Free Initial Consultation – Nationwide help with small business size protest cases: After putting forth the demanding efforts to bid on a small business set aside contract, you find out that your competition has been awarded the contract. Yet, you have information that can lead the Small Business Administration (SBA) to conclude that the awardee has violated the small business size standard regulations.
What can you do? What rules must you watch out for? How do you proceed?
These are all areas where Watson & Associates, LLC can provide experienced SBA size protest lawyers to help you.
Are you the successful small business awardee? If you are fortunate enough to win a federal government contract and have been notified that your competition has initiated an SBA size protest against you for alleged violations of small business size standard rules, then our SBA bid protest attorneys can defend and represent you in a pending SBA bid protest.
SBA SMALL BUSINESS SIZE PROTEST ATTORNEY SERVICES
With law offices in Washington DC and in Denver, Colorado, Watson & Associates’ SBA small business size protest lawyers can help you with the following:
- Affiliation and Ostensible Subcontractor Rule violations (13 CFR 121.103)
- SBA size protest cases with family-owned business relationships
- Newly formed organizations
- Primary and vital contract performance of your small business concern
- Economic dependency other than small business
- The totality of the circumstances
- Identity of interest
- Formal SBA Size Determination Appeals to SBA OHA
- Appeal of SBA OHA decisions to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Get a Free Initial Consultation. Call our SBA size protest lawyers Toll Free 1-866-601-5518.
EXPERIENCE WITH SBA SMALL BUSINESS SIZE STANDARD REGULATIONS
Members of our law firm have actually worked for federal contracting agencies and understand the legal issues that commonly arise when the SBA evaluates your case. Attorneys at our office bring over 20 years of experience both as government contracting professionals and litigation and appeals of small business size protest cases. For example, our firm litigation the widely cited case of Argus and Black before the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals. When it comes to disputes about small business size standard regulations, we do more that litigate SBA size protests. We also handle a wide variety of legal matters that create the basis for a bid protest including:
- Formation of teaming agreements
- Joint venture arrangements and business relationships
- Third party contracts and ability to control small businesses
SBA SIZE PROTEST FILING DEADLINES & WHERE TO PROTEST
When and where to protest.SBA small protest regulations require that you must file a bid protest on a negotiated procurement with the contracting officer / SBA within five business days after the protester learns the identity of the apparent awardee or the government contract award timeline. 13 CFR 121.1004(a)(2)(i) governs this type of government contract protest timeline. A protester may also, however, protest a task or delivery order issued under an existing Multiple Award Contract, “if the contracting officer requested a new size certification in connection with that order.” Id. § 121.1004(a)(2)(ii). Small to medium size businesses that run the risk of violating SBA size standards should seek immediate help because the response deadline to the SBA is also very short.
Is a Small Business Size Protest a FAR Protest?
The quick answer is no. SBA Size protests are governed by the Code of Federal Regulations. A FAR protest typical governs protests guidelines to GAO and not the SBA contract protest types.
SBA INCREASED CALCULATION OF ANNUAL RECEIPTS FROM 3 YEARS TO 5
The Small Business Administration announced that the period for calculating annual receipts for a small business size determination has increased from 3 years to 5 years. This creates substantial confusion for government contractors. This rule becomes effective on January 6, 2020. For help filing or intervening in an SBA protest, please call our federal contracting attorneys for immediate help.
SMALL BUSINESS SIZE DETERMINATION AND SIZE APPEALS TO SBA OFFICE OF HEARINGS AND APPEALS
After the size protest is filed, the SBA then evaluates the allegations of the protestor. However, the SBA can also find small business size standard violations for reasons other than what the protestor alleges. The SBA will issue a small business size determination.
If you receive an adverse size determination, you must file your size appeal with SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) within 15 calendar days of receiving your size determination. See 13 C.F.R. § 134.304(a). SBA OHA must receive your appeal by 5 p.m. EST on the 15th day.
HOW TO AVOID THE MOST COSTLY MISTAKES INVOLVED IN SBA SIZE PROTESTS
Besides losing out on millions of dollars in federal government contracts, you can now avoid some of most deadly mistakes seen in filing or defending an SBA Size Protest. They include:
- Failing to show that your firm would perform contract’s primary and vital requirements
- Getting your protest dismissed as nonspecific because your allegations were based on the protested firm’s alleged size on the wrong date
- When it comes to rguing facts that do not apply to affiliation such as (i) two firms worked together on two other projects, (ii) offices in proximity to one another, and (iii) the awardee simply referring to its subcontracts as a “team” ( these are not sufficient to find affiliation).
- Subjecting your business to affiliation based on (i) identity of interest between family members with no clear of line of fracture and (ii) common management and violating the rules of business control and small business classification guidelines)
SBA SIZE PROTESTS AND COMMON PROBLEMS IN SBA OHA APPEALS
When you receive an unfavorable small business size determination decision, you may want to immediately appeal the SBA’s decision. However, there are a few common problems that small companies fall prey to. You have make sure that:
- your appeal is filed within within 15 days of receipt of the size determination. 13 CFR 134.304(a)
- A copy of your appeal petition and all of the attachments must be sent to SBA official who issued the determination; (2) the contracting officer for the procurement at issue; (3) the business whose size standard is challenged; all persons who filed protests; and (5) SBA’s Office of Procurement Law.
- To meet your burden of proof on all elements of the appeal, you must make sure that the SBA Area Office small business size determination is based on a clear error of fact or law. 13 CFR 134.314
- The SBA has wide discretion. You have to articulate the fact or law where it committed error. If you fall short, you will not win the size appeal.
NAVIGATE THROUGH VARIOUS SBA SIZE PROTESTS AND AFFILIATION RULES
The SBA has established so many interpretations of the various rules about federal small business qualifications (new rules in 2016 updates SBA small business size standards and application of affiliation) that it can put you at risk. There are so many nuances that can cause the SBA to rule against you in a formal SBA size determination. We are prepared to help you with them.
When litigating legal issues related to government contract NAICS code totality of the circumstances, size protest based on common management, newly organized concern rule, Ostensible Subcontractor Rule and 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., our SBA size protest attorneys frequently provide legal advice and representation for business size concerns in a wide variety of subcontracting legal theories such as
TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
- The SBA does not have to consider issues that you do not discuss in your size protest
- Note that the SBA decision does not have to be the correct one. However, OHA looks for the reasonableness in the size determination decision.
- Small business involved in teaming arrangements and joint venture relationships still have to comply with the limitation on subcontracting rules.
LITIGATION AND APPEALS OF SMALL BUSINESS MATTERS IN VARIOUS COURTS
As government contract and SBA size standard protest lawyers with over 20 years of experience, Watson & Associates, LLC frequently litigate and appear before the various forums such as the US Court of Federal Claims, ASBCA, CBCA, SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals, and the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
NATIONWIDE AND OVERSEAS HELP FOR FEDERAL CONTRACTORS
Our Federal SBA size protest lawyers provide legal counsel to defense contractors 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 SBA protest lawyers today for immediate help. 1-866-601-5518. As SBA NAICS size standards attorneys, we help with government contract cases in Dubai, Afghanistan, Iraq contractors and Saudi Arabia.
Cities in which our Washington DC SBA size protest lawyers offer legal counsel and government contract litigation 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.
FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION
For help with SBA guidelines, call our small business size standard law firm at 1-866-601-5518 to schedule a FREE Initial Consultation.
For Help meeting government contract protest timelines about small business qualifications and the SBA small business size standard definition under 13 CFR 121.103, Call our SBA Size protest lawyers and NAICS law firm today for help with other than small business size protest litigation and appeals.