Eligibility to bid for construction contracts in the 8(a) program can be a maze to navigate for small businesses. The lifeblood for these companies is identifying and becoming eligible to bid for these prized solicitations. As a new 8(a) entity, or one looking to branch out, you may be wondering how to establish a bona fide place of business.
In order to qualify for construction contracts in the 8(a) program, offerors are required to have a bona fide place of business (or BFPOB) within the established geographic area. This post will walk you through when and how to request a determination from the SBA, and when to expect a decision.
SBA guidance on Certify.SBA.Gov suggests that an 8(a) Program applicant’s social disadvantage narrative should be “three pages or less.” While we are definitely in the habit of recommending small business contractors to follow SBA’s guidance most of the time, we simply cannot climb aboard the “three-page” ship. In fact, we have significant concerns that submitting a one to three page narrative could potential “sink” your 8(a) application (at a minimum, requiring you to make extensive and time-consuming revisions later on).
Good faith mistakes are one thing–the joint venture may lose out on a contract, but probably won’t face other penalties. But when the government believes that a contractor knowingly violated the joint venture rules, the repercussions can be much more serious–as seen in a recent False Claims Act settlement involving allegations of fraud under the 8(a) joint venture regulations.
Well folks, the wait is finally over! The Second Edition of our popular GovCon Handbook on the SBA’s 8(a) Program is live, and it’s available here. In this revised, updated, and expanded Handbook, Steven Koprince and I give you the run-down on all things 8(a) (and as always, we do so in plain English).
Whether you are considering applying to the 8(a) Program, in the midst of the application process, already years into your 8(a) Program term, or a recent graduate/non-8(a) entity hoping to team with an 8(a) company one of these days–this book is for you. It covers everything under the 8(a) sun, including:
The 8(a) Program is tremendously powerful and can be a springboard to massive success in the government contracts marketplace. But the many (many!) rules surrounding the 8(a) Program are complex, and even savvy 8(a) contractors–not to mention first-time applicants–easily can become confused.
I am pleased to announce that next week, Koprince Law LLC will publish a Second Edition of our popular GovCon Handbook on the 8(a) Program. In this revised, updated and expanded Handbook, my colleague Nicole Pottroff and I will cover the 8(a) Program’s rules in detail, including:
8(a) joint ventures are a powerful tool–both for non-8(a)s to participate in 8(a) contract opportunities and for 8(a) companies to gain valuable experience in their industries. But it is crucial that 8(a) joint ventures follow all of SBA’s requirements if they want to get (and keep) 8(a) awards.
Some of those requirements underwent significant revisions this past year. Join Shane McCall and me on February 9 for the SBA Training Webinar: 8(a) Joint Ventures, where we will discuss the ins and outs of 8(a) joint ventures and keep you up-to-date on all of SBA’s requirements.