Set Aside Government Contracts for Small Business

A Government small business set-aside designation is a valuable tool when properly documented, registered, certified and wisely used.

There are several Set Aside Codes for Qualified Small Businesses in Government Contracting.
Carefully select your small business designation that may apply to your company when preparing business and marketing plans for federal government contracting.

Under the Small Business Act, federal agencies issue a variety of procurement request that are reserved partially or totally for small business participation.

Some set - aside designation are Self-certifying and are verified through record checks and site visits by contracting officers, DCMAO and Source Selection Boards for federal procurements before contract awards are made.

Competitive 8(a) FAR 19.805
Emerging Small Business FAR 19.1007 (c)
Partial Small Business FAR 19.502-3
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business FAR 19.1405
Total Small Business FAR 19.502-2
Veteran-Owned Small Business 38 U.S.C. 8127 (Public Law 109-461)
HubZone firms FAR 19.1305
Total Historically Black College or University (HBCU) / Minority Institution (MI) DFARS Subpart 226.3
Partial Historically Black College or University (HBCU) / Minority Institution (MI) DFARS Subpart 226.3
"NEW" 8m Women Owned Small Business Preference Program  

Difference between Small Business Set-Aside, Total/100% Small Business Set-Aside

(see Fines and or imprisonment for misrepresenting status.)

What is a Government Contracting set-aside code?

Part 19 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) implements the acquisition-related sections of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 631, et seq.), applicable sections of the Armed Services Procurement Act (10 U.S.C. 2302, et seq.), the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (41 U.S.C. 252), section 7102 of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-355), 10 U.S.C. 2323, and Executive Order 12138, May 18, 1979.


(See Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) PARTS 19 & 26)

Small Business (SB) � Located in U.S, organized for profit, including affiliates is independently owned & operated, not dominant in field of operations in which it is bidding on Government contracts, AND meets Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards included in solicitation. Size standard is based upon the North American Industrial Classification Standard (NAICS) assigned to the specific procurement dependent upon product/service purchased.

Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) � Small Business, at least 51% owned by ≥ 1 women, AND management & daily business operations controlled by ≥ 1 women.

Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) � Small Business, unconditionally owned & controlled by ≥ 1 socially & economically disadvantaged individuals who are of good character & citizens of the U.S. AND SBA-certified.

Small Disadvantaged Business 8(a) Certified [8(a)] � Small Business, SBA-certified as a SDB, AND SBA-certified into the 8(a) Business Development Program for a period of 9 years.

Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) � Small Business, owned & controlled ≥ 51% by U.S. citizens, SBA-certified as a HUBZone concern (principal office located in a designated HUBZone & ≥ 35% of employees live in a HUBZone).

Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) � Small Business, veteran-owned as defined in 38 USC 101(2), ≥ 51% owned by ≥ 1 veterans, & management/daily operations controlled by ≥ 1 veterans.

Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SD-VOSB) Small Business, veteran-owned, ≥ 51% owned by ≥ 1 service-disabled veterans, AND management & daily business operations controlled by ≥ 1 service disabled veterans OR in the case of veteran with permanent & severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such veteran, AND with 0% - 100% service-connected disability as defined in 38 USC 101(16) & documented on DD 214 or equivalent.

Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU)/ Minority Institutions (MI) � HBCU is an accredited institution established before 1964 whose principal mission is education of black Americans. MIs are institutions meeting requirements of Higher Education Act of 1965 and Hispanic-serving institutions defined at 20 USC 1059. The Secretary of Education must designate HBCUs/MIs.


However, anyone who misrepresents their status as a small disadvantaged business for the purpose of securing a contract or subcontract shall:

Be punished by imposition of fine, imprisonment, or both
Be subject to administrative remedies, including suspension and debarment
Be ineligible for participation in programs conducted under the authority of the Small Business Act





Government Contracting


Government Classification of Small Businesses

Overview of the Federal Contracting Procurement Process.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

Basic Government Contracting Requirements

Help in Reading a Government Solicitation

Getting Started in Government Contracting

Small Business Government Help

New System for Award Management (SAM)

Alphabetical Index

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