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Size Protest Guidelines

You may believe that the size determination on your government procurement or sale is incorrect.

Perhaps someone else has forwarded a size protest to you.

Whatever the source, a size protest is a serious matter. And recourse is available. As the contracting officer, you may protest the size, and file the size protest with the SBA Government Contracting Area Office of the area where the small business concern is located.

Time Limitations

If you decide to make a size protest, there is no time limitation on when you can file the size protest. You may file a protest before or after an award. However, if you try to file a size protest before bidding has started or notify the offerors of the selection of the apparent successful offer, the size protest may dismissed as premature.

If you receive a size protest from another entity, they have 5 business days to give you the protest after bidding has opened. They must deliver the size protest to you, the contracting officer, by hand, mail, fax, or telephone. If you receive a protest by telephone you must receive the written notice within 5 days.

Protest Format

There is no format for a size protest. If submitting a size protest, one must identify the business and its operators and provide additional information to supplement their claim. In addition, the size protest must include the procurement and specific facts that relate to the size of the business.

Size Determination

The area office makes initial size determinations within very tight time constraints (usually within 10 days of receiving a protest). Area office determinations may be appealed to the Office of Hearings and Appeals at SBA headquarters in Washington, D.C. by any of the interested parties.


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