One of the first steps in becoming a government contractor is to accurately determine if you can qualify as a small under SBA size standards. In other words, you must be defined as a small business when submitting proposals for small business contracts.
Since all federal agencies must use SBA size standards for contracts identified as small business, you need to select NAICS codes that best describe your business and then determine if the business meet size standards for the selected NAICS codes. SBA size standards are usually stated either in number of employees over the past 12 months, or average annual receipts over the past three years – whichever number represents the largest size of your business right now (including subsidiaries and affiliates). This number is what you will be using to remain classified as a small business for SBA and to bid on federal contracting programs. Size standards are available for every private sector industry in the U.S. economy, with the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) used to identify the industries.
The steps are simple to determine your size:
Find your NAICS code. Go to the NAICS section of the Bureau of the Census website. Identify the NAICS code(s) that best describe(s) your business activities. Also see Identifying Industry Codes for more helpful resources.
Determine your Industry's size standard using the Table of Small Business Size Standards. Match your NAICS code(s) with the appropriate size standard(s)
You can also use our Size Standards Tool to find out if you qualify as a small business.
Your Business Size and Bidding
When bidding for federal government contracts, on the date of your bid you cannot exceed the small business size standard that the procuring agency's contracting officer is specifying for the contract. That may or may not be your principal activity or primary industry. As long as you meet the size standard for that contract, you can qualify as a small business.
For all other small business programs, you cannot exceed the size standard for your primary industry, which is generally the industry that accounts for the largest source of receipts. Check out the Summary of Size Standards by Industry for more information on your business’ industry size standards.
- Office of Size Standards
- 409 3rd St., SW
- Washington, DC 20416
- Phone: (202) 205-6618
- Fax: (202) 205-6390
- E-mail: email@example.com