Small Business


Small Business
There is no formal certification for small businesses. Rather, a business that is at or below the Size Standard for the NAICS code associated with a procurement can self-certify as a Small Business for that procurement. The Size Standards for each NAICS code can be found at Each Size Standard is based on either average annual receipts or average employment.

Until January 6, 2022, for the Size Standards that are based upon average annual receipts, a business can choose to use either the total receipts over the last 5 years or the total receipts over the last 3 years to calculate its yearly average annual receipts. After January 6, 2022, a business will be required to use its total receipts over the last 5 years.

For Size Standards based upon the average employment, an average number of employees is calculated based upon numbers of employees for each of the pay periods for the preceding completed 12 calendar months.

Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OBSDU)
The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is an advocacy and advisory office at each federal agency responsible for promoting the use of small, small disadvantaged, 8(a), women-owned, veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, and HUBZone small businesses in the acquisition process.

A contact list is available at It is also possible to locate an OBSDU office within an agency of interest at

For additional information on this topic, please contact our staff of experts at or 414-270-3600



Small Business Size Standards: A Historical Analysis of Contemporary Issues – from the Congressional Research Service – Updated May 28, 2021 [June 2021]

Levels of Accountability: What Federal Contractors Should Know About Small Business Subcontracting Plans and Compliance Reviews [April 2021]