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Competitive Small Business Set-Aside (FAR Part 19)

Competitive Small Business Set-Aside (FAR Part 19)

Method to reserve a total acquisition or a portion of an acquisition exclusively for small businesses. Qualifying small business concerns include one or more of the following categories:

  • Small Business
  • Service–Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business
  • Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Small Business
  • Small Disadvantaged Business (8(a) Business Development Program)
  • Women-Owned Small Business


Common Applications

  • All types of supplies and services
  • Defense Business Systems
  • Solutions and technologies
  • IT software and products
  • Research and development
  • Advisory and assistance services
  • Engineering services
  • Special studies




Small businesses provide culture of flexibility and innovation offering acquisition programs unique solutions to solving capability gaps Many small businesses do not have approved cost accounting systems limiting selection of contract types
Set-asides increase chance to provide maximum opportunity to use small businesses in acquisitions  
Providing opportunities to small businesses grow the industrial base and strengthen the economy.  



  • Acquisitions within SAT must be reserved exclusively for small businesses
  • Acquisitions over SAT, must set aside if there are two or more small businesses that could do the work
  • Acquisitions over FAR threshold, if not set aside for small business, must have a subcontracting plan if awarded to a non-small business