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U.S. Department of Commerce

Information for Small Businesses


Small Business (SB)
A firm, including affiliates, that is independently owned and operated, not dominant in the field in which it is competing for government contracts, and in conformity with specific industry criteria defined by the Small Business Administration.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established a size standard for most industries in the economy. The most common size standards are as follow:

--500 employees for most manufacturing and mining industries
--100 employees for all wholesale trade industries
--$6 million for most retail and service industries
--$28.5 million for most general & heavy construction industries
--$12 million for all special trade contractors
--$0.75 million for most agricultural industries

About one-fourth of industries have a size standard that is different from these levels. They vary from $0.75 million to $28.5 million for size standards based on average annual revenues and from 100 to 1,500 employees for size standards based on number of employees. More information on size standards is available from SBA at http://www.sba.gov/size/indexsize.html


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