Glossary and FAQ's

APP FAQ


Q: What is the website to log into APP?

A: You can login by going to app.usfcrgov.com.

Q: Can there be more than 1 app user?

A: Each account is assigned one user based on the email assigned to the APP account. We suggest sharing the username and password with your team so that each of you can login and monitor the same Federal feed. If multiple APP accounts are needed, I can have your acquisition specialist contact you about adding one.

Q: What is the difference between APP basic and APP+?

A: APP basic does not include the Agent Search section. In the vendor search section of basic APP, the contracts awarded, and total lifetime contract values will display as 0 even if the vendor won a contract. Contract award data on vendor pages only shows with the APP+.

Q: Can I reset my password?

A: I can send you a password link.

Q: What days and times are the vendor orientations?

A: The orientation is broadcasted every Mon-Fri at 11am and 3pm EST. I will send you a link to sign up. If you cannot make the assigned time, please let me know so I can send you the on-demand version.

Q: Is there a way to set up alerts in APP?

A: To set up alerts, go to the Federal Feed section, and click set email alerts with the top gray button. This will allow emails to be sent to you when a post has generated in your Federal Feed. Be sure to set up alerts specific to solicitations you would like to be notified of first.

Q: What is the Federal Feed?

A: The federal feed is live listings of any new notices posted based off your saved searches, agent, vendor updates for individuals. This list should be monitored weekly and cleared out to be sure that no relevant opportunities has been missed.

Q: What is the contract catalogue?

A: It is a listing of all past award contracts. This can be used for marketing research when looking to find past acceptable prices for your industry.

Q: Why when using the EZ search for opportunities in APP, no results are being found?

A: The EZ search is used for quick snapshot searches across all sections of APP. If looking for opportunities only, we suggest using the Find Opportunities section.

Q: Why does APP reroute the user back to either the landing page or to beta.gov when trying to select a document?

A: When FBO.gov was decommissioned in Nov. 2019, it caused some ripples in the way documents are viewed. We are currently working with beta.gov site to have the documents fully integrated into the APP system. Until the integration is complete simply copy and paste the solicitation number in the beta.gov system to view the attachments.

Q: Why is the agent’s field blank in the section under agent finder in APP?

A: It’s only viewable with the APP+ license.

Q: Where in APP can a capabilities template be found?

A: The capabilities statement template can be found in the learning center of APP. On the left side of the menu, select learning center and then contract learning. There is a total of 6 lessons. In lesson 1 there is a topic about the statement, along with the option to download the template.

Q: Does USFCR have a proposal example to follow?

A: Since each proposal is different, we do not have an example to follow; however, we do have a Master Bid Template that can be found in APP

Q: Does USFCR offer proposal writing services?

A: USFCR does offer proposal writing services on a case-by-case basis. We will look at the deadline and complexity of the proposal; however, it can be costly. Since our experts are not subject matter experts in your industry, the proposal writing service will still include multiple phone calls, emails back and forth where you will be examining how you will be performing the work in the technical proposal. The price proposal is also something that will be heavily conducted between parties so to save our clients some funds. We recommend trying to write the proposal yourself first and then have us, the experts, review it.

Q: Does USFCR assist with reviewing my capabilities statements and bid proposals?

A: USFCR offers additional services for bid training which includes reviewing the cap statement and bid proposal. If bid training has been purchased, send the capabilities statement and proposals to our training department for review or attend the live webinars we have for an expert to review the documents. The training email is training@usfcr.com. If no bid training services has been purchased, and you would like to sign up for the service, please let us know.

Q: If a set aside certification approval is currently pending, can a company bid and be awarded the set aside contract?

A: No, the set aside certification must be approved and active before bidding on set aside contracts.

Q: What are the different notice types found in APP?

A:

  • Sources Sought - Government market research on vendors interested.
  • Pre-solicitation - advanced notice of upcoming solicitation.
  • Combined Synopsis/Solicitation - RFP or RFQ.
  • Modification/Amendment - a name change or update to the existing notice.
  • Award - The public announcement of an awarded contract.
  • Cancellation - A posting of cancellation of a notice.
  • Special Notice - A posting of a special solicitation, event or justification.
  • Justification - reasons for sole sourcing or intent to award a contract.

Q: What are the differences between the posted date, response date, and archive date on a notice?

A:

  • The posted date is the date of the notices initial posting.
  • The response date is the deadline for submissions, quotes or proposals.
  • The archive date is the ballpark date by which the Government will be deciding about their award decision.

SAM FAQ


Q: Who is required to register in SAM?

A: Any business, grantee or organization (known as an “Entity” in SAM) wishing to do business with the federal government under a Federal-based contract, or anyone applying for federal grants or other forms of federal financial assistance through Grants.gov, must be registered in SAM first.

Q: What is the process for updating the SAM registration in the SAM system?

A: We ask that you do not go into the SAM registration and make any changes while using our services without consulting us first. You can give us a call or email us, and we will handle any changes or requests for you. Making changes on your own in SAM voids out the insurance policy USFCR has for maintaining your SAM; however, if you do need to log in and access it you can do so by going to entity registrations on the left hand side and select existing registration and hit update.

Q: Is there a way to search a registration to see if it is active in the system?

A: When an entity has provided SAM Search Authorization, anyone may check the status without being logged into an account.
Use the DUNS Number for the entity, and use the SAM Status Tracker by following the steps below:

  • Select “Check Status” at the top or bottom of any page on the SAM.gov homepage.
  • Enter a DUNS Number or CAGE Code and select Search.
  • The SAM Status Tracker will show the current status of the entity associated with that DUNS Number or CAGE Code

Note: If the entity’s administrator has chosen not to provide SAM Search Authorization, the record will not appear in SAM’s public search display. Only federal government users, whose e-mail address ends in .mil, .gov,edu, .dodea.edu, or uhuhs.edu), will be able to view these registrations.
Note: *We will automatically select the public search display when processing the SAM.

Q: Why is company banking information required to be entered in the registration?

A: Banking information is mandatory for all U.S. located entities to complete the SAM Entity Registration. SAM never releases banking information to the public in either its public search view or public data file. Sensitive information is only available to authorized U.S. government officials. Many agencies use SAM information to make the registrant payments. Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT) makes for a faster, more efficient method of payment.

Q: Do foreign companies have to provide banking information in SAM?

A: If it is a non-U.S. registrant doing business outside the U.S., then EFT information is not mandatory. Any payments made to the company will be sent by check via mail rather than via direct deposit. The remittance address Information on the EFT page in SAM still needs to be filled out.

Q: Are notarized administrator letters required each time a change or renewal is completed?

A: No, they’re not required each time a change or renewal is done. Once an administrator is appointed to the SAM roles, and a notarized letter has been sent in, there is no requirement to mail in another one. If an entity registration only has one entity administrator who leaves before inviting a new entity administrator, the new entity administrator will be required to submit a letter to obtain access. If that person has access to the prior administrator’s email, we can set up a login, and gain access from there.

Q: What is FARS and DFARS in the SAM registration, and why are they needed?

A: This report provides information to the Government acquisition officials to report that the procedures for the procurement process of goods and services provided follow the regulations of Government contracting and being awarded Grants. If a copy of the report is needed, please contact us to provide one.

Q: What type of information is needed before registering a company in SAM?

A:

  • Core Data - Includes, but is not limited to, an entity's DUNS, legal business name as listed with the Secretary of State, and physical address for the company. CAGE or NCAGE code*, taxpayer information, financial information, and details about anyproceedings in which the entity may currently be involved. Core Data is mandatory for all registration types.
  • Assertions - Includes, but is not limited to, data about the types of goods and services the entity provides, the entity size, NAICS Codes, optional Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and disaster-relief data.
  • Representations and Certifications – Details related to an entity’s small business status, responses to commonly used Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) provisions/clauses.
  • Points of Contact (POC) – Types include, but are not limited to, contacts for accounts receivable, electronic business and government business. POC information is mandatory for all registration types.

We gather this information from the SAM worksheets that have been completed. This information will be automatically inputted into the SAM once completing the registration.
Note: * US Registrants do not need to have a CAGE code prior to registration, as the DLA will automatically assign one to you as a part of your entity's registration in SAM. (Note: Foreign Entities must have an NCAGE Code prior to registering in SAM.

Q: How long does it take for the CAGE code to be assigned or renewed?

A: Once SAM has been submitted, and all information is accurately entered into SAM, new registrations can take an average of 10-30 business days to process in SAM. SAM must send out some information for validation with outside parties before the registration can be activated; this includes TIN validation with the IRS and CAGE validation/assignment with DoD/DLA.. This timeframe may be longer if the information provided is flagged for manual validation by either party. An email confirmation will then be sent once the SAM is active.

Q: What does it mean to report ownership or control of offeror?

A: Offerors, if owned or controlled by another entity, shall provide the contracting officer with the CAGE Code and legal name of that entity prior to the award of a contract above the micro-purchase threshold, where there is a requirement to be registered in SAM or a requirement to have a DUNS Number in the solicitation. SAM uses the information provided on the CAGE Ownership Details page to complete the required Ownership or Control of Offeror provisions in the Representations and Certifications section.

Q: Does SAM coordinate payments?

A: SAM is not a payment system. This system is only used to submit SAM registrations as a new registration, renewal or to make any changes to the SAM itself. Invoicing and payments will done be through whichever Government system is required to get paid, i.e. WAWF, IPP. We offer certain services to assist with these systems. Please contact us if you are interested in using our additional services.

Q: Can a DBA (doing business as name) be used as the company’s legal name in Duns & SAM?

A: No, the full legal company name as listed with the Secretary of State must be used as the legal name for duns/SAM. A DBA can be added to the duns number information, but must not be listed as the legal name itself in the registration.

Q: Where can information regarding the legal name be found with the State?

A: Secretary of State website, company legal documents, formation documents, etc.

Q: Can multiple duns numbers/SAMS be linked to one (login.gov) profile?

A: Yes, only one SAM profile is needed to manage all associated SAM registrations.

Q: What types of notifications will Point of Contacts in SAM receive?

A:

  • Electronic POC- receives Federal Government Electronic Business Systems Linked to SAM such as grants.gov.
  • Government POC- may receive requests from the DLA CAGE team regarding the SAM registration for any additional information needed, issues with the registration, etc.
  • Accounts Receivable POC will receive notice when EFT data changes.

Q: What does it mean when SAM sends an email regarding Debt Subject Offset in regards in SAM?

A: This value comes from the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service through an automated interface. This notifies SAM that the entity represented by this DUNS number has a delinquent debt subject to collection under the Treasury Offset Program. This tells contracting officers that the company may only be paid by EFT (electronic funds transfer) and not a Government Purchase Car due to this offset in SAM.

*The registrant or USFCR cannot update or change this field in SAM. Registrants must contact the Treasury Offset Program Call Center at 1-800-304-3107 with any questions regarding the reported debt and instructions for resolution.

Q: How many Duns/CAGE codes are required for multiple locations?

A: Each location must have its own duns and cage code separately. One duns/cage cannot be used for multiple locations.

Q: What are a DUNS+4 and when would one need to be assigned in SAM?

A:

  • This is known as a Electronic Funds Transfer Indicator.
  • It is created in SAM.gov on the Financial Information page of the entity registration at the discretion of the company/organization to identify alternative EFT accounts for the same entity at the same physical location.

Q:If there are active contracts under an old legal business name, what documentation is needed in order to have the DLA novate the contract agreement?

A:

  • If an entity has been purchased, merged, split, or simply changed its name, the company registering in SAM must alert the contracting officer to accomplish a novation modification or change-of-name modification on any affected contracts.
  • This is an important step, if the novation process is not completed there could be a negative impact to receiving payments on current contracts.

Q: Where can the appropriate documentation be found to submit for novation agreements or company name changes?

A: https://cage.dla.mil/Info/forms

Q: What can be entered on the SAM worksheets if NAICS are unknown?

A: List a description of services/products the company offers, and we will find the appropriate codes to add to the registration.

Q: What is beta.SAM.gov?

A: The General Services Administration (GSA) manages federal acquisition and awards processes in 10 online websites which are now being merged into one. This site will become the official U.S. government website for people who make, receive, and manage federal awards. This website has officially replaced FBO.gov, CFDA.gov and WDOL.gov. SAM is bringing all data over from the original websites, including entity registrations and historical contract data. This means your entity registration will automatically transition here when the original SAM.gov is retired.

Q: What is the process for the transition to beta.gov, and when will this happen?

A: Phase 3: Transition Complete by December 2020

  • The SAM-generated unique Entity ID becomes the official identifier for doing business with the U.S. Government.
  • New entities will now be assigned the SAM generated UEI and existing entities will begin to use the new UEI
  • Entities request new unique Entity IDs through SAM.gov before starting their entity registration.
  • Entity uniqueness is determined by the new entity validation service provider.
  • DUNS numbers already assigned to records are retained for historical purposes.
  • Your registration will automatically be assigned a new UEI which will be displayed in SAM.gov.
  • The purpose of registration, core data, assertions, representations & certifications, points of contacts, etc. in SAM.gov will not change and no one will be required to re- enter this data.

Q: Do I need a DUNS Number?

A: Yes. Before you can bid on government and federal contracts, you must obtain a Dun & Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number.

Q: What is a DUNS Number?

A: A DUNS Number is a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business.

Q: Does a DUNS Number cost anything?

A: A DUNS Number is free for all businesses required to register with the federal government for contracts or grants.

Q: What do I need to get my DUNS Number?

A:

  • When registering for your DUNS Number, have on hand:
  • Your legal name
  • Business name and address (of headquarters)
  • Doing Business As (DBA) or other name you use to identify your business
  • Business’s physical address, city, state and ZIP Code
  • Business’s mailing address (if different from headquarters and/or physical address)
  • Business’s telephone number
  • The name and title of the business contact person
  • Number of employees at your business’s physical location
  • If your business is a home-based business

Q: How do I get a DUNS Number?

A: Visit the Dun & Bradstreet DUNS request service.

Q: What is SAM?

A: In July 2012, the General Services Administration (GSA) combined the Central Contractor Registration (CCR/FedReg), Online Representations & Certifications Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) into one main contractor database. The SAM registration was designed to incorporate government contractor information into one system to eliminate overlays between multiple systems, limit the potential of errors, and lower operation costs.

Q: What are the benefits of SAM Registration?

A: One login now provides access to all the information needed to make an award determination, simplifies and/or reduces the time required to complete a procurement, and eliminates all artificial information categories and divisions for data entry. Of course, this all depends on a business correctly entering its registration information. Input one piece of incorrect information, and a business can be shut out of government contracting completely.

Q: How long will my company’s SAM Registration last?

A: The federal government requires every business renew its SAM registration at least once a year. The SAM registration will send notifications to registered users 15 days, 30 days, and 60 days prior to expiration. Procurement officers recommend that a business renew its SAM registration one to two months in advance of its expiration date.

Q: How long does the SAM Registration process take?

A: SAM Registration can take between 20 hours and 40 hours to complete. After submitting the completed registration, new registrations take 20 - 30 business days to have a fully completed and approved (active) registration. Renewals take 10-15 days.

Q: I don’t have between 20 hours and 40 hours to complete SAM Registration. What can I do?

A: A US Federal Contractor Registration case manager can complete the SAM Registration for you initially and then handle the renewal each year. For more information, call 877-252-2700 ext. 1. Once all of the information has been completely and accurately entered into SAM, new registrations can take an average of 10-30 business days to process in SAM. SAM must send out some information for validation with outside parties before your registration can be activated; this includes TIN validation with the IRS and CAGE validation/assignment with DoD/DLA. This time frame may be longer if the information you provide is flagged for manual validation by either party. You will receive an email alerting you when your registration is active.

Q: What is an NAICS Code?

A: The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) classifies business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. economy. The NAICS industry codes define an establishment based on the activities in which it is primarily engaged; is production oriented (not product oriented); and categorizes businesses with others that have similar methods of production. NAICS codes are also used for administrative, contracting, and tax purposes.

Q: Why do I need an NAICS Code?

A: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) uses NAICS Codes as a basis for its size standards. When the federal government intends to acquire goods or services, it identifies the NAICS code that describes the principal purpose of that procurement, and it includes this information in its solicitations and requests for quotes/proposals.

Q: Can I bid on opportunities that don’t reference my specific NAICS Code?

A: Your business may have myriad capabilities, and the NAICS code for a given procurement opportunity may not be the same as your primary NAICS code. You still can bid and make an offer, so long as you meet the procurement’s size standard and can provide the goods and/or services.

GENERAL FAQ


Q: How do I register as a federal contractor?

A:

  • Obtain a DUNS Number
  • Register your business with the System for Award Management (SAM)
  • Find the NAICS Codes for your company
  • Obtain past performance evaluations

Q: What information do I need to have in order to register as a federal contractor?

A:

  • Your NAICS codes
  • Your Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)
  • Your Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN or EIN)
  • Your Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes
  • Your Product Service codes
  • Your Federal Supply Classification codes

Q: What is Past Performance?

A: Your business’s past performance includes information about recently completed or ongoing contracts for the same or similar products and/or services. The request for quote (RFQ) or procurement solicitation will include information about the Past Performance information to include with your bid.

Q: Am I a small business?

A: The SBA defines a “small business” in terms of its average number of employees during the past 12 months, or average annual receipts over the past three years.

Q: Are there other standards my business must meet?

A:

  • The SBA adds that to meet its “small business” standards, a business must:
  • Be organized for profit
  • Be based in the US
  • Operate primarily within the U.S. or make a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials, or labor
  • Be independently owned and operated
  • Not dominant in its field on a national basis

Q: How do I become certified as a small business?

A: As you register as a government contractor in the System for Award Management (SAM), you will also self-certify your business as small.

Q: What is the General Services Administration (GSA)?

A: The largest government-wide contracts are procured through the General Services Administration (GSA). Businesses list their available goods and services, which procurement officers can access. Instead of issuing an RFQ or RFP, a procurement officer simply can order goods and services directly from you. Think of the GSA Schedule as a catalog from which procurement officers can order for goods and services up to a certain value.

Q: How much does the federal government spend using GSA Schedules?

A: The federal government spends between $30 billion and $40 billion on GSA Schedules, which is roughly 9 percent of its annual procurement expenditures.

Q: What’s in it for me?

A: GSA schedules are a great way for businesses to establish long-term connections with contracting officers. The GSA even recommends government contractors use a professional service to help them with all of the paperwork and filing that goes into a GSA Schedule as it is a prolonged and extensive process. Each GSA Schedule is designed to act like a regular private sector commercial buying process. GSA Schedules make it easy to network with federal procurement officers, reduce inventories, create shorter lead time between projects, and provide procurement with more choices.

Q: How can US Federal Contractor Registration help me register on a GSA Schedule?

A: We will:

  • Issue your Pathways to Success certificate
  • Perform a readiness assessment and issue you a signed copy of it
  • Perform a past performance evaluation
  • Verify finance statements, balance, sheet, and income statement
  • Create GSA-formatted pricing list (including SINs; available product/service/training/labor; description,;commercial price list; MFC list; MFC discounts; MFC pricing; GSA pricing; and GSA discount)
  • Submit discount proposal spreadsheet
  • Verify technical data and business account history
  • Submit relevant project experience/past performance
  • Provide GSA course training
  • Certify your Small Business Subcontracting Plan (if applicable)
  • Create a custom simplified acquisition marketing campaign
  • Create a government-branded website

Q: What is DAPA Registration?

A:

  • DAPA Registration is an agreement between DLA Troop Support and Medical/Surgical Prime Vendor (MSPV) Program suppliers. Registering in DAPA will allow your goods and/or services to be used through the MSPV, which in turn is supplied to the DLA. DAPA will create the selling price of a contractor’s services/goods and will legally allow the DLA to distribute the contractor’s products/services to government-wide customers.
  • The MSPV Program is broken down into two different sections: general DAPAs and equipment DAPAs.
  • The general DAPA supports the distribution of medical procedure pharmaceuticals and medicines.
  • The equipment DAPA covers medical items that run on multiple power sources (batteries, electric, etc) and include materials such as exam tables, carts, infusion pumps, pulse dosimeters, etc. This program makes it easy for registered government contractors to sell their items to federal consumers as a pricing instrument.

Q: What is Wide Area Workflow (WAWF)?

A: Wide Area Workflow is a secure, Web-based system for electronic invoicing, receipt and acceptance. WAWF allows government vendors to submit and track invoices and receipt/acceptance documents over the Web, and allows government personnel to process those invoices in a real-time, paperless environment. It is also the only application that will be used to capture the Unique Identification of Tangible Items information.

Q: What is the Simplified Acquisition Program?

A: The Simplified Acquisition Program is a program offered only by US Federal Contractor Registration. It is designed to help small businesses still in the dark about government contracting and help get them on the path to winning federal contracts. Simplified acquisition procedures are used by the government to streamline smaller purchases. By “small” we mean the micro-purchase threshold of $10,000 and the simplified acquisition threshold of $250,000. If you don’t have a horse in this race, then you’re missing out on serious opportunities to grow your business. Our program makes it easy for you to get up-to-speed and win these types of contracts.

Q: How does enrollment in US Federal Contractor Registration’s Simplified Acquisition Program help my business?

A: Government contracting is a long-term investment. It’s not just about one or two opportunities. It’s about creating a solid path in which you can grow your business. In essence, you’re obtaining a customer who is always buying, has the money to spend, and spends even more during recessions. For many small businesses, simplified acquisition contracts can be what gets their foot in the door to this sector for this reason, every business in the Simplified Acquisition Program gets a government-formatted Online Capabilities Statement. This means contracting officers can find the information they need about your business with just a few clicks.. Tell me more about this Online Capabilities Statement(OCS). We develop a government-formatted OCS for you, complete with branded domain name, web hosting, monthly updates, search engine optimization, and a domain branded email address. Your OCS will be mobile ready and compatible with all iOS and Android devices.

Q: So I get an Online Capabilities Statement. What else do I get?

A: You get access to our exclusive Advanced Procurement Portal (APP) designed to provide your business direct access to government buyers and prime vendors in your industry. There is no easier way to find contract opportunities than with APP. In fact, you’ll be able to get automatic notifications of new opportunities before your competition. Developed by US Federal Contractor Registration, APP is an application that gathers all the information you need from government sources and puts them all in one spot. You can:

  • Find Opportunities
  • Scope Out Your Competition
  • Track Contracting Officer Activity
  • Set-Up Live Notifications
  • Handle your government

Q: What is the GSAP (General Services Administration – Simplified Acquisition Program)?

A: The GSAP is a contracting program that US Federal Contractor Registration created to provide a business with valuable procurement outreach and Simplified Acquisition Program benefits. This allows a business to develop and grow while simultaneously pursuing the GSA Schedule.

Q: What does the GSAP include?

A: GSAP includes the completion of a GSA schedule in one of the major 41 categories. GSA Schedules make it easy to network with federal procurement, reduce inventories, create shorter lead time between projects, and provide federal procurement with more choices. You also get a government-branded website and automatic email notifications about available government contracts in your business’s trade.

Q: What do I get by enrolling in GSAP?

A: We will:

  • Complete your SAM registration
  • Verify your DUNS Number
  • Perform a readiness assessment
  • Perform a past performance evaluation
  • Verify finance statements, balance, sheet, and income statement
  • Verify technical data and business account history
  • Submit relevant project experience/past performance
  • Provide training
  • Create a custom simplified acquisition marketing campaign
  • Create a government-formatted Online Capabilities Statement

SET ASIDES FAQ


Q: What is the 8(a) Business Development Program?

A: The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses. The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

Q: Why should I enroll in the 8(a) Business Development Program?

A: Participants can receive sole-source contracts, up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $7 million for manufacturing. 8(a) firms also can form joint ventures and teams to bid on contracts. This enhances the ability of 8(a) firms to perform larger prime contracts and overcome the effects of contract bundling, the combining of two or more contracts together into one large contract.

Q: What are the 8(a) Business Development Program goals?

A: The federal government's goal is to award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to small disadvantaged businesses each year.The focus of the program is to provide business development support including:

  • Mentoring
  • Procurement assistance
  • Business counseling
  • Training
  • Financial assistance
  • Surety bonding
  • Other management and technical assistance

Q: How will the SBA help my 8(a) Business meet its goals?

A: To make sure 8(a) firms are on track to accomplish their goals and are following requirements, the SBA district offices monitor and measure progress through:

  • Annual reviews
  • Business planning
  • Systematic evaluations

Q: Do I get anything from the SBA after enrolling in its 8(a) Business Development Program?

A: You may take advantage of specialized business training, counseling, marketing assistance, and high-level executive development that the SBA and its resource partners provide. You can also be eligible for assistance in obtaining access to surplus government property and supplies, SBA-guaranteed loans, and bonding assistance for being involved in the program.

Q: What are the 8(a) Business Development Program certification requirements?

A: Your business must meet these eligibility requirements:

  • The business must be majority-owned (51 percent or more) by one or more 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.
  • Separate eligibility requirements exist for a business that American Indians, Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians, or Certified Development Companies own.
  • Before SBA can approve an 8(a) Business Develop program application, the disadvantaged individual(s) also must show (prove) how he or she is socially disadvantaged. To prove social disadvantage, the individual(s) owners must ultimately show that such personal experiences had a negative impact on entry into or advancement in the business world.

Q: How does the SBA define “socially disadvantaged”?

A: Under federal law, socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identification as members of groups without regard to their individual qualities. According to the SBA, for purposes of the 8(a) Business Development program, the following individuals are presumed socially disadvantaged (called “presumed groups”):

  • Black Americans
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Asian Pacific Americans
  • Subcontinent Asian American
In the absence of evidence to the contrary, an individual applicant is presumed socially disadvantaged if:
  • He or she holds him or herself out to be a member of a presumed group
  • He or she is currently identified by others as a member of a presumed group

Q: What if I don’t belong to one of these “presumed groups”? Can I still enroll in the 8(a) Business Development Program?

A: An individual who is not a member of one of the “presumed groups” can be admitted into the 8(a) Business Development program. The business must prove to the SBA that the individual(s) meeting SBA’s ownership and control requirements is/are socially disadvantaged.Other individuals can be admitted to the program if they can show evidence that they are disadvantaged because of race, ethnicity, gender, physical handicap, or residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society.

Q: What does the SBA count as evidence?

A: According to the SBA, evidence of individual social disadvantage must include:

  • At least one objective distinguishing feature such as race, ethnic origin, gender, physical handicap, long-term residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society, or other similar causes not common to individuals who are not socially disadvantaged
  • Personal experiences of substantial and chronic social disadvantage in American society, not in other countries
  • Negative impact on the individual’s entrance into the business world or advancement in the business world because of the stated disadvantage(s)

Q: Are there other requirements?

A: All individuals that the SBA finds socially disadvantaged – including all “presumed group” members — also must meet these requirements:

  • SBA’s economic disadvantage requirements — including presumed group members
  • SBA’s ownership requirements
  • SBA’s control and management requirements
  • SBA’s character requirements. This requirement actually extends to all principals, which include:
    • owner(s) of more than 10%
    • officers
    • directors
    • members
    • partners
    • key employees
  • All principals will undergo a Federal Bureau of Investigation background check before SBA can admit the firm into the SBA 8(a) Business Development program.
  • In addition, to be approved, all firms must meet:
  • SBA’s small business size requirements
  • SBA’s potential for success requirement

Q: What does economically disadvantaged mean?

A: According to the SBA, “economically disadvantaged individuals are socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities.”

Q: How do I prove that I’m economically disadvantaged?

A: The SBA cannot determine if an individual is economically disadvantaged unless it has already found the individual to be socially disadvantaged. The individual majority owner(s) must prove both social disadvantage and economic disadvantage.

Q: The SBA found me to be socially disadvantaged. What now?

A: To determine if an individual is also economically disadvantaged, each socially disadvantaged individual must provide to the SBA:

  • Narrative statement of economic disadvantage
  • Personal financial information (including tax returns and certain SBA forms)
  • In every case, when married, the socially disadvantaged individual must submit separate financial information to SBA for his or her spouse (including tax returns and certain SBA forms).

Q: What does the SBA consider when determining economic disadvantage?

A: The SBA reviews several factors, including:

  • All income for the past three years, including any unusual income levels
  • Fair market value of all assets
  • Personal net worth (assets and liabilities)
  • Transfer of assets to an immediate family member, directly or via trust
  • Availability of individual retirement account (IRA) funds or other official retirement accounts
  • Income received from the firm when filing taxes as an S corporation or partnership
  • Reinvestments into the applicant firm
  • Tax payments for the firm

Q: I’m married/The majority owner of my business is married. How will that affect the SBA decision?

A: According to the SBA, it takes into account a spouse’s financial situation when determining whether the applicant is economically disadvantaged and also looks at whether the spouse:

  • Has a role in the business
  • Has lent money to the firm
  • Provided credit support to the firm
  • Guaranteed a loan
  • The socially disadvantaged individual must submit separate financial information to the SBA for his or her spouse (including tax returns and certain SBA forms).

Q: An entity owns my firm. How can the entity prove it is economically disadvantaged?

A: According to the SBA, firms owned by an entity have different requirements and generally do not have to prove economic disadvantage for individual owners. Eligible entities are American Indians, Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians and Certified Development Companies. Before SBA can approve an application, the individuals claiming to be disadvantaged must submit supporting documents to prove their assets, income, and net worth fall below certain threshold amounts. These include:

  • Assets cannot exceed $4 million
  • Personal income cannot exceed $250,000, averaged over 3 years
  • Adjusted net worth must be less than $250,000

Q: Where can I find more information about the 8(a) Business Development Program?

A: You can read more about the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program here.

Q: What is the HUBZone program?

A: HUBZone is a company level diversity certification referring to the Historically Underutilized Business Zone program that helps small businesses located in distressed areas gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.The federal government's goal is to award at least three percent of all federal contracting dollars to HUBZone-certified small businesses each year.

Q: How does the HUBZone Program Work?

A: The SBA regulates and implements the HUBZone program.
The SBA:

  • Determines which businesses are eligible to receive HUBZone contracts
  • Maintains a listing of qualified HUBZone small businesses that federal agencies can use to locate vendors
  • Adjudicates protests of eligibility to receive HUBZone contracts
  • Reports to the Congress on the program’s impact on employment and investment in HUBZone areas

Q: What are the Benefits of the HUBZone Program?

A: Program benefits for HUBZone-certified companies include:

  • Competitive and sole source contracting
  • 10 percent price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions, as well as subcontracting opportunities

Q: How do I qualify for the HUBZone Program?

A: To qualify for the program, a business (except tribally owned concerns) must:

  • Be a small business by SBA standards
  • Be owned and controlled at least 51% by U.S. citizens, or a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe
  • Have a primary location within a “Historically Underutilized Business Zone,” which includes lands considered “Indian Country” and military facilities closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Act
  • At least 35 percent of its employees must also reside in a HUBZone.

Q: How can US Federal Contractor Registration help me register for the HUBZone Program?

A: Here is what USFCR’s Hubzone Certification process will do for you:

  • Review all supporting documentation and address common issue upfront
  • Prepare and Submit the application for you
  • Remain in contact with the Analyst assigned to your application to ensure timely responses and the fastest approval rate possible.

Q: What is the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Program?

A: The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999 established an annual government-wide goal of awarding not less than 3 percent of the total value of all prime contract and subcontract awards to small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans. Also, on December 16, 2003, the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003 established a procurement program for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concerns (SDVOSBCs). This procurement program provides that federal contracting officers may restrict competition to SDVOSBCs and award a sole source or set-aside contract where certain criteria are met. The SBA established criteria that federal procurement officers must use when determining service-disabled veteran status; business ownership and control requirements; sole source and set-aside procurement opportunity guidelines; and protest and appeal procedures for SDVOSBC procurements.

Q: Who is eligible for the SDVOSBC?

A: To be eligible for the SDVOSBC, you and your business must meet the following criteria:

  • The Service Disabled Veteran (SDV) must have a service-connected disability that has been determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Defense
  • The SDVOSBC must be small under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code assigned to the procurement
  • The SDV must unconditionally own 51 percent of the SDVOSBC
  • The veteran owner(s) must hold the licenses or have the expertise to operate the daily operations and the ability to obtain required licenses within 90 days is required.
  • The SDV must hold the highest officer position in the SDVOSBC
  • One or more SDVs must manage and control daily business operations
  • Veteran must be highest compensated employee or able to explain how his is in the best interest of the firm
  • Cannot be employed currently by the VA, or any other government employer

Q: What else should I know about SDVOSBC?

A: The program has helped:

  • Eliminate veteran homelessness
  • Enable delivery of benefits and services
  • Automate GI Bill benefits
  • Create virtual lifetime electronic records
  • Improve veterans’ mental health
  • Build veterans’ relationship management capability
  • Design a veteran-centric health care model and help veterans navigate the healthcare delivery system and receive coordinated care
  • Establish strong U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) management infrastructure and integrated operating model
  • Transform human capital management

Q: How can US Federal Contractor Registration help me register for SDVOSBC?

A: Here is what USFCR’s VetBiz Registration will do for you: Review all supporting documentation and address common issue upfront Prepare and Submit the application for you Remain in contact with the Analyst assigned to your application to ensure timely responses and the fastest approval rate possible.

Q: What are the eligibility requirements to be certified as a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB)?

A:

  • Be a small business per SBA size standards
  • Be a small business in an industry where women-owned small businesses (WOSB) are underrepresented. For a complete list of these industries visit the SBA website: https://www.sba.gov/document/support--qualifying-naics-women-owned-small-business-federal-contracting-program
  • Be at least 51% owned and controlled by women who are U.S. citizens
  • Hold the licenses required to operate the business or has the ability to get the license within 90 days if so required.
  • Have women manage day-to-day operations and also make long-term decisions

Q: What are the eligibility requirements to be certified as an Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB)?

A: In addition to meeting all the above requirements for WOSB, to qualify for EDWOSB, businesses will also have to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be owned and controlled by one or more women, each with a personal net worth less than $750,000
  • Be owned and controlled by one or more women, each with $350,000 or less in adjusted gross income averaged over the previous three years
  • Be owned and controlled by one or more women, each $6 million or less in personal assets

Q: How can US Federal Contractor Registration help me register as a WOSB?

A: Here is what USFCR’s WOSB/EDWOSB Program process will do for you:

  • Review all supporting documentation and address common issue upfront
  • Prepare and Submit the application for you
  • Remain in contact with the Analyst assigned to your application to ensure timely responses and the fastest approval rate possible.