HELP

Ask a question Ask a Question
Give feedback Give Feedback
1-800-333-4636 1-800-FED-INFO
Browse knowledgebase Browse Knowledgebase

TOOLS

Browse knowledgebase Start a Business
Browse knowledgebase Learn About New Health Care Changes
Browse knowledgebase Find Opportunities
Browse knowledgebase Browse resource for Veterans
Small Business Administration Tools SBA Tools
Sign up for email updates from SBAReceive helpful business tips and upcoming events in your area.


Contracting

article

Summary of Size Standards by Industry Sector

SUMMARY OF SIZE STANDARDS BY INDUSTRY SECTOR

Small business size standards define the largest that a business concern, including all of its affiliates, may be and yet qualify as a small business concern for most SBA and other federal programs,  The SBA has established two widely used size standards – 500 employees for most manufacturing and mining industries and $7.0 million in average annual receipts for many nonmanufacturing industries.  However, many exceptions exist.  For the applicable size standard, see the SBA’s Small Business Size Regulations, 13 CFR §121.201, or the Table of Small Business Size Standards matched to NAICS industries for which SBA has established standards.  (SBA periodically changes a size standard for an industry.  The process for changing a size standard is discussed later in this Guide.)  The size standards for major industries or industry groups within various NAICS industry sectors are summarize below. 

Agriculture

  • Majority of agricultural industries have a size standard of $750,000 in average annual receipts, which is set by the statute.
  • Several of the remaining industries - $7  million

Mining

  • All mining industries, except mining services, have a size standard of 500 employees.

Utilities

  • Fossil and nuclear electric power generation – 750 employees
  • Hydroelectric power generation – 500 employees
  • Renewable electric power generation – 250 employees
  • Electric power distribution – 1,000 employees
  • Natural gas distribution – 500 employees

Construction

  • General building and heavy construction contractors – $33.5 million average annual receipts.
  • Special trade construction contractors – $14.0 million average annual receipts.
  • Land Subdivision – $25.5 million in average annual receipts. 
  • Dredging is – $25.5 million in average annual receipts.

Manufacturing

  • For approximately 75 percent of the manufacturing industries, the size standard is 500 employees. 
  • A small number have a 1,500 employee size standard
  • The balance have a size standard of either 750 or 1,000 employees.

Wholesale Trade

  • For all wholesale trade industries, a size standard of 100 employees is applicable for loans and other federal programs.(except federal procurement programs) 
  • ·When a wholesaler or distributor is acting as a dealer on Federal contracts under a small business set-aside, SDVOSB set‑aside, WOSB or EDWOSB set-aside, or 8(a) contract, the size standard is 500 employees and the firm must deliver the product of a small domestic manufacturer, as set forth in SBA’s nonmanufacturer rule, unless waived by the SBA for a particular class of product.
  • However, for those procurements made under the Simplified Acquisition Procedures of the FAR and where the purchase does not exceed $25,000, the nonmanufacturer may deliver the goods of any domestic manufacturer.

Retail Trade

  • The size standard for about one‑third of the retail trade industries is $7.0 million in average annual receipts. 
  • A few, such as grocery stores, department stores, motor vehicle dealers (except new car dealers) and electrical appliance dealers, have higher size standards. 
  • None is above $35.5 million.
  • The size standard for New Car Dealers is 200 employees and Fuel Dealers is 50 employees.
  • When a retailer is acting as a dealer on Federal contracts under a small business set-aside, SDVOSB set‑aside, WOSB or EDWOSB set-aside, or 8(a) contract, the size standard is 500 employees and the firm must deliver the product of a small domestic manufacturer, as set forth in SBA’s nonmanufacturer rule, unless waived by the SBA for a particular class of product. 
  • However, for those procurements made under the Simplified Acquisition Procedures of the FAR and where the purchase does not exceed $25,000, the nonmanufacturer may deliver the goods of any domestic manufacturer.

Transportation and Warehousing

  • Air transportation – 1,500 employees
  • Water transportation – 500 employees
  • Truck transportation - $25.5 million in average annual receipts
  • Transit and ground passenger transportation - $14 million
  • Pipeline transportation of crude oil and refined petroleum products – 1,500 employees
  • Support activities for air transportation - $30 million
  • Support activities for water transportation - $35.5 million
  • Warehousing and storage - $25.5 million

Information

  • Publishing industries (except software and internet publishers) – 500 employees
  • Broadcasting - $35.5 million in average annual receipts
  • Telecommunications (except satellite) – 1,500 employees

Finance and Insurance

  • Depository institutions and credit card issuing companies - $500 million in average assets
  • Most non-depository institutions - $35.5 million in average annual receipts
  • Direct property and casualty insurance carriers – 1,500 employees
  • Other direct insurance carriers - $35.5 million
  • Funds, trusts and other financial vehicles - $30 million

Real Estate and Rental Leasing

  • Lessors of real estate - $25.5 million in average annual receipts
  • Leasing of building space to Federal Government by owners - $35.5 million
  • Office of real estate agents and brokers - $7 million
  • Activities related to real estate - $7 million
  • Automotive equipment rental and leasing - $35.5 million
  • Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment rental and leasing - $30 million

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

  • Legal services - $10 million in average annual receipts
  • Accounting and related services - $19 million
  • Architectural services - $7 million
  • Engineering, surveying and mapping services - $14 million
  • Specialized design services - $7 million
  • Computer system design and related services - $25.5 million
  • Management, scientific and technical consulting services - $14 million
  • Advertising, public relations and related services - $14 million
  • Research and development in biotechnology – 500 employees
  • Research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences (except biotechnology) – 500 to 1,500 employees
  • Research and development in social sciences and humanities - $19 million in average annual receipts

Management of Companies and Enterprises - $19 million in average annual receipts

Administrative Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services

  • Employment services - $25.5 million in average annual receipts
  • Business support services - $14 million
  • Travel arrangement and reservation services - $19 million
  • Investigation and security services - $19 million
  • Other support services - $19 million
  • Waste collection, treatment and disposal - $35 million
  • Remediation services - $19 million
  • Environmental remediation services – 500 employees

Health Care and Social Assistance

  • Office of physicians - $10 million in average receipts
  • Office of dentists - $7 million
  • Office of other health practitioners - $7 million
  • Hospitals - $35.5 million

Other Sectors

Other sectors include

  • Education,
  • Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
  • Accommodation and Food Services
  • Other Services
  • More than half of the industries in these sectors have a size standard of $7 million in average annual receipts
  • Other most common size standards are $10 million, followed by $25.5 million, $14 million, and $35.5 million.

For specific size standards as of January 1 of each year refer to the size regulations in 13 CFR §121.201.  SBA maintains on its website a current table of small business size standards that includes all changes and modifications made since January 1 of the most recent year.  (See www.sba.gov/size.

Groups: