Owners of small businesses may qualify for specific programs through the Small Business Administration (“SBA”).  A variety of federal programs exist to provide small businesses with the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in subcontracts.  Specifically, a proportion of contracts are set aside for small business concerns.   While the total set-asides for a small business will vary, all businesses must obtain certification in order to qualify to bid on the governmental work.  The following list, obtained from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Website (, contains small business certifications in which a company may obtain. 

The HubZone program provides federal contracting assistance for qualified small businesses that are located in underutilized business zones, with an effort to improve employment opportunities. 

The 8(a) Business Development program, which derives its name from Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, assists small socially and economically disadvantaged businesses.  Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act allows the SBA to contract with other federal agencies and then subcontract the work to qualified small disadvantaged businesses.

Through a self-certification process, a small business must be independently owned and operated; may not dominate in the field in which it is bidding on government contracts; and must meet applicable size standards to qualify. 

A small business owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women, may qualify for set asides in Federal Governmental contracts.

SBA has set asides for both Veteran-Owned Businesses and Service Disabled, Veteran Owned Small Businesses.  Designed to assist veterans or service-disabled veterans with resources to start and grow a small business. 

This program allows 8(a) participants to work with other companies (mentors), who will provide various forms of assistance.  The program helps small businesses successfully compete for prime contract and subcontract awards by partnering with large companies through individual project-based agreements. 

For additional information on governmental procurement through the Small Business Administration, contact Michael W. Siri at