Many Veteran and Service-disabled Veteran small business owners have been told that they need to make sure their company is certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). And for a number of businesses, obtaining a small business certification is vital to the success of their company. But in actuality, the majority of Veteran-owned small business don’t require the certification.
A small business certification is not necessary for companies providing goods and services to the general public. But if a small business ever wants to obtain a government contract, a small business certification is mandatory.
The federal government sets aside nearly $100 billion worth of contracts intended solely for competition among small businesses, including: service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, disadvantaged small businesses, and women-owned small businesses. To qualify for these contracts, certification is a must.
The government maintains size standards that define the maximum size that a company (and its affiliates) can be to qualify as a small business. Company size is determined through either the number of employees or average annual receipts. Typically, most manufacturing companies with 500 employees or fewer and most non-manufacturing businesses with average annual receipts under $7 million will qualify as a small business. However, there are exceptions that should be viewed on the SBA’s Small Business Size Standards.
According to the SBA, small businesses that want to compete for government contracts need to complete the following actions:
- Obtain a Dun & Bradstreet (D-U-N-S) Number. The D-U-N-S number is a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business. It is free for all businesses required to register with the federal government for contracts or grants. Visit the D-U-N-S Request Service to register.
- Register your business with the federal government’s System of Award Management (SAM). This registration is sometimes referred to as “self-certifying” your small business, and is the primary database of vendors doing business with the federal government. Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR) require that all would-be vendors be registered in SAM prior to the awarding of any contract.
To find out more about certifying your small business, SAM, D-U-N-S numbers and obtaining government contracts for your small business, visit the Register for Government Contracting page at www.sba.gov
The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!
VAMBOA: Certifying Your Small Business: By Debbie Gregory