Applying for set-asides


In a lot of government systems you can just self assert that your company qualifies for a set-aside (e.g. you are a veteran, you own 100% of your company, so you check that you are a veteran owned business in your SAM registration, that’s fine)
BUT: Before you can win a contract that has been Set-aside you have to have been certified in that set-aside.
So in theory: You could start your set-aside application, bid on a set-aside contract, and get certified before the government selects a winner

Government certification Portals

Veteran Owned and Service Disabled Veteran Owned

Woman Owned, Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned

Disadvantaged & 8(a)


WARNING: Set-aside application “services”

  • If you search for your set-aside you’re going to see a lot of results that look like official government websites but which are actually services that will help you with your application.
    • Applying for a set aside is free
    • The process is tedious but you can definitely do it yourself
    • The vast majority of the time that it takes to get certified is waiting on the government
  • The biggest reason to work with a service provider is to help you get your application right the first time which can be important since if you get the application wrong you may end up going to the “Back of the Line” extending the process by months
  • Before you talk to paid service providers be sure to talk to your local PTAC to see if they can help you for free