Term -Small Business Size Standards

When the U.S. Congress first established SBA, the fundamental question was just what numerical definition should SBA use to define small businesses, industry by industry, to determine what businesses were eligible for SBA’s programs.  Over the years SBA has established and revised numerical definitions for all for-profit industries, and this numerical definition is called a “size standard.”  It is almost always stated either as the number of employees or average annual receipts of a business concern.

In addition to establishing eligibility for SBA programs, all federal agencies must use SBA’s size standards for its Federal Government contracts it identifies as a small business.  Agencies must also use SBA’s size standards for their other programs and regulations, unless they are authorized by Federal statute to use something else.

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