If you’ve attended one of my presentations on joint ventures over the years, you’ve probably heard me climb up on my soapbox and proclaim that the so-called “three in two” joint venture rule is one of my least favorite rules in government contracting. If you ask me, the rule is both terribly confusing and so easily circumvented as to be largely meaningless.
Perhaps the SBA was listening to me and others who strongly dislike the rule, because the the three-in-two rule is going away. Effective November 16, 2020, the SBA will replace the three-in-two rule with a different and much less confusing requirement–basically, a “two” rule.
Amidst all the uncertainty that FY 2020 has brought, don’t let your understanding of SBA’s affiliation rules add to that list! Instead, join me and my colleague Steven Koprince for an exciting new learning opportunity. We will be presenting “Affiliations,” a virtual event hosted by the Iowa State University Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) PTAC.
In this webinar, we will demystify the concept of affiliation in government contracts. We will explain (in plain English and using examples for key concepts) SBA’s rules surrounding common ownership and common management, as well as commonly misunderstood affiliation rules like those involving familial relationships and economic dependence.
The event will take place on November 5, 2020, from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM (CDT). You can find additional information and register for this event here.
We’ve discussed the “ostensible subcontractor rule” quite a few times on the blog (including most recently here and here) because it is one of the most frequent grounds for size protests. It’s also frequently misunderstood. A recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decision, Contego Environmental, LLC, SBA No. SIZ-6054 (May 19, 2020), demonstrates how even SBA Area Offices can misapply the rule and provides useful reminders to contractor looking to avoid violating it.
Under the SBA’s regulations, affiliation between two companies might exist where one company derives 70% or more of its receipts from the other over the preceding three fiscal years. See13 C.F.R. § 121.103(f)(2).
This economic dependence affiliation, as it is called, can be tricky to identify in practice—it is, after all, a rebuttable presumption of affiliation. That is, a company might be able to demonstrate that economic dependence doesn’t exist if, for example, it has only been in business for a limited amount of time and has only been awarded a limited number of contracts.
Recently, the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals considered the bounds of the economic dependence affiliation rule and interpreted the three-year look-back period.
Affiliation is a broad and often confusing concept that commonly arises in the context of government contracting. In this YouTube video, I walk you through the basics of affiliation, including the main types of affiliation and the implications of being found affiliated.
Stay tuned to our blog for additional overviews of important government contracting concepts. And if you need more personalized assistance or advice regarding affiliation or any of your government contracting needs, please call us at Koprince Law. We are always here to help.
Since the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program went into effect last Friday, there has been considerable confusion about eligibility and, in particular, what affiliation rules apply to program applicants. The affiliation rules are important for helping companies determine if they can seek out these important loans.
In this post, we’ll let you know which affiliation rules apply to the program’s applicants and explain some exceptions to the applicable affiliation rules.