Skip Navigation

USDA Subcontracting Program

In accordance with Public Law 95-507, the Subcontracting Program requires prime contractors (except small businesses) with contracts over $550,000 ($1 million for construction) to establish subcontracting plans that provide the maximum utilization of small business concerns. Goals for subcontracting awards to small, SDB, HUBZone, Service Disabled Veteran-Owned and women-owned firms are negotiated with prime contractors. The subcontract goal achievements are monitored semiannually, with annual reports submitted through SBA to the President of the United States.

The successful offeror or bidder on contracts exceeding $550,000 must submit, before an award is made, an acceptable subcontracting plan setting percentage and dollar goals for the award of subcontracts to small and disadvantaged businesses. The OSDBU reviews all subcontract plans submitted by prime contractors to ensure compliance with the requirements of Section 211.

Subcontracting can provide small businesses with opportunities to participate in USDA contracting opportunities by participating in contracts that they cannot win on their own. The Department awards billions of dollars annually to prime contractors. Requirements over the simplified acquisition threshold must agree in the contract that small businesses (including veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, HUBZone, disadvantaged, and women-owned businesses) will have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in the contract consistent with its efficient performance. Furthermore, large prime contractors receiving a Federal contract exceeding $550,000 ($1 million in the case of construction), and which offers subcontracting opportunities, must establish subcontracting plans with goals that provide maximum opportunities to these small businesses.

OSDBU staff and the Small Business Administration, Procurement Center Representative review contracts and subcontracting plans, and recommend qualified small business concerns to assist prime contractors in their subcontracting goal attainment.

The USDA Subcontracting Directory will be posted on the OSDBU website.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a Subcontracting Network website called SUB-Net that is used by prime contractors to post subcontracting opportunities. These opportunities are often reserved for small business and they may include either solicitations or other notices - for example, notices of sources sought for teaming partners and subcontractors on future contracts. The site is designed primarily as a place for large businesses to post solicitations and notices. On SUB-Net, you can search for opportunities by SIC code, NAICS code, generic description or solicitation number.

SBA also has a Subcontracting Opportunities Directory which is an older version of Sub-Net.

Active membership in a Chamber of Commerce and trade associations, as well as attendance at procurement conferences and seminars, will help you meet representatives of companies that might be a good match for you, or help you meet people who might refer you to another firm that is a good match for you.