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How to Figure Out If You Have a “Small Business”

Although you may think your business’ operations are small, there are specific standards a business entity has to meet in order to qualify as a small business. Understanding what these standards are can be critical to determining whether your business qualifies for small business loans (and government contracts/other opportunities).

What Qualifies as a Small Business?

requirements notebook

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), a “small business” is any business entity that either:

  • Has maintained less than a certain number of employees over the past 12 months – This number will vary by industry. For instance, while a small air transportation business can have up to 1,499 employees, a small publishing or Internet company can have up to 499 employees.
  • Has less than a certain amount in average annual receipts – This too varies by industry; however, for most nonmanufacturing industries, this amount is $7.5 million.

Along with meeting either one of the above requirements, a small business must also fulfill the following:

  • The business has to be run for profit (i.e., not be a nonprofit) and has to have a place of operation in the U.S.
  • The business has to primarily operate out of the U.S. or make a substantial contribution to the American economy.
  • The business has to be independently owned and operated and NOT be a dominant entity in its field or industry.

More Important Info about Qualifying as a Small Business

  • The size standards for small businesses are regularly updated to match the changing market.
  • If business owners want to apply for federal contracts, they must certify that their business is small.
  • To certify your business as a small business, your company will need to be registered with the government’s System for Award Management (this is also referred to as “self-certifying” your business).

Contact a Denver Business Lawyer at Downey & Associates, PC

Do you need help setting up a small business, positioning your business to work with the government or resolving any business issues? If so, you can count on Denver Business Lawyer Thomas E. Downey. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the other legal professionals at Downey & Associates, PC, have been providing individuals and businesses in the Denver Metro Area and throughout the U.S. with the highest level of legal service for their litigation, business, property tax and real estate legal issues.

We encourage you to learn more about your rights and options, as well as our various services, by calling us at (303) 813-1111 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page. From our law offices in Centennial, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

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