Nationwide Help For SBA Mentor Protege Applications and With Small Business Mentor Protege Program Compliance.

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SBA Small Business Mentor Protege Program Application & Compliance 13 CFR 125.9 CFR 124.520Entering into the DOD and Small Business Administration Mentor Protege program Application & Compliance 13 CFR 125.9 CFR 124.520 under 33 CFR 125.9, 13 CFR 124.520 means that you must comply with some complicated regulations. When government contractors merely copy and paste mentor protege agreements without understanding their legal obligations, they can become fertile ground for a challenge in a size appeal at the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals.


We help DOD small businesses and larger federal contractors to form legally compliant mentoring business relationships and develop compliance SBA mentor protege applications that also meet the requirements of 13 CFR 121.103 and 13 CFR 124.520. When businesses are involved in Small Business Administration size protests and size appeal litigation, our government contracting attorneys provide aggressive legal representation.

Federal SBA Mentor Protege Program Services

  • Drafting federal Mentor Protege Agreements
  • 8a Mentor Protege compliance and disputes
  • SBA Mentor Protege Application help
  • Statutory compliance with SBA new rules
  • SBA disputes and litigation
  • Litigation of compliance violations and disputes
  • Resolving allegations of affiliation
  • Compliance with JV and work percentages
  • Assessing roles and responsibilities under SBA small business mentor protege program
  • Business development and government contract consulting

To speak with a government contracting and SBA Small Business Administration Mentor Protege Program attorney, call 1-866-601-5518 for a Free Initial Consultation.

All Small Mentor Protege Program Qualifications 

For companies entering into an SBA All Small Mentor Protégé Program relationship, our government contract lawyers help companies to qualify for a small business set-aside procurement and meet the legal requirements of 13 CFR 125.9 and 13 CFR 124.520 of becoming a small business mentor.

Mentor Qualifications 13 CFR 125.9

 In order to qualify as a mentor, you must demonstrate that your company:

(i) Is capable of carrying out its responsibilities to assist the protégé firm under the proposed mentor-protégé agreement;

(ii) Possesses good character;

(iii) Does not appear on the federal list of debarred or suspended contractors; and

(iv) Can impart value to a protégé firm due to lessons learned and practical experience gained or through its knowledge of general business operations and government contracting.

(2) In order to demonstrate that it is capable of carrying out its responsibilities to assist the protégé firm under the proposed mentor-protégé agreement, a firm seeking to be a mentor may submit to the SBA copies of the federal tax returns it submitted to the IRS, or audited financial statements, including any notes, or in the case of publicly traded concerns, the filings required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for the past three years.

(3) Once approved, a mentor must annually certify that it continues to possess good character and a favorable financial position.

(4) Generally, a mentor will have no more than one protégé at a time. However, SBA may authorize a concern to mentor more than one protégé at a time where it can demonstrate that the additional mentor-protégé relationship will not adversely affect the development of either protégé firm (e.g., the second firm may not be a competitor of the first firm). Under no circumstances will a mentor be permitted to have more than three protégés at one time in the aggregate under the small business mentor protege program authorized by 13 CFR 24.520 and 13 CFR 125.9 of this chapter.

SBA 8a Small Business Mentorship Program Qualifications CFR 125.9

To meet the program’s protege definition, meaning and SBA Small Business Mentorship Program requirements,  protégés must either: 

  1. qualify as small for the size standard corresponding to their primary North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code; or
  2.  qualify as small under their secondary NAICs code(s) and identify that they are seeking business development assistance under that specific secondary code.

To be a protégé a firm, the SBA mentor protege application must meet several conditions.

  • The firm must be a participant in the 8(a) BD Program.
  • The firm must meet at least one of the following three conditions:
    • Be in the developmental stage of the 8(a) BD Program, OR
    • Have never received an 8(a) contract, OR
    • Be less than half the size of the small business size standard corresponding to its primary NAICS code.
  • The 8(a) firm must
    • Be in good standing with SBA Program requirements, AND
    • Be current with all SBA reporting requirements.
  • Protégés may generally have only one mentor at a time.
    • However, SBA may authorize a second mentor after reviewing of the request.

Purpose of the All Small Mentor Protege Program

As Per the GPO’s website, the SBA All Small Mentor Protégé Program is designed to the capabilities of protégé firms by requiring approved mentors to provide business development assistance to protégé firms and to improve the protégé firms’ ability to successfully compete for federal contracts. This assistance may include technical and/or management assistance; financial assistance in the form of equity investments and/or loans; subcontracts (either from the mentor to the protégé or from the protégé to the mentor); trade education; and/or assistance in performing prime contracts with the Government through joint venture arrangements. Mentors are encouraged to provide assistance relating to the performance of contracts set aside or reserved for small business so that protégé firms may more fully develop their capabilities.

Certification basics: Protégé small businesses may self-certify that they qualify as small for their primary or secondary NAICs code(s). If your business does not meet the size standard under its primary code and is seeking to qualify as a protégé under a secondary NAICs code, they must demonstrate how the mentor protege relationship is a logical business progression that will develop and expand their current capabilities.

Calculation of receipts: When considering SBA mentor protege  agreement applications for the program, SBA considers the distribution of receipts, employees and costs of doing business among the different industries in which business operations occurred for the most recently completed fiscal year, in determining the primary industry in which a concern or a concern combined with its affiliates is engaged, the SBA may consider other factors such as the distribution of patents, contract awards, and assets.

The SBA will not approve a mentor-protégé relationship in a secondary code in which the business has no prior experience.

Companies bidding on DOD federal contracts that are not part of the 8(a) Program must extremely careful. Since the SBA is not required to review small business mentoring for non-8a set-asides, contractors can be more subject to litigation and size appeals. At Watson & Associates, our government contract law lawyers help companies to still meet the requirements of 13 CFR 124.520 for procurements not in the 8(a) Program.

SBA All Small Mentor Protégé Program & Benefits

The SBA has launched the new SBA All Small Mentor Protégé Program where the protégé small business can legally get more valuable business development from large business mentors (small business mentors are also eligible).

Common areas that government contractors can get assistance in the form of unique contributions under the All Small Mentor Protégé Program include:

  • Guidance on internal business management systems, accounting, marketing, manufacturing, and strategic planning
  • Financial assistance such as equity investments, loans, and construction bonding
  • Help to navigate federal contract bidding, acquisition, and performance process
  • Education about international trade, strategic planning, and finding markets
  • Security clearance help
  • Business development, including strategy and identifying contracting and teaming partnership opportunities
  • General and administrative assistance, like human resource sharing or security clearance support

When your SBA mentor protege application is approved, you can form a joint venture and move ahead to get government contracts that the small business qualifies.

Call Watson’s SBA Mentor Protege Agreement Lawyers

If you are involved in SBA Small Business Mentor Protege Program or need legal help with small business SBA mentor protege agreement applications, call our government contract attorneys at 1-866-601-5518 for immediate help.