Federal agencies are required to award at least 23 percent of all purchases to small businesses, which means certifying your business may increase your chances of winning a government contract. Agencies even set aside some procurements that only certain businesses can apply for.
These firms include:
• Small businesses
• Majority-owned and run by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals called Small Disadvantaged Businesses and 8(a) Certified firms
• Those whose primary locations are in disadvantaged urban or rural communities known as HubZone Businesses
• Majority-owned by women, called Women-Owned Small Businesses
• Majority-owned by service-disabled veterans, known as Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
All of the above must meet small business size standards. Visit the Small Business Administration (SBA) site to determine if your business qualifies. All you need is your North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) number, number of employees and annual receipts.
Each of the small business certifications has specific requirements for qualification. Visit the SBA site for more information on individual programs.
Think your company is too big? You may be surprised at how large a company can be and still be considered “small”—and therefore eligible for numerous contract opportunities.
OPEN Forum: Government Contracting is a program designed to connect small business owners to government contracting opportunities, which are an often-overlooked revenue stream. To learn more about how to take advantage of this $500 billion opportunity, visit www.openforum.com/governmentcontracting.