Have you heard about small business certification? Do you actually need to certify your business as small?
You do if you want to take advantage of selling to the government (a.k.a. government contracting). The federal government sets aside a variety of contracts for competition among small businesses, women-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and disadvantaged small businesses. You must certify your business in order to qualify for these government “set asides”.
To help you assess whether you fall into the SBA’s definition of small business, use SBA’s “Am I a Small Business?” online tool. You might be surprised what qualifies as a small business.
The size standard also applies to women-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and disadvantaged small businesses. Read more about these set-aside programs and eligibility requirements here:
- “Service-Disabled Veteran-Woned Small Business Concerns”
- “Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program”
- “8(a) Business Development Program for Disadvantaged Businesses” (this blog also does a great job of explaining how to get certified for this program: “8(a) Certification & Minority Business Certification-How Does a Business Get Certified?”)
In addition to offering set-asides to disadvantaged businesses as well as service-disabled veteran- and women-owned businesses, the federal government also has programs that help small businesses in urban and rural communities compete for government business. One of these programs, known as HUBZone, has its own certification process. If you think this might benefit your business, read more about it here: “HUBZone Certification-How Does a Business Get Certified?”
State governments also have a certification process that helps small businesses compete for state government contracts. Refer to this list of “State Government Certifying Agencies”.
For more information on how to sell your products or services to the government, visit the “Government Contracting Guide” and take advantage of the online courses in the SBA “Government Contracting Classroom”.
Do you have an interest in obtaining government contracts? If so, have you had any luck? Did you find this blog helpful?