Five Things You Should Know: Tips for Understanding and Using the FAR

Government contracting officials receive detailed training on the FAR. So do employees of some large contractors. But for many others in government contracting, particularly small businesses, there is no formal FAR training. For them, the FAR can seem overwhelming, even scary.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: the FAR is massive. In print form, which is how I read the FAR early in my career, you’re looking at a veritable brick of a book. You’d undoubtedly get some very nice definition by using copies of the FAR for bicep curls.

But, big as it is, the FAR isn’t quite as impenetrable as it might seem at first glance–especially if you know a few tricks. Here are my top five tips for understanding and using the FAR.

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Five Things You Should Know: Common Misconceptions About SBA’s Affiliation Rules

Avoiding affiliation with other companies can be critical to qualifying as a small business under the SBA’s rules for government contractors. But not all SBA affiliation rules are intuitive, and in my career as a government contracts attorney I have seen the same misconceptions about the affiliation rules come up time and and time again.

So without further ado, here are five common misconceptions about the SBA’s affiliation rules.

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Five Things You Should Know: Responding to Size Protests

There are many things to know about responding to size protests. One could probably fill a book with the information-(actually I did, for those who want a real deep dive!). But if you need to know just the basics, here are five things you should know about size protests that can help you be prepared if your company is facing a size protest.

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5 Things to Know About an 8(a) Bona Fide Place of Business

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.

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Five Things to Look for in Executive Order Strengthening Buy American Act

As we have blogged about previously, the Buy American Act has a number of exceptions and waivers. The United States spends hundreds of billions of dollars each year in contracting alone. The Buy American Act is intended to keep federal dollars in the hands of American companies and manufacturers. The president’s new executive order on these issues, proposes making some significant changes to not only the rule, but to oversight.

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5 Things You Should Know: CMMC

CMMC has been a hot topic for federal government contractors of late, for good reason: once CMMC is rolled out, contractors under a particular Defense Department procurement must meet the applicable cybersecurity level, or they’ll be considered ineligible.

But in case you’re still wondering what CMMC is and why it matters, let’s take a closer look. Here are five things you should know about the Department of Defense’s new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (“CMMC”).

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5 Things You Should Know: Pre-Award Bid Protests

Small businesses often search for ways to increase their competitiveness for federal government contracts. A sometimes overlooked method is to try to better define the procurement’s requirements in a manner that improves a firm’s chances of being awarded the contract, through a pre-award bid protest.

Here are five things you should know about pre-award protests:

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