Wednesday, December 07, 2011

How to prove you're a certified small business

I've written here before about the fact that, unlike for women-owned, or minority-owned businesses, there is no certification, as such, for small business in New York State. Yet, certain vendors that offer set-asides for small businesses are looking for such documentation; calls to our office confirm this trend.

Generally speaking, most government procurement entities allow for self-certification; what one US President once called "trust but verify." It appears, though, that some companies have decided to have small business set-asides, and erroneously believe that ALL states have a more systematic procedure, as California reportedly does, or did. What is a small business to do?

If the business is listed in a database such as Reference USA or a Dun & Bradstreet product, perhaps a record from those sources would do. Perhaps a file business certificate a/k/a a DBA, might be enough. But maybe not.

My favorite suggestion, from one of our SBDC advisors, which one should do after checking out Steps to Registering as a Federal Contractor:
"One way to show small business based on SBA’s size standards is by registering in the CCR (Central Contract Registry). As a business register’s in the CCR and sets up their SBA profile, it will confirm based on their NACIS codes and their revenues whether or not they are considered a small business. Yes, it is a self-certifying process, but also with the SBA profile it is confirmed within the system. The small business can direct the larger business to their CCR registration which show’s SBA’s approval that they are considered a small business."

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