Los Alamos National Labs with logo 2021

Small Business

The Small Business Program promotes LANL’s commitment to supplier diversity.

Small Business Commitment

Los Alamos National Laboratory has maintained a strong institutional commitment to small business subcontracting over the years, and it is our intention that we continue that commitment.

Small Business Program

The small business program works to accomplish the Laboratory’s small business goals.

The Vision

Setting new standards and small business initiatives within the DOE/NNSA complex that will contribute to developing and strengthening strategic partners for today's and tomorrow's national security challenges.

The Mission

To provide small business advocacy and promote utilization that strengthens the capacity, capability, and competency of the small businesses to assist the Laboratory in fulfilling its goal of protecting the nation.

What we do:

  • Provide oversight of the LANL Small Business Subcontracting Program as defined in Appendix E of the Prime Contract to ensure we stay in compliance with the LANL Subcontracting Plan.
  • Negotiate LANL small business subcontracting goals with DOE/NNSA annually.
  • Provide oversight of the Regional Purchasing Program as defined in Appendix M of the Prime Contract.
  • Track and report our goals and accomplishments to SBA, DOE, NNSA, other government agencies, and State and local officials as required.
  • Develop source lists of small businesses wishing to do business with the Laboratory.
  • Provide training and briefings on the Small Business Program to laboratory personnel to ensure personnel are acquainted with the small business subcontracting plan, our policies, and prime contract requirements.
  • Provide assistance to LANL procurement and requester personnel in locating small businesses to meet procurement needs.
  • Maintain an outreach program by sponsoring and attending regional and national conferences, trade fairs, and other functions to locate qualified small business sources to meet our procurement needs.


In 2019 The Laboratory spent $540,602,787 of its procurement dollars with small businesses, 69.7% of its total spend.

2019 Small Business Spend Category Analysis

  • 2% came from Small Disadvantaged Businesses
  • 4% came from Woman-Owned Small Businesses
  • 8% came from Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
  • 7% came from HUB Zone Businesses
  • 8% came from Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
  • 0% came from Native American-Owned Businesses; and
  • 2% came from 8(a) Businesses

For more information on different small business classifications, see Classifications section below.

Are you a good fit for LANL? Need to find out more?

We want to be sure you can find a good fit with our procurement opportunities and can find what you need to present your products and services to us—and then continue a great relationship together.

What we research:

  • Energy
  • Nuclear safeguards and security
  • Biomedical science
  • Computational science
  • Environmental protection and remediation
  • Materials science

What we procure:

  • Research and Development Studies
  • Facility Construction and Architectural/Engineering Services
  • Equipment - Maintenance and Repair
  • Support Services and Staff Augmentation
  • Mechanical/Electronic Fabrication
  • Commercial Products and Services
  • Environmental Restoration

To ensure small business concerns can compete fairly for contracts at LANL, we provide the following initiatives:

Competitive fairness initiatives:

  • Supplier training on "How to do business with LANL"
  • Buyer training to identify small business resources and comply with small business policy
  • Annual negotiation and trending of LANL's socioeconomic goals
  • Identify and match small business concerns to LANL's Procurement opportunities
  • Participate in procurement trade fairs and small business conferences
  • Maintain an active role in establishing contacts with minority and small business trade associations
  • Ensure compliance on the use of small business concerns
  • Manage supplier inquiries and communicate small business issues and initiatives through newsletters, websites, and procurement committees

Are you a Small Business looking for Assistance?

Have you considered a Mentor Protégé program? Your company may be eligible for assistance.

Mentor-Protégé Program

Under the Mentor Protégé program we provide developmental assistance to protégé companies in an effort to enhance their capabilities in building a solid, established, and successful business.

The Mentor-Protégé Program is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) initiative designed to encourage and assist:

Mentor-Protégé Program beneficiaries: 

  • Small disadvantaged firms certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (8(a))
  • Other small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses
  • HUBZone
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Other minority institutions of higher learning, and small business concerns owned and controlled by service disabled veterans in enhancing their capabilities to perform contracts and subcontracts for DOE and other Federal agencies

The program is established and is consistent with U.S. Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation (DEAR) 919.70.

The Mentor-Protégé Program Model is designed to provide developmental assistance to the protégé companies in an effort to enhance their capabilities in the fundamental aspects of building a solid, established, and successful business. Successful implementation of the program should enhance the companies’ overall capabilities to a level to allow for ultimate performance and the ability to compete in any market.

NOTE: This program is developmental in nature and is intended for small businesses to develop/improve their capabilities. This program is not intended to be a quick path for obtaining subcontracts. While participating in the program, companies should take the advice of the mentor(s) to improve their processes, policies, procedures, etc., in order to better position themselves to be a successful subcontractor after graduating from the program. Small businesses with the primary purpose of obtaining non-competitive subcontracts while in the program are discouraged from participation.

Application/Selection Process

The Los Alamos National Laboratory Mentor Protégé Program is a two year program with the possibility of three one year options, total time in the program will not exceed five years.

The Laboratory will select one small business per year from the applications submitted for the Mentor Protégé Program.

Applications for the mentor protégé program will only be accepted during the month of August each year.

Small businesses interested in applying for the Los Alamos National Laboratory Mentor Protégé Program will complete the Triad National Security, LLC Application for Prospective Protégé and submit the application to: Business@lanl.gov.

Criteria for TRIAD/Los Alamos National Laboratory Prospective Protégés

  • Company must be an 8(a), small disadvantaged business (SDB), women-owned small business (WOSB), HUBZone, service disabled veteran owned small business (SDVOSB), historically black college and university (HBCU), or other minority educational institution (MEI).
  • Company must be US citizen owned.
  • Are of good character.
  • Company size is less than half the size standard corresponding to its primary NAICS code.
  • Be eligible for receipt of government/federal contracts.
  • Must not have been awarded any federal government prime contracts valued over >SBA 8(a) program thresholds of $6.5M including options for construction contracts and $4M for non-construction contracts.
  • Have been in business for at least two years prior to application for enrollment.
  • Have at least one existing contract in place with the Laboratory by 31 October, of the application year.
  • Company capabilities match the mission and goals of the Laboratory.
  • Protégé selection must benefit LANL Projects and needs (i.e. companies that best meet Los Alamos National Laboratory current and future needs).
  • If Company has ever participated in any other mentor protégé program they are not eligible for the TRIAD/Los Alamos National Laboratory Mentor Protégé Program (e.g. DOE, DOD, SBA, etc.).
    • If a company was involved in a mentor protégé program and the agreement was terminated due to lack of mentor involvement and at no fault by the protégé, the company must provide documentation and a letter from the mentor concerning the agreement and reason for termination. Then based on the information provided the application will be reviewed for possible exception to the above rule.
  • Must have necessary business and technical capabilities to perform work.
  • Must have an approved accounting system.
  • Must have experience with the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).
  • Be able to provide verification of a strong financial condition.
  • Must have adequate bonding capacity (for construction).
  • Must have a good safety record.
  • Exhibit competent management organization, staff level, and technical experience for the purpose of performing and completing project-oriented assignments.
  • Prove company ownership and management commitment and involvement to the program.
  • Provide at least two business references related to performance of projects or business practices.

The application will be reviewed for completeness; incomplete applications will be cause for rejection. Completed applications will then be reviewed to determine if the small business meets the general criteria for the program, paying particular attention to “Protégé selection must benefit Laboratory Projects and needs”. If the application fits the needs, then the application will go to a review board.

The review board will review and evaluate each application in relation to laboratory requirements: 

Review Board requirements

  • Will there be a need at the Laboratory that a small business could perform either as a sub-contractor or lower tier subcontractor currently or in the future.
  • Look at socio-economic status of company in regards to laboratory/complex socio-economic goals.
  • Identifying specific programs or projects that could support the protégé.
  • Reviewing submitted applications and developing a short list of candidate companies.
  • Conducting due diligence on short-listed companies.
  • Select company for the mentor protégé program.

Once a company is selected for the program a mentor will be assigned and an agreement will be completed for the period of the mentorship.

Companies not selected may request a debriefing concerning their non-selection to the program. Requests for a debriefing must be received in writing within 15 days of notification of non-selection.

Non-selected companies may reapply during the next submittal period.

For inquires about the Los Alamos National Laboratory Mentor Protégé program please contact the Los Alamos National Laboratory Small Business Program Office at (505) 667-4419 or by email business@lanl.gov.


Get clarity on common terms (and is your business defined by one?)

Below are a few small business procurement definitions as stated by the Small Business Administration and the Federal Acquisition Regulation:

Small business

  • An independently owned and operated entity
  • Not dominant in the field of operation in which it is bidding on government contracts
  • Meets any applicable criteria concerning number of employees or annual receipts established by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Concerns are "affiliates" when one either controls or has the power to control the other or when a third party (or parties) controls or has the power to control both.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) establishes size standards on an industry-by-industry basis (Ref 13 CFR 121). Small business size standards are determined by classifications of the product or services as found in the NAICS Manual - refer to the NAICS category located in the business section of the homepage. Also reference the NAICS table of codes.

The principal product or services provided to the Laboratory should be the classification used to determine small business status particularly if a business provides products and services from one or more industry classifications.

Small disadvantaged business

A small business that must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual or individuals. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans, and Native Americans are presumed to qualify. Other individuals can qualify if they show by a "preponderance of the evidence" that they are disadvantaged. All individuals must have a net worth of less than $750,000, excluding the equity of the business and primary residence. Successful applicants must also meet applicable size standards for small businesses in their industry.

Woman-owned small business

A small business concern that is (1) at least 51 percent owned by one or more women; or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more women; and (2) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more women. 

Veteran-owned small business

A small business concern that is (1) not less than 51 percent of which is owned by one or more veterans or, in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more veterans; and (2) the management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more veterans.

Service-disabled veteran-owned small business

A small business concern that is (1) not less than 51 percent of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans or, in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans; and (2) the management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans.

8(a) business

A firm owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and eligible to receive federal contracts under the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program and that appears on the List of Qualified 8(a) Small Business Concerns maintained by the Small Business Administration (SBA). To learn more about the program, visit the SBA's 8(a) program website.

HUBZone business

A historically underutilized business zone (HUBZone) that is an area located within one or more qualified census tracts, qualified non-metropolitan counties, or lands within the external boundaries of an Indian reservation, and that appears on the List of Qualified HUBZone Small Business Concerns maintained by the SBA. The SBA issues certifications to those concerns that qualify. To learn more about the program, visit the SBA's HUBZone website.

What are the benefits of getting a HUBZone certification?

Competition is limited for certain contracts to businesses in historically underutilized business zones, and preferential consideration is also given to those businesses in a HUBZone area.

To see if your business is in a HUBZone area review the SBA Hubzone Map.

Where can small businesses market their business?

Small Businesses can register their companies in the System for Award Management database.The database is an excellent resource tool for government and other agencies to locate small businesses that can meet their procurement needs.


Outreach Events

The Small Business Program Office knows the importance of small business outreach events. The Lab partners with various organizations to support small business development and growth in accordance with the objectives of the Small Business Administration and the Lab's Prime Contract requirements. Small Business outreach events allow the SBPO to meet with small businesses to share forecasted business opportunities, discuss Lab programs, and what capability and capacity small businesses have that would support Lab programmatic requirements. Information is then brought back to the Laboratory and shared with procurement specialists and technical requestors.


Recorded Trainings for Small Businesses


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a NAICS Code?

The North American Industry Classification  System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting,  analyzing, and publishing statistical data related  to the U.S. business economy. 

A NAICS code that represents a Wholesale  Trade (NAICS Sector 42) or Retail Trade (NAICS  Sector 44-45) shall not be used by federal  government contractors when subcontracting for  the acquisition of supplies.

How do I find my NAICS Code?

The NAICS table of codes can be found at: NAICS Codes

What is SAM?

The System for Award Management (SAM)  is a government portal that enables secure  registration as a potential supplier of products or services to LANL and other government agencies  and contractors. Any business interested in providing products or services to LANL must  be registered in SAM. Registration in SAM  requires completion of all information including  checking all appropriate NAICS Codes and  Social Economic Categories. 

How do I register with SAM?

Go to SAM to register your business.

Note: There is NO FEE to register, or maintain your registration, in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov). If you receive an email from a company claiming to represent SAM.gov, be cautious. If you get an email from a company offering to help you register in SAM.gov asking you to contact them and pay them money, be cautious. These messages are not from the Federal Government. It is FREE TO REGISTER in SAM.gov for any entity.

For free assistance with SAM registration, please contact a local Small Business Development Center(SDBC), you can find a center near you at SBDC New Mexico or a local Procurement Technical Assistance Center(PTAC) or Program(PTAP).              

Does my business qualify as a small business?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) establishes size standards on an industry-by-industry basis. View the standards at The US Small Business Administration tool for Small Business Size Standards matched to NAICS Codes. The SBA is a great resource to assist in government contracting, and can also assist in providing information on how to qualify and obtain small business certifications. To find your local SBA office visit the SBA website.