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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): Identifying Your Business

Clearly defining your business is important for accurate representation of your firm when submitting contract proposals. In addition, such identification can serve as a marketing strategy. Government agencies are required to establish and (strive to) meet a variety of small business procurement goals. For example, an agency may be looking for a woman-owned business to fulfill specific contract requirements and help it achieve a government-wide, 5% goal of contracting with women-owned small businesses.

Are you a small business?

SBA defines what a small business is. Small business size standards are based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

Determine if you can be classified as a small business.

Are you a woman-owned business?

A woman-owned business is defined as a business that is owned and controlled 51% or more by a woman or women. Currently, a woman-owned certification process is not required for federal contracts. When submitting a proposal, simply self-certify by checking the appropriate box.

Are you a veteran-owned business?

A veteran-owned business is defined as a business that is owned 51% by a veteran(s). There is no veteran-owned certification process to complete, simply self-certify.

Are you a service-disabled veteran-owned business?

A service-disabled business is defined as a business that is owned 51% by one or more service-disabled veterans. The Veterans Administration confirms disability.

Are you a small disadvantaged business? (SDB)

A small disadvantaged business is defined as a firm that is 51% or more owned, controlled, and operated by a person(s) who is socially and economically disadvantaged. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans, and Native Americans are presumed to qualify. Other individuals can qualify if they show by a “preponderance of the evidence” that they are disadvantaged.

Are you a HUBZone business?

The Small Business Administration’s HUBZone Program is designed to promote economic development and employment growth in distressed areas by providing access to more federal contracting opportunities. HUBZone is defined as a “Historically Underutilized Business Zone”. Certified small business firms will have the opportunity to negotiate contracts and to participate in restricted competition limited to HUBZone firms.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

The SIC will be replaced by the six-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. The new NAICS system was developed to reorganize business categories on a production/process-oriented basis. The purpose behind the creation of the NAICS classification system is specifically for governmental regulations and census reports.

Federal Supply Classification (FSC) – identifies products

The federal government uses numeric federal supply class (FSC) codes to describe the supplies, products and commodities it purchases.


See also…

Starting a Business

Business and Finance Law