Any business owner would want the world’s largest buyer of goods and services as a customer. But when that customer is the federal government, getting a foot in the door of that complex and bureaucratic maze and grabbing a slice of federal business is no small task for small business owners.
The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) recognizes the challenges faced by small or disadvantaged companies in California and elsewhere that are seeking to get involved in the federal procurement process and has established programs to help such companies get access to federal contracting opportunities.
Small businesses that are certified to participate in either the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program or its HUBZone Program get preferences that allow them to have a greater chance of securing federal contracts.
8(a) Business Development Program
The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses designed to get such entrepreneurs a foothold in government contracting. Generally, a small business must meet the following criteria to participate in the program:
- The business must be majority-owned (51 percent or more) by an individual(s).
- The individual(s) must be an American citizen, by birth or naturalization.
- The business must be majority-owned (51 percent or more) and controlled/managed by socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s).
- The individual(s) controlling and managing the firm on a full-time basis must meet the SBA requirement for disadvantage, by proving both social disadvantage and economic disadvantage.
- The business must be a small business.
- The business must demonstrate potential for success.
- The principals must show good character.
The HUBZone Program
The HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zones) Program is focused on promoting economic development and employment growth in distressed areas by providing access to more federal contracting opportunities. To qualify for the program, a business must meet the following criteria:
- It must be a small business by SBA standards
- It must be owned and controlled at least 51% by U.S. citizens, or a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe
- Its principal office must be located within a “Historically Underutilized Business Zone” (click here for a map of Northern California HUBZones)
- At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone.
If you think your business may qualify for one or both of these programs, the potential to get in on some of the billions of dollars the federal government spends every year on goods and services makes them well worth looking into.
Yee Law Group Inc., L.L.P.: Sacramento/Roseville Business Attorneys
Your business is our business. We partner with our business clients to provide them counsel they can rely on so they can focus on growing their business. The business world is fraught with challenges; your Roseville business attorney at Yee Law Group Inc. LLP is ready to face those challenges with you head-on. If your business needs reliable, accessible, and personalized counsel, reach out to us at (916) 599-7297. We welcome the opportunity to help.
This article has been prepared by Yee Law Group Inc., PC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.