What’s the difference between a consultant and a subcontractor? Most assume that the answer depends on the type of vendor, and that a consultant is an independent contractor or 1099, whereas a subcontractor is an actual company. That is not exactly the case, especially for government contractors.
Per FAR 3.502-1, “a subcontractor:
- Means any person, other than the prime contractor, who offers to furnish or furnishes any supplies, materials, equipment, or services of any kind under a prime contract or a subcontract entered into in connection with such prime contract.
- Includes any person who offers to furnish or furnishes general supplies to the prime contractor or a higher tier subcontractor.”
It is important to be aware that a subcontractor requires a full solicitation, just as a prime contractor would respond to an RFP. This must include a statement of work and list of deliverables. Consultants do not have a specified statement of work – they can work on multiple projects and do not have specific deliverables. It is important to differentiate the two in your chart of accounts and ensure your subcontract and consultant agreements are being managed in compliance with the FAR.