Five Things You Should Know: Past Performance of Subcontractors, Joint Venture Partners, and Affiliates

The government’s hard shift away from lowest-price, technically acceptable evaluations has magnified the importance of past performance in many competitive acquisitions. For start-ups and other companies new to the federal marketplace, past performance requirements can present a significant barrier to success.

Oftentimes, companies with little or no past performance of their own can offer the past performance of another entity, such as a subcontractor or joint venture partner. But the rules surrounding the use of another entity’s past performance are often misunderstood–and recently, the rules have evolved quickly.

Here are five things you should know about using the past performance of a subcontractor, joint venture partner, or affiliate.

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5 Things You Should Know: SBA’s Recent 8(a) Program Updates

SBA has been hard at work this past year updating its 8(a) Business Development Program rules and policies. And we have been doing our best here at SmallGovCon to keep you posted. Many of our blog posts focused on SBA’s monumental November 2020 “rule overhaul,” which implemented several 8(a) rule changes. But given the sheer magnitude of information in that final rule, it is pretty easy to lose track of which updates might affect you, as a potential 8(a) applicant or current 8(a) participant. There were also some pretty important changes to the 8(a) Program just prior to and subsequent to SBA’s November 2020 final rule.

Suffice it to say, there is a lot to process! So, we thought a quick summary blog on some of the most significant changes to the 8(a) Program of late might help you in that endeavor. Without further ado, here are five things you should know about SBA’s recent 8(a) Program updates.

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Are You a Small Business Being Acquired by a Large Business? Check Your Pending Bids

Many small business clients of mine have been approached by or considered acquisition by a larger firm. Well, if this sort of sale or merger would turn a small business into a large business, the small business should pay close attention to a little-publicized change stemming from SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Consolidation rule that came out last fall. The new rule could result in a company losing out on an otherwise successful bid.

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Congress Should Codify–and Expand–SBA’s Solution to the “Runway Extension” Small Business Size Calculation Problem

In January 2022, the rules regarding calculating small business size status for federal procurements will change dramatically. Companies operating under receipts-based size standards will be required to use their last five completed fiscal years–not three. And businesses operating under employee-based size standards will be made to use their last 24 months of payroll, instead of 12.

These changes will benefit growing businesses, allowing stay small longer by including older numbers in their averages. But the new size rules–what Congress has termed a small business “runway extension”–actually penalize some businesses, forcing them to stay large longer, and freezing these companies out of the very small business set-aside opportunities that could help reverse their declining fortunes. That can’t be what Congress intended!

Fortunately, the SBA has come up with a simple, elegant solution to the problem, and I think Congress should codify it before January.

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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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If You Plan to Use the SBA’s Template Joint Venture Agreement, Read This First

If you’re setting up your first joint venture under the SBA’s rules, you may be tempted to download the SBA’s template joint venture agreement and use it as-is.

But, as of the date of this post, the SBA’s template joint venture agreement is outdated–and it also has some other quirks and potential problems you should know about. If you’re planning to use the SBA’s joint venture template, read this first.

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