Set-Asides and Special Interest Groups

The federal government establishes formal goals to ensure small businesses get their fair share of work. Every federal government purchase between $10,000 and $250,000 is automatically set aside for small businesses, as long as there are at least two companies that can provide the product or service at a fair and reasonable price.

Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB)

If your answer is yes to the following questions, you may meet the criteria for a WOSB set-aside:

  • 51% or more of my business is owned, controlled, and primarily managed by one or more women who are U.S. citizens
  • My WOSB is “small” in its primary industry in accordance with SBA size standards for that industry

For more information on eligibility requirements and certification, visit the SBA WOSB Federal Contracting Program page.

Small Disadvantaged Businesses and 8(a) Small Businesses

If your answer is yes to the following questions, you may meet the criteria for an 8(a) set-aside:

  • Be a small business
  • Not already have participated in the 8(a) program
  • Be at least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens who are economically and socially disadvantaged
  • Be owned by someone whose personal net worth is $250,000 or less
  • Be owned by someone whose average adjusted gross income for three years is $250,000 or less
  • Be owned by someone with $4 million or less in assets
  • Have the owner manage day-to-day operations and also make long-term decisions
  • Have all its principals demonstrate good character
  • Show potential for success and be able to perform successfully on contracts

For more information on eligibility requirements and certification, visit the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program page.

Historically Underutilized Business Zone Small Businesses (HUBZone)

If your answer is yes to the following questions, you may meet the criteria for a HUBZone set-aside:

  • 51% or more of my business is owned, controlled, and primarily managed by U.S. citizens, a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, a Native Hawaiian organization, or an Indian tribe
  • My HUBZone-certified business is “small” in its primary industry in accordance with SBA size standards for that industry
  • Have its principal office located in a HUBZone
  • Have at least 35% of its employees live in a HUBZone

For more information on eligibility requirements and certification, visit the SBA page on HUBZone-certified small business programs.

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

If your answer is yes to the following questions, you may meet the criteria for an SDVOSB set-aside:

For more information on eligibility requirements and certification, visit the SBA page on service-disabled veteran-owned small business programs.

Last Reviewed: 2021-10-06