Do Employers Count Employees of Foreign Affiliates When Determining Eligibility Under the Paycheck Protection Program?
Applicants in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Business Loan Programs (which include the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)) are generally subject to the affiliation rule in 13 CFR Section 121.301, subject to certain statutory waivers. These rules provide that in determining a concern’s size, the SBA counts the employees of both the concern whose size is at issue and all of its domestic and foreign affiliates, regardless of whether the affiliates are organized for profit. Based on this language, an employer would be required to count all employees (including those of foreign affiliates) in determining whether an entity has 500 or fewer employees for the PPP.
Yet in an Interim Final Rule, the SBA has indicated that an entity generally is eligible for the PPP if it, combined with its affiliates, has 500 or fewer employees whose principal place of residence is in the United States. This language in the Interim Final Rule directly conflicts with the way employees are counted under the affiliation rules in 13 CFR Section 121.301.
We are hoping that the SBA will provide clarifying guidance, but it appears (at least for now) that domestic entities with a foreign affiliate(s) who previously thought they did not qualify for the PPP because of being required to count foreign employees may indeed be eligible for loans under the PPP.