Joint Ventures

Joint ventures are probably the most challenging and rewarding type of contracting option. This type of contractual agreement has the benefit of putting the resources of two or more companies (business entities) together, under one umbrella. However, the process is usually very detailed and typically requires some legal and accounting assistance.


The Small Business Administration defines a joint venture as an association of individuals or businesses that engage in and carry out a specific or limited-purpose business venture for joint profit for a defined period of time. These individuals or businesses combine their efforts, property, money, skills, and knowledge, usually in support of a single government contract. The joint venture is set up for the sole purpose of pooling resources to successfully and cost effectively support the mission of a government agency.

Unlike a contract teaming arrangement (CTA), which is recognized as an entity by GSA, a joint venture is set up as a separate legal entity with a separate federal identification number and a separate SAM (System for Award Management) user account. OSBU does not oversee any part of the joint venture process.

Note: It is possible that a joint venture can be made up of two, three, or more businesses and still qualify as a small business, depending on the type of Schedule it falls under.

For those willing to create a joint venture, there are many benefits.

  • Represent Past Performance collectively, as a prime contractor (rather than as a subcontractor)
  • Share costs
  • Share resources
  • Leverage other partners’ experience and market share

However, before putting together a joint venture remember there are extensive rules regarding claiming socio-economic status. The cost of creating a joint venture is ongoing, and typically requires substantial legal and economic support. We highly recommend seeking out and talking to a number of successful joint ventures currently selling to the federal government.

Last Reviewed 2015-12-11