What is the SBA’s definition of a small business?

The SBA (Small Business Association) defines a small business as one that is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field. Depending on the industry, size standard eligibility is based on the average number of employees for the preceding 12-months or on sales volume averaged over a three-year period. Examples of SBA general size standards include the following:

  • Manufacturing: Maximum number of employees may range from 500 to 1500, depending on the type of product manufactured.
  • Wholesaling: Maximum number of employees may not exceed 100.
  • Services: Annual receipts may not exceed $2.5 to $21.5 million, depending on the particular service being provided.
  • Retailing: Annual receipts may not exceed $5.0 to $21.5 million, depending on the particular product being provided.
  • General & Heavy Construction: General construction annual receipts may not exceed $13.5 to $17 million, depending on the type of construction.
  • Special Trade Construction: Annual receipts may not exceed $7 million.
  • Agriculture: Annual receipts may not exceed $0.5 to $5.0 million, depending on the agricultural product.

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