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The Non-manufacturing Rule: What’s the deal?

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Inquiry – How does one apply the non-manufacturing rule when most manufacturers of IT products for example are large and the resellers are small?

Response – The non-manufacturing rule, found in part 19 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), is complex, often confusing and difficult to properly apply. The definition of the "non-manufacturer rule" is found in FAR 19.001 and reads as follows:

"Non-manufacturer rule" means that a contractor under a small business set-aside or 8(a) contract shall be a small business under the applicable size standard and shall provide either its own product or that of another domestic small business manufacturing or processing concern (see 13 CFR 121.406).

The three means of obtaining a waiver, along with some commentary, are as follows:

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