sba small business size protest lawyers

Aggressive Government Small Business Attorneys

Watson & Associates’government contract small business attorneys and SBA size protest lawyers maintain law offices in Washington, DC and Denver, Colorado. The law firm frequently represents small companies throughout the United States to defend and file SBA size standard protest cases when there is a government contract award.

After the Area Office issues a formal SBA size determination, our law office also provides legal representation in small business size standard appeals to the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals (SBA OHA).

Our law firm represents both SBA bid protest plaintiffs and intervenors nationwide. Call one of our SBA affiliation attorneys today. Get a Free initial consultation. 1-866-601-5518.

Nationwide Experience with specific SBA size protest topics

With over 30 years of government service and federal contracting experience, our SBA affiliation attorneys we can handle disputes related to the totality of the circumstances, size protest based on common managementnewly organized concern rule, Ostensible Subcontractor Rule and SBA Affiliation, meeting the SBA small business definition by showing subcontractors performing primary and vital contract requirements; and identity of interest appeal cases; size appeal protest cases based on mentor protégé affiliation; and small business designation argument when rebutting legal presumptions by showing clear lines of fracture.

SBA Size Protest Timeline

 A small business size protest must be received by the contracting officer before the close of business on the fifth day, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, after the electronic posting or when you received notice of award or intent to award.

If you have to file a size appeal to SBA OHA, our appeal lawyers are prepared to present aggressive litigation on your behalf. If the OHA issues an adverse size standard protest decision, our law can also prepare for appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Get a Free Initial Consultation. Over 20 Years Experience With the Federal Government. Call our SBA bid protest attorneys Toll Free at 1-866-601-5518.

Representative Cases at SBA and OHA

  • SBA Size Appeal: Appeal of SBA size Determination in a Construction Contract. The SBA’s size determination was clearly erroneous and contrary to the prior decision of the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) in Size Appeal of Contego Environmental, LLC, SBA No. SIZ-6054 ). OHA granted the appeal is granted and the size determination was reversed in part and remanded in part. Size Appeal of Contego Environmental, LLC, SBA No. SIZ-6073 (September 2020)
  • OHA SBA Size Appeal. Appeal of SBA Size Determination concluding that the Awardee is a small business under the size standard associated with the procurement. HWI Gear, Inc. (Appellant), which had previously protested Mechanix’s size, contends that the size determination is clearly erroneous and requests that SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) reverse or remand. OHA granted the appeal in part and was remanded to the Area Office for further review. (September 2020)
  • OHA Size Appeal. Represented Appellant in an SBA size determination,. SBA ruled that the awardee was small under the procurement. However, successfully challenged Ostensible Subcontractor Rule as to if the subcontractor will perform the “primary and vital” contract requirements. 13 C.F.R. § 121.103(h)(4). OHA granted the appeal in part and remained back to the SBA Area Office.  (Docket SBA No. SIZ-6054) May 2020. 

For other results please, please see our representative cases

What are Costly Size Protest Mistakes to Avoid?

When your company is facing litigation or being targeted for a government investigation about your small business size, the critical points of interest to the SBA or IG are your business relationships with other individuals or companies. Entities that merely met to do business on the instant procurement, but have no previous business relationships are fertile targets for a small business size protest. When these relationships form, watch for common mistakes such as :

  • Getting a substantial amount of revenues from another company
  • Not showing in your agreements that you make the final decisions
  • Transferring prohibited decision-making authority to your subcontractors (common in construction contracts)
  • Teaming with companies that also own other entities
  • Failing to realize that the SBA only has to reasonably believe that control of your business can exist – whether or not it actually exists is not the legal standard.

Who can file a small business size protest?

If you are a small business that submitted a bid, you are often presumed to be an interested party. If you have an economic interest or stake in the outcome of the case, you are an interested party and can challenge the awardee’s small business size status.

You must have what most attorneys and courts refer to as legal standing to file an SBA size protest. See 13 CFR 121.1001(a)(7)(i), “[a]ny offeror” may initiate a size protest on an unrestricted procurement.

Where are small business size standard protests filed?

If you are contemplating filing a small business size standards protest, you must file it with the contracting officer within five business days after receipt of notification of the awardee. He or she will then refer it to the Small Business Administration for investigation.

How can Watson’s SBA size protest lawyers help you?

Any type of government contract bid protest creates a risk to the intervenor (awardee) of losing the contract. As an unsuccessful offeror, you run the risk of not getting a second chance to be considered for the contract.

Watson’s SBA size protest lawyers provide meaningful insight into whether the protest has merit; our SBA bid protest lawyers will then draft the protest letter on your behalf and assemble the necessary preparations for filing.

What causes small business size standard bid protest cases to be dismissed?

SBA size small business size protests do not have rigid filing requirements. However, the stated procedural rules, if not followed, will cause the SBA (or OHA) to dismiss your case.

  • SBA small business size regulations make clear that, constitute a proper size protest, you must allege some factual or legal basis for the protest.  See  13 CFR 121.1007(b). If you simply state that the awardee is not small, without anything else, then your case will get dismissed.
  • Failing to file your case within the five business day requirement
  • Your proposal was rejected for reasons other than size

What happens after you file an SBA size protest?

After you file your small business size standard bid protest, the SBA will notify the awardee and allow the awarded company to respond to the allegations in the bid protest. The SBA will also launch its own investigation. The awarded company will be required to submit SBA Form 355 and provide tax records and any other document requested.

What are your options after an adverse formal SBA size determination?

After the SBA issues a formal small business size determination, you can appeal the decision to the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA). You cannot file a size appeal more than 15 days after you receive the Area Office’s determination. 

What are the risks of receiving an adverse small business size standards decision?

If the SBA issues an adverse small business size determination decision based upon annual receipts or number of employees, it means that your company will be barred from submitting proposals for federal contracts under the NAICS code for the procurement at issue. Unless the appeals case is reversed by OHA, federal contracting agencies will consider your company as other than small for that NAICS code. Call Watson’s size standard protest law firm today for immediate help.

What does the SBA look for when conducting a small business size protest investigation?

When a small business size protest reaches the SBA’s office, there is an immediate investigation. The office immediately looks for evidence of affiliation with other companies, violation of the Ostensible Subcontractor rule.

Do you have to hire an SBA bid protest lawyer?

There are no rules that mandate you to retain SBA bid protest lawyers. Nevertheless, taking on your own case pro se can be very risky.  North American Industry Classification System NAICS size standards rules are confusing and complicated. The SBA can find reasons for size violations other than those stated by the protestor. As such, the risk of getting an adverse decision without legal counsel can be devastating. For more information, call Watson’s SBA lawyers.

Note: After filing the case, it will be difficult to find a small business status attorney that will take on the case.

How do you appeal a formal SBA size determination?

If you receive an adverse formal SBA size determination, you must file your size appeal with the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) within 15 calendar days of receiving your size determination.  See 13 CFR 134.304(a). SBA OHA must receive your appeal by 5 p.m. EST on the 15th day. OHA decides size appeals under the Small Business Act of 1958, 15 U.S.C. § 631 et seq., and 13 C.F.R. parts 121 and 134.

Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Small Business Size Protest Appellate Cases

If you are contemplating filing an appeal of your small business size protest case to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, you will have to allege the errors and mistakes that the lower court made. As a size standard protest law fir, we know that understanding that the future of your business is at risk and that you may be precluded from bidding on small business contracts, our government contract small business attorneys and appellate lawyers know the legal issues raised and can aggressively help you on appeal.  

Hiring Incumbent Personnel Under the Ostensible Subcontractor Rule.

Find out what date counts for SBA size small business standards.

Learn more about our SBA HUBZone certification services

Next steps

Regardless of whether your company is awarded the contract, or you are planning on filing a size standard protest, the following a few tips to help you get the most from a Free Initial Consultation with your SBA bid protest attorney:

  • Find a small business size protest attorney who has litigated these types of cases and write down questions that you want to be answered.
  • During the initial consultation have someone that can help you ask questions and take notes
  • Always have the company’s decision-maker on the call.
  • You must act immediately after receiving notice from the contracting agency
  • Consider the risks of not having a small business attorney that understand small business size standard regulations or the common issues raised in size protests.

For Size Protest and Appeals Cases Call an SBA Size Protest Attorney for a FREE Initial Consultation Today at 1-866-601-5518.