In Size Appeal of NMC/Wollard Inc., SBA No. SIZ-5668, the Small Business Administration Office of Hearings and Appeals (“OHA”) clarified the three factor test used to determine whether a small business qualifies as a manufacturer of the end item being procured.  The decision confirmed that no single factor has greater weight than the others, and that a small business can be a manufacturer despite contributing a small percentage of the value of the end item if the contribution was essential to the end item’s function.

Under applicable SBA regulations, a small business manufacturer “is the concern which, with its own facilities, performs the primary activities in transforming inorganic or organic substances, including the assembly of parts and components, into the end item being acquired.”  13 C.F.R. § 121.406(b)(2).  The regulations set forth a three factor test to determine whether a small business is the manufacturer of the end item:

  1. The proportion of total value in the end item added by the efforts of the concern, excluding costs of overhead, testing, quality control, and profit;
  2. The importance of the elements added by the concern to the function of the end item, regardless of their relative value; and
  3. The concern’s technical capabilities; plant, facilities and equipment; production or assembly line processes; packaging and boxing operations; labeling of products; and product warranties.

13 C.F.R. § 121.406(b)(2)(i)(A)-(C).

Continue Reading SBA OHA: In Three-Factor Test to Determine Small Business Manufacturers, No Single Factor is Determinative