GUAM – Small businesses may find it challenging to compete for large and complex federal contract projects, but forming a joint venture partnership of other small businesses to better satisfy project requirements may present the opportunity to bid on a wider range of contracts. In the series Federal Contracting 101, will explain the federal contracting process to assist small businesses on Guam during the buildup.

Volume 10: Joint Ventures Increase Opportunities for Guam Small Businesses

For small businesses on Guam, it may be difficult or even discouraging to read contract requirements only to find that there are several requirements that fall well outside their capabilities. But the larger, more complex jobs may not necessarily be out of reach.

Small businesses can increase their ability to perform a variety of tasks by forming partnerships or joint ventures with other small businesses. A joint venture is a partnership made up of two or more companies to serve as a prime contractor. Joint ventures need not be a separate legal entity to compete for federal contracts.

Since federal contracts are often bundled, the varying requirements stated in contracts may be too diverse and numerous for the majority of small businesses. The obvious advantage of partnerships or joint ventures when it comes to federal contracting is the increased capabilities and resources that come with the addition of other businesses. More small businesses on board mean a wider variety of services, capabilities, finances, and employees. And large joint ventures made up of qualified small businesses can still compete for small business contracts.

In certain circumstances, small business contracts that are unavailable to big business are made available to large joint ventures made up of qualified small businesses. This allows small businesses to widen the range of services, similar to big businesses, yet still compete for small business set asides exclusively reserved for smaller business. This arrangement positions each small business in the joint venture to be better suited to compete for federal contracts than single small business entities, as they can pool employees, resources, and finances.

There are some basic rules to forming joint ventures, and all teaming arrangements need to be disclosed in any bids, including the details of who is going to perform which task. For this reason, joint ventures should be formed carefully, documenting proprietary information, roles and responsibilities, and contract duration. Additional joint venture requirements include:

• To compete for HUBZone contracts, all members of the joint venture must be HUBZone certified.

• To compete for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned (SDVO) contracts, only one team member must be SDVOSB certified.

• The maximum number of contracts that a joint venture can submit bids on is three over a two-year period, so a single joint venture would not be able to compete on multiple projects throughout the buildup.

Several joint ventures have already been formed to compete for Guam military projects, including Bulltrack-Watts, JV based in Marysville, California and GSI-ASI, JV LLC out of Honolulu, Hawaii. Both of these joint ventures have been selected by Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific to compete for buildup task orders related to small business set aside contracts. These companies have banded together to form a wide-range of project requirements that might otherwise be individually unachievable.

Small businesses wishing to form joint ventures can find more information from Guam Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), which offers seminars, counseling and training for small businesses seeking to form partnerships with other businesses. will continue to provide insight on federal marketing opportunities during the military buildup.


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