Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is MySetAside?
MySetAside (MSA) is a cloud based and mobile application that helps Small Businesses to identify and compete for Federal, State and Local Governments, and corporate subcontracting opportunities that are designated for small or specially designated organizations ("i.e". Veteran Owned, Service Disabled Veteran Owned, Minority Owned, 8(a), Hub Zone, etc.) to meet procurement goals for diversity and inclusion. MSA publishes set aside opportunities in one central place along with easy to use communication and tracking features that help small businesses win set-aside contract opportunities.
MSA bundles advanced technology with proven best practices and extensive industry knowledge to deliver unique tool kits for that will help small business professionals efficiently and cost effectively succeed in partnerships with governments and corporate teams on targeted small business contracts and set-asides.
In addition to key market data and advanced communication/collaboration capabilities, MSA also provides checklists and templates that will help contract bidding efforts get started on the right track.
2. What is SBA and what is their function?
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the Federal Government. SBA’s mission is to aid, counsel, assist, and protect the interests of small business concerns. As part of this mission, SBA seeks to preserve free competitive enterprise with further goals to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA recognizes that small business is critical to the health of the economy and to building America's future for competing in today's global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom-line mission remains the same to this day. The SBA helps Americans start, build, and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.
3. How do I determine my business size?
Business size can be determined using the following SBA definition:
One of the first steps in becoming a government contractor is to accurately determine if you can qualify as “small” under SBA size standards. In other words, you must be defined as a small business when submitting proposals for small business contracts.
Since all federal agencies must use SBA size standards for contracts identified as small business, you need to select the NAICS Code that best describes your business and then determine if the business meets size standards for the selected NAICS Code. SBA size standards are usually stated either in number of employees over the past 12 months, or average annual receipts over the past three years – whichever number represents the largest size of your business right now (including subsidiaries and affiliates). This number is what you will be using to remain classified as a small business for SBA and to bid on federal contracts. Size standards are available for every private sector industry in the U.S. economy using, the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to identify the industries.
Find your NAICS Code by visiting the NAICS section of the Bureau of the Census website (https://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/). Identify the NAICS Code(s) that best describe(s) your business activities. Also see the 2017 NAICS Manual for more information. (https://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/2017NAICS/2017_NAICS_Manual.pdf).
Determine your Industry's size standard by using the Table of Small Business Size Standards (https://www.sba.gov/contracting/getting-started-contractor/make-sure-you-meet-sba-size-standards/table-small-business-size-standards). Match your NAICS Code(s) with the appropriate size standard(s).
You can also use SBA Size Standards Tool to find out if you qualify as a small business.
4. What is a Federal contract?
A federal contract is offered by the U.S. government on a continual basis through bids to small businesses, entrepreneurs and the reserved business categories under small disadvantaged as well as under-privileged classifications, including: 8(a) Business Development Program, Woman-owned, Veteran Owned, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program (SDVOSB) and Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) registered under SBA.
The federal contracts market is worth more than $1.5 trillion. Contracts are being offered through several departments of federal government that small businesses can win. Thousands of new federal contracting opportunities are arising every day requiring various products, goods and services from many industries such as: engineering, construction, telecommunication, computer, aerospace including defense and other sectors.
5. What happens when you find a good contract opportunity?
So you have found contract opportunities that you want to bid on, now what? After you find contract opportunities by searching YSI’s MySetAside.com database, the next steps are easy.
MSA helps you identify a contracting opportunity that is specifically suited to your small business set-aside profile, company capabilities, and expertise. Once you identify an opportunity, MSA then provides easy to use mobile and web-based applications that can be downloaded to access and share database contents.
MSA users can reach out directly to point-of-contacts listed on the website and post general messages to community exchange boards and other specialized forums within the website to reach wider audiences.
Small Business users can reach out via MSA to government agencies and/or corporate contacts to discuss upcoming opportunities. At the same time, government and/or large corporations-have the ability to engage directly with the small and specialized status business community through MSA systems, web pages, project calendars, and small business point of contacts.
MSA also provides optional easy-to-use checklists, templates and worksheets to track opportunity milestones, deliverable due dates, view sample project artifacts, contractor best practices, and other helpful toolkits. These worksheets are standardized and can be linked to Microsoft Office and other popular productivity applications to ensure users have a wide range of choices for managing their contract opportunities and deliverable due dates.
6. How is MySetAside (MSA) different from anything else available to small businesses?
MSA is designed specifically for small business to help identify and respond to market opportunities.
A key feature of MSA is the ability of governments and/or large corporations to engage directly with the business community through dedicated access of MSA databases, web pages, and project calendars.
MSA also enables users to perform market outreach, teaming communications and find business partners, saving time, costs and increasing chances of submitting winning proposals.
MSA tracks Federal, State and Local small business opportunities with special emphasis on service contracts in the DC Metro area.
The MSA application can be downloaded and used on mobile devices.
MSA provides easy-to-use links that enable rapid customization and solution development over a wide range of business environments and applications.
MSA provides internal calendar functions, links to Microsoft Office, and other popular productivity tool and software that provides users with a range of choices for managing their contract opportunities and deliverables development and production.
Sign up now and start getting small business set aside contract opportunities. Contact Yakshna Solutions if you need help optimizing your account settings and user profile.
7. What is a DUNS Number?
Before you can bid on government contracts and/or respond to a Request for Proposals (RFPs), you need to obtain a Dun
& Bradstreet D-U-N-S Number. D-U-N-S (data universal number system) is a unique nine-digit identification number assigned to each physical location of your business. The D-U-N-S number assignment is free for all businesses that are required to register with the federal government for contracts or grants.
8. What do I need to get my D-U-N-S Number?
- When registering for your D-U-N-S Number, you will need the following on hand:
- Legal name
- Headquarters name and address for your business
- Doing Business As (DBA) or other name by which your business is commonly recognized
- Physical address, city, state and ZIP Code
- Mailing address (if separate from headquarters and/or physical address)
- Telephone number
- Contact name and title
- Number of employees at your physical location
- And whether your business is a Home-Based Business
9. How do I get my D-U-N-S Number?
Good news! Registering for your D-U-N-S Number is easy and free of cost for most users. Visit D&B’s Company Update webpage to obtain more detailed instructions on applying for your D-U-N-S Number (https://www.dandb.com/product/companyupdate/companyupdateLogin?execution=e2s1).
10. What is a CAGE Code?
The Commercial and Government Entity Code, or CAGE Code, is a unique identifier assigned to suppliers to various government or defense agencies, as well as to government agencies themselves and also various organizations. CAGE codes provide a standardized method of identifying a given facility at a specific location.
Within the US, any organization wishing to be a supplier to the DoD is issued a CAGE Code by Defense Logistics Information Service (DLIS), the organization serving as the US NCB. An entity issued a CAGE code must reapply annually to renew it.
11. How do I get my Cage Code?
Step 1: Gather the appropriate documentation. You must provide your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Tax ID number (TIN) and a Data Universal Numbering System number (DUNS). You can obtain an EIN or TIN from the Internal Revenue Service website: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/how-to-apply-for-an-ein
You can obtain a DUNS number from the Dun & Bradstreet website: (https://www.dandb.com/product/companyupdate/companyupdateLogin?execution=e2s1)..
Step 2: Go to the System for Award Management website: https://www.sam.gov.
Step 3: Create a User account and then register your business. After you have registered your business, SAM will automatically assign you a Cage Code.
Step 4: Check the Status of your registration for the next few business days. A Cage Code is typically assigned within 1 to 5 Business days.
12. What is a NAICS Code?
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) classifies business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. economy. NAICS industry codes define establishments based on the activities in which they are primarily engaged. NAICS codes are also used for administrative, contracting and tax purposes. NAICS is production oriented (not product oriented) and categorizes businesses with others that have similar methods of production.
13. How do I find my NAICS code?
Visit the United States Census Bureau’s NAICS website to identify your NAICS code(s) https://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/. We recommend using a single word for a search term input into the search engine located on the right side of NAICS’ homepage. On the search results page, use the NAIC codes that best fit your company’s work classification. You will need NAICS codes to specify the types of federal contracting opportunities you are most interested in receiving from the MySetAside databases.
14. What is a Contractor Team Arrangement?
A teaming arrangement may be an arrangement in which a potential prime contractor agrees with one or more companies to have them act as its subcontractors under a specified Government contract or acquisition program. Or, it may be a Joint Venture.
The requirements under the limitation of subcontracting must be maintained. See FAR §§ 9.601 9.602, and 52.219-14, 48 CFR 9.601,9.602 and 52.219-14. To maximize the number and type of procurement opportunities, 8(a) firms are allowed and encouraged to team with both 8(a) and non-8(a) firms.
However, the SBA is not normally involved with these arrangements and the SBA is not required to review nor approve them.
A teaming arrangement may be a desirable business development tool. However, it may affect a participant's eligibility if it results in circumstances of actual or negative control, affiliation, or loss of small business status.
Consequently, a proposed teaming agreement must be carefully evaluated to determine the relationship of the parties.
15. What Is a Joint Venture Agreement?
For purposes of this SOP chapter a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) is an agreement between an eligible participant and one or more other business concerns to establish a new legal entity solely for the purpose of performing a specific contract. The contract is then awarded to the Joint Venture entity rather than to one or more of the participants. Joint Ventures are permitted only when:
a. The participant lacks the capacity to perform the contract on its own;
b. The Joint Venture arrangement is fair and equitable;
c. The Joint Venture will be of substantial benefit to the participant, and,
d. The participant brings substantial resources and/or expertise to the Joint Venture