Over the years, SBA size regulations have included the general rule that the size status of a business generally relates back the time of initial offer on a contract. Therefore, a small business generally stays small for the duration of a federal contract, with some exceptions. However, there was also language in the rule that required small businesses to recertify their size status after being acquired or going through similar transactions. The effect of this recertification requirement was always a little unclear. If you recertify as large, does that have any effect on your small business status for orders under contracts awarded when the business was small? Now, OHA has answered that concern.Continue reading
You may recall a post of ours back in April 2021, where we discussed a little-known change to SBA’s size determination rules that occurred in October 2020. SBA created an exception, at 13 C.F.R. § 121.404(g)(2)(iii), to the usual “size is determined at offer date” rule. Now, prior to award, when a small business is part of a merger or acquisition after it makes an offer on a solicitation, the business has to recertify its size, and depending on when that acquisition occurred, if the business is now large, it may lose its award.
However, the rule is for better or worse not that straightforward, as a small business learned in a recent GAO decision. Because a part of the rule says that task order awards in such cases may not be treated as small business awards, GAO concluded that such awards are still allowed.Continue reading
A recent Court of Federal Claims decision examined the impact on the award to a small business when that small business is acquired, after proposal submission but before award, by a large business. In doing so, the court looked very closely at the FAR clauses incorporated into the solicitation by reference, versus those that are incorporated in full text.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
SBA recently proposed changes to a number of its small business rules, as we’ve written about in earlier posts. The same proposed rule includes a small but significant change to when a business has to recertify its size and status for orders under multiple award contracts.
Based on the number of times we’ve written about size and status protests for orders under multiple award contracts (see the related content at the bottom of this post for a sampling), this is an area in need of clarity.Continue reading
SBA regulations say that size is determined as of the date an offeror submits its initial proposal, with price. On its face, this rule seems pretty straight forward. But what happens if the initial proposal was filed six years ago? And what if the joint venture that submitted the proposal has since expired?
Following OHA’s recent logic, the proposal-date rule stands even in these unique circumstances.Continue reading
An agency isn’t required to cancel a small business set-aside solicitation if the agency learns that one of the small businesses upon whom the set-aside decision rested is no longer small.
In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO confirmed that an agency need not redo its “rule of two” determination when a potential small business competitor outgrows its size standard–even if it could effectively convert a particular solicitation into a “rule of one.”