete SBA Small Business Services
  • Assessment of Employee Requirements
  • Legal counsel for HUBZone Status bid protests
  • Help with price evaluation preference disputes
  • Litigation and Appeals
  • Teaming Agreements and Joint Ventures

SBA HUBZone Certification Consultants &  Attorney Legal Services

 Watson & Associates’ government contract lawyers and HUBZone certification consultants help small businesses nationwide to become certified and provide post-certification consulting and legal support that includes sole source matters, teaming and subcontracting matters, Joint Venture help. Small Business contract novations,  litigation and appeals (ASBCA and CBCA)(COFC and Federal Circuit), Certificate of Competency and contractor responsibility matters.

  • Help with control issues that impact SBA requirements for ownership
  • Help with litigation about your small business status 
  • Subcontracting, joint ventures and teaming arrangements

SBA HUBZone Requirements

 SBA Historically underutilized businesses must meet the statutory certified HUBZone requirements to benefit from small business HUBZone Program advantages.

Your initial SBA application must show that:

(1) you are a small business under the SBA size standards;

(2) the company must be owned and controlled at least 51% by U.S. citizens, or a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe;

(3) Its principal office must be located within a “Historically Underutilized Business Zone,” which includes lands considered “Indian Country” and military facilities closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Act; and

(4) At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone.

When you learn how to become certified, then you still have to make sure that you consistently meet the legal requirements. Other small businesses also misunderstand the bidding thresholds for HUB Zone certified companies and sometimes mix up the requirements for normal annual SBA certification requirements.

  • If the information submitted on your application is false, there could be criminal penalties assessed if your company gets a contract with the federal government.
  • Having one of our consultants guide you through the application process minimizes the chance of getting denied and can help to avoid the dangerous landmines that await you.
  • Our HUBZone lawyers help business owners to address criminal investigation and liability for alleged fraud in the HUBZone program.

You can find a lawyer at Watson & Associates, LLC, our federal contract and small business attorneys understand the dangerous and costly landmines that can get companies in trouble. In addition to small business consulting on how to become HUBZone certified, our attorneys also offer help with the various nuances that companies face after getting certified. This includes challenges to a company’s status.

HUBZone Fraud and Government Investigations

Unfortunately, the SBA and other government law enforcement agencies are actively seeking out small businesses who have allegedly committed fraud against the federal government. When individuals and companies are subject to government investigations for HUBZone fraud and false claims violations, our government contract lawyers are here to help. We have represented small businesses for alleged violations of SBA small business programs.  We understand the applicable regulations and flaws during federal investigations.

Filing HUBZone Bid Protests

Sometimes, when the government announces a contract award to a HUBZone small business concern, there may be grounds to challenge the award dues to the awardee’s failure to comply with the HUBZone requirements. At Watson & Associates, our bid protest lawyers will assist with filing or defending HUBZone status protests.

Questions and Answers

What is a HUBZone Small Business?

Small businesses are essentially labeled ‘historically underutilized business zones’. Small Businesses located in Qualified census tracts can participate in the SBA’s program and take advantage of certain small business government contracting preferences.

Census tracks include Qualified non-metropolitan counties; Lands within the external boundaries of an Indian reservation; Qualified base closure areas and other statutory designations. The SBA makes the final determination as to whether your company meets the definition of a HUBZone.

Like any other government program, there is a rigorous application process and scrutiny from the SBA. Having HUBzone certification consultants that understand the process and that can help to navigate through the certification process can be a great benefit.

 HUBZone Benefits & FAQs

  • As a small business, you can take advantage of set aside contracts  where other non-certified companies could not
  • In full and open competitive bids, you can also get the benefit of a preference in pricing when certain conditions are met.
  • Another of the benefits is being able to apply the varying employee standard depending on the type of industry.

Besides the obvious, the program’s benefits also can put your company in the limelight because when you qualify, then your company can stand out in highly distressed areas as a company that is now hiring when you win a new government contract.

Can you appeal to SBA OHA SBA decisions regarding Government HUB Zone status and qualifications?

13 CFR 134.102 does not give SBA OHA jurisdiction to hear over HUBZone status protests, nor does OHA have the authority to directly overturn a government contract award decision. See Size Appeal of Browning Construction Co., SBA No. SIZ-4526 (2002) (concluding that OHA’s jurisdiction “is limited and does not include small business protests or appeals from the SBA’s determinations.”)

Does my business violate the Ostensible Subcontractor Rule As a Pass-Through Only?  

Your small business firm violates ostensible subcontractor rule if your only contribution to a government contract is your status and the contract is essentially a pass-through. See Size Appeal of C.E. Garbutt Construction Co., SBA No. SIZ-5083.

How Does the SBA Determine the Principal Place of Business  Hubzone Requirements?

 The Small Business Act regulations require that, with the exception of certain specified entities, qualified small business concerns have a principal office located in a Government HUB Zone.  See 15 USC 632(p)(5){A)(i)(I)(aa); 13 CFR 126.103. Principal office means the location where the greatest number of concern’s employees at any one location performs their work.

However, for those concerns whose ‘primary industry’ (see 13 C.F.R. 121.201) is service or construction (13 CFR 121.201), the determination of the principal office excludes the concern’s employees who perform the majority of their work at job site locations to fulfill specific contractual obligations. Find out more about reaping the benefits of the SBA Program.

How Long Does it Take to Get HUBZone Certified?

The average amount of time to get certified is about 90 days. The SBA reviews each case individually. Each case has different facts and different legal issues.

How Does SBA Look at the HUBZone Employee Requirements?

To meet the HUBZone employee requirements, the regulations allow the SBA to take the totality of the circumstances approach. However, understanding the underlying rules of meeting the statutory requirements can save tens of thousands in uncessary litigation.

Help Filing SBA HUB Zone  Protests

If you are an interested party and are contemplating filing an SBA HUBZone requirements protest, we can help.  There are also other people that file a bid protest including the SBA and the contracting officer. The SBA and the contracting officer are not bound by any timelines to file a protest of the apparently successful offeror’s status as a qualified historically underutilized business zone small business concern (see 13 CFR 126.800).

Find out more about the Bidding Price Preference

New SBA Regulations Impacting HUBZone Certified Companies

SBA Size Standards & Small Business Size Protest Litigation Help

SBA Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals 13 CFR 124.104

Speak to an Attorney & Get a Free Initial Consultation

Contact Our SBA HUBZone Certification Consultants

If you are certified small business owners and have been accused of government procurement fraud under the historically underutilized business programs, need help learning how to become certified, or need help meeting employee requirements, or need help getting more access to federal procurement opportunities, call Watson & Associates, LLC HUBZone certification consultants and law firm to schedule a free consultation. Call toll-free at 1-866-601-5518.