Small Business Size Protests, Small Business Determination, SBA OHA Size Appeals

  • Has the competition challenged your awarded contract for violating the SBA size standards and are confused about the process?
  •  Are you contemplating filing a NAICS size standards size protest but not sure about the process or how to make your case?

SBA Small Business Size Protest LawyersWhether you are the protestor or intervenor, the amount of SBA OHA  court decisions show that litigants experience a substantial amount of adverse decisions because either the initial protest was speculative and unsupported or the contractor intervenor did not adequately respond to the SBA’s investigation regarding small business subcontracting relationships.

  • In any situation, to prevail in a small business size protest case, the parties must have more than just allegations.
  • Instead, each case must overcome the requirement for legal merit or a showing that the SBA committed legal or factual error when making its size determination.
  • Without these basic approaches, either side stands a great chance of losing their case.

With law offices in Washington D.C., and Colorado, Watson  Associates, LLC provide our clients with experienced SBA size standards attorneys that understand the law and governing SBA small business size regulations. We first look to see:

  • If your case has legal merit and has sufficient evidence to avoid a motion to dismiss.
  • If the size protest is speculative or does not have enough factual and legal support.
  • Whether our clients can put forth a sound enough position to convince the court

SBA Size Standards, Small Business Size Protest, Intervenor and SBA Attorney Services

Litigating SBA small business determination disputes involve a myriad of legal theories that can be confusing to government contractors when analyzing government contracts small business requirements. With law offices in Washington DC and in Denver, Colorado, Watson & Associates’ SBA attorneys can help you with the following:

  • SBA Affiliation and Ostensible Subcontractor Rule violations (13 CFR 121.103)
  • Small business designation and company size classifications for family-owned business relationships
  • SBA size standards with newly formed organizations
  • Primary and vital contract performance of your small business concern 
  • Economic dependency
  • Totality of the circumstances 
  • Small business subcontracting disputes
  • 8a Program and SBA affiliation
  • SBA law about identity of interest
  • Improper SBA determinations
  • SBA OHA size appeals regarding small business concerns
  • Improper NAICS business size classification decisions
  • Appeal of OHA decisions to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

To speak with an SBA size protest attorney about government contracts small business requirements or SBA small business size standards, call 1-866-601-5518 for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.

We understand the procurement playing field when it comes to small business subcontracting, have worked on the government’s side and frequently litigate before the various courts.

FAR small business bid protest regulations COFC and GAO lawyers As government contract lawyers with over 30 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

We take a unique approach to each client’s case. Whether a bid protestor or an intervenor, our law firm understands that each client has a unique set of facts when it comes to government contracts small business requirements. Therefore, we take a more detailed and tailored approach to each case.

  • One of our main focus points, commonly missed by other firms, is to preserve any rights to appeal by preserving the record at the trial stage (new legal issues generally cannot be raised on appeal).
  • Before filing a small business size protest, we first use our clients’ resources wisely by first making an assessment on the legal merits of the case.
  • As intervenor, help to provide you with a detailed and supported response to the SBA’s initial investigation.

By having the substantive experience in the various legal theories as affiliation and the Ostensible Subcontractor Rule, we are in a unique position to aggressively advocate on our clients behalf and litigate issues regarding the SBA’s small business definition. Our SBA attorneys have earned a reputation for gaining favorable results for small through vigorous legal representation.

  • With our capabilities in a wide area of federal procurement, our firm can serve as a one-stop support system for government contractors nationwide.
  • Our goal is to minimize costly mistakes while improving the company’s bottom line.

Get Help With the Complex and Confusing Legal Theories and Nuances in an SBA Size Protest

When litigating legal issues related to government contract small business requirements, our SBA attorneys frequently provide legal advice and representation for small business concerns in a wide variety of subcontracting legal theories such as totality of the circumstances, size protest based on common managementnewly organized concern rule, Ostensible Subcontractor Rule and Affiliation , meeting the SBA small business definition by showing sub contractors performing primary and vital contract requirements; and identity of interest size 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.

NAICS & SBA Size Protest FAQS

For a Small Business Set Aside, Are You Performing Primary and Vital Requirements?

 The SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals has recognized that the “primary and vital” contract requirements are those associated with the principal purpose of the acquisition. Not all the requirements identified in a solicitation can be primary and vital. When there is a small business set aside, courts look at each case’s facts.

  • The mere fact that a requirement is a substantial part of the solicitation does not make it primary and vital under the SBA size standards rule.
  • In evaluating claims under SBA affiliation rules, the appeals court will base its analysis on the solicitation and proposal before it.

When Does Affiliation Not Impact My Company Under the Ostensible Subcontractor Rule?

If your proposed subcontractor is a small, similarly-situated entity that follows the relevant rules, the ostensible subcontractor rule does not apply. See  Size Appeal of The Frontline Group, SBA No. SIZ-5860 (2017) 

As a Small Business, Are You Found Affiliated When You Hire the Incumbent Employees?

The SBA can find affiliation under the affiliation under ostensible subcontractor rule if your company plans to hire the large business incumbent’s workforce en masse, and almost entirely rely on that large business as subcontractor for managing the contract. See Size Appeal of Automation Precision Technology, LLC, SBA No. SIZ-5850 (2017).

Also, the SBA can find affiliation under the ostensible subcontractor rule if the subcontractor was incumbent contractor and prime’s proposed workers were former subcontractor employees. See Size Appeal of Charitar Realty, SBA No. SIZ-5806 (2017).

Can You Be Found in Violation of the Ostensible Subcontractor Rule If As the Prime You Only Manage the Contract?

More than likely yes. The SBA can find you affiliated with the subcontractor if you are only responsible for management while your subcontractor provides all primary and vital requirements of  the contract. See Size Appeal of Hamilton Alliance, Inc. SBA No. SIZ-5698 (Dec. 8, 2015).

Small Business Determination & SBA OHA Size Appeal Lawyers 

The standard of review at the size appeal level is where many contractors fall short. When the SBA issues an adverse small business determination,  Watson will file an SBA OHA size appeal on your behalf.  Per 13 CFR 134.314, government contractors have the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, all elements of the appeal.

  • Companies must show that the small business determination was based upon a clear error of fact or law. 
  • SBA OHA will not overturn an area office’s size determination unless the OHA judge finds a definite and firm conviction that the SBA area office erred in making its key findings of fact or law. See Size Appeal of Taylor Consultants, Inc., SBA No. SIZ-4775, at 11 (2006).

You cannot be a small business concern if: Another company controls, or has the ability to, control your business under 13 CFR 121.103. This can include business loans, hiring management employees from the incumbent; stock ownership and business ownership that leads to negative control; you have other spousal businesses. If your facts violate any of the SBA rules, then you will be considered other than small.

Intervenor Lawyers in SBA Small Business Size Protests 

If you are the successful offeror of a government contract award and another bidder has filed a size small business size protest against your company alleging violations of small business size regulations, our SBA bid protest lawyers can represent your company as intervenor counsel.

  • As intervenor lawyers, we aggressively help you to respond to the SBA investigation and the protestors allegations.
  • We also help you to preserve your rights to appeal at the SBA level (many bid protest lawyers miss this important requirement.)

SBA Size Standards Protest Attorneys – Nationwide US Protests Representation

SBA Historically Underutilized Business HUBZone Certification LawyersOur Government Contracts and SBA size standards lawyers and small business size protest attorneys provide legal counsel to small business concerns about SBA small business standards decisions and small business guidelines 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, US Protests in 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 business size protest attorneys today for immediate help.

Cities in which our CO Washington DC NAICS  business sizeappeal and SBA small business size protest attorneys 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.

Call Our SBA Small Business Size Standard Protest Attorneys 

Given the flexibility and expertise to address the various legal issues that come up in SBA size protest cases, clients can rely on us potentially resolve legal issues that may involve various moving pieces. There are many commercial attorneys that are not always experienced with NAICS small business size standard regulations and government contracting.

Speak to an Attorney & Get a Free Initial Consultation

To meet federal small business guidelines, call our government small business lawyers and SBA Size Protest Attorneys at 1-866-601-5518 to schedule a FREE Initial Consultation.

More Information About SBA NAICS Size Standards and NAICS Code Size Protests

Learn About The Deadliest Mistakes Made When 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


For Help meeting US Protests and  the SBA small business definition and NAICS code SBA size standards under 13 CFR 121.103, Call our SBA size protest lawyers today for help with small business determination litigation and appeals.