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 (WSOB)
Small Disadvantaged Businesses, also called 8(a) Small Businesses
Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Small Businesses
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB)

Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB)

If your answer is yes to the following questions, you may meet the criteria for an SDVOSB 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 page on women-owned small business programs.

Small Disadvantaged Businesses/8(a)

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 page on 8(a)-certified business programs.

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: 2019-10-25