Office of Government Contracting | Resources

The Office of Government Contracting determines whether a particular business qualifies as a small business under the existing size standards set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations. In general, these standards vary across industries. Currently, the same size standards apply for both procurement and financial assistance programs. A few SBA programs, such as Small Business Investment Companies and Surety Bonds, have unique size standards designed to accommodate their own specialized needs.

With regard to procurement or sales of government property, a procuring (or selling) agency must accept as conclusive SBA's determination as to which firms are a "small business concern." Offerors on a procurement self-certify that they are small. In the case of protest by another firm or interested party questioning the size status of the low offeror, the SBA contracting officer will refer the protest to the appropriate area office.

The area office makes initial size determinations within very tight time constraints (usually within 10 days of receiving a protest). Area office determinations may be appealed to the Office of Hearing and Appeals at SBA headquarters in Washington, D.C. by any of the interested parties.

When SBA determines that a company is “other than small,” it annotates the company’s System for Award Management (SAM) profile.  Interested parties can search the SAM database to verify a company’s eligibility as a small business.

For questions or additional information on size standards:

Office of Size Standards
U.S. Small Business Administration
Office of Government Contracting
409 3rd Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20416

Phone: 202-205-6618
E-mail: Office of Size Standards