Government contractors face a whole host of legal issues when working with the government. And with a hands-on approach and personal experience, we will help you navigate those legal issues – such as regulations and requirements for applying – when you are applying for a government contract, so that your small business is able to work effectively in the government marketplace.
As business attorneys advising small government contractors, we will work with you through the process of government procurement: this includes bidding and the award process for contracts, ethics and compliance issues, accounting and pricing rules, private or government audits and investigations, having proper security clearances, domestic preference requirements, and due diligence and transactional assistance. We will work with you at every step of the way, starting with the review and consideration of government solicitations and continuing on through to bid analysis and preparation. We are familiar with the many aspects of doing business with the government and development banks, and as such, we are well-prepared as we aid you in the several areas that will require legal services.
If you want to apply for one of the socioeconomic statuses, such as a woman-owned business, HUBZone business, service disabled veteran-owned small business, small disadvantaged business, (8)a business, we can assist your company. If you have already been approved for one of these programs, we can assist you in determining whether your small business is eligible for certain contracts or how your company can use its preference for certain government contracts.
Whether you are doing business directly with the government or with a prime contractor, you will need to comply with the Federal Acquisition Regulations System (FARS), which are the regulations governing how the government purchases goods and services. As government contract lawyers for small businesses, we can assist your company in complying with these and other government rules and regulations. Similarly, if your business is applying for work financed by the World Bank, you will have to comply with its procurement guidelines.
Should you think that the government agency has not properly followed the rules and regulations regarding a particular procurement, we will provide legal support to determine whether you should file a bid protest with the agency administering the contract, the U.S. Government Accountability Office or the U.S Court of Federal Claims. We will help you put together the bid protest should you decide to file one.
We can also help in defending small businesses in performance and other disputes filed against the company. We have handled matters at all stages of the sanctions process at the World Bank, from cases filed with the world Bank’s Suspension and Debarment Officer (SDO), which typically reviews accusations brought by the Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) of the World Bank, to matters through hearing before the World Bank’s Sanctions Board. We will be by your side to represent your small business before a particular agency or in court. We have more resource materials on government contracting law here.
FAQs – Government Contracting Legal Aspects
How do I become a government contractor?
Any business or nonprofit may register to bid on government contracts and receive grants. The first step is to register your organization on the System for Award Management (SAM). Your SAM registration must be renewed every year.
What kinds of government contracts may a government contractor bid on?
Any government contractor may bid in full and open competition. These contracts may be fixed-price, cost reimbursement and time and materials contracts. The contractor may also bid on indefinite/delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts, which usually are large umbrella contracts under which the government issues task orders to those government contractors who hold a particular IDIQ contract.
What are the most important regulations and requirements for a government contractor?
When applying for a government contract, there are several regulations and requirements that you should be aware of. Key considerations include determining your eligibility for government programs that cater to small businesses, the bid protest process, which allows a party to challenge a government contract award, compliance with labor laws, security and IT requirements, and familiarizing yourself with the Federal Acquisition Regulations (“FAR”).
FAR is a set of regulations that govern the acquisition process for federal government contracts including contract formation, pricing, and dispute resolution. A government contracts lawyer can assist in navigating the regulatory landscape and ensuring compliance when applying for government contracts. As a government contracting law firm, we can provide guidance on interpreting and complying with the FAR, assist with the preparation and submission of contract proposals, review contracts and solicitations for compliance issues, and help you understand and fulfill any special requirements of a government contract.
What are the major contracting assistance programs available to small businesses?
Small businesses can apply for various contracting assistance programs that provide advantages in government contracting. These programs are administered through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The most widely used contracting assistance programs are:
- Women-Owned Small Business Program
- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program
- Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Program
- 8(a) Business Development Program
- Small Disadvantaged Business Program
A government contracts lawyer can assist small businesses in determining their eligibility for these programs by analyzing their business. They can help navigate the certification application process, ensuring that all requirements are met, and necessary documentation is prepared and submitted accurately. By working with our government contacting law firm, small businesses can enhance their eligibility for government contracts and gain a competitive advantage in the procurement process.
What are the major issues in determining eligibility for a contracting assistance program as per government contract law?
The most frequent issues in determining eligibility in these programs are ownership and control and affiliation. Most of these programs require the small business to be “owned and controlled” by the particular target category. For example, a women-owned small business must be owned and controlled by women who are U.S. citizens. The Federal Acquisition Regulations (“FAR”) get into a lot of detail of what is the meaning of control, but in general it means that women must manage the day-to-day operations and make the long-term decisions for the small business.
Similarly, affiliation rules are complex, and especially for organizations close to the size standards, they may be disqualified because they may be “affiliated” with another organization. For example, affiliation may be based on common stock ownership or common management.
How can a government contracts lawyer assist a government contractor in developing a teaming agreement, and what are some important considerations when entering into such an agreement?
A government contract teaming agreement is a legal agreement between two or more companies that partner to pursue and fulfill a government contract. It outlines the terms and conditions of the collaboration, establishing the roles, responsibilities, and rights of each party involved. A government contracts lawyer can assist in developing a teaming agreement by providing guidance and legal expertise throughout the process. They can review and negotiate the terms of the agreement, ensuring that the rights and obligations of all parties involved are clearly defined and protected. We advise our clients on important considerations when entering into a teaming agreement, such as the scope of work, confidentiality provisions, dispute resolution mechanisms, termination clauses, and liability provisions.
How can a government contracts lawyer assist in filing a bid protest if a government agency has not followed the rules and regulations in a procurement process?
We can assist in filing a bid protest if a government agency has not followed the rules and regulations in a procurement process. They can review the procurement process, solicitation documents, and any relevant communications to assess the potential grounds for a bid protest, prepare the bid protest, and file it. In some cases, the government agency may negotiate with your company to seek a resolution that addresses concerns raised in the bid protest, we can engage in these negotiations on your behalf. If the bid protest is not resolved through negotiation, we can provide litigation support.
What steps should small government contractors take to proactively comply with government rules and regulations and minimize legal risks?
Small government contractors should take several steps to proactively comply with government rules and regulations and minimize legal risks. First, they should invest time in understanding the applicable laws, regulations, and contract requirements relevant to their industry and the specific government contracts they pursue. Small government contractors should establish compliance programs tailored to their operations, which may include policies and procedures and training programs. A government contractor should maintain accurate documentation of their compliance efforts, such as records of certifications and audits. While a government contract lawyer can help you with all the aspects, by prioritizing compliance, small government contractors can reduce legal risks and increase their chances of long-term success in the area of government contracting.