The SBA has established the following standards for a small business. While there are many exceptions, these are the primary size standards by industry:
- 500 employees for most manufacturing and mining industries, and
- $7 million in average annual receipts for most non-manufacturing industries.
Understanding the SBA standards for small businesses can help ensure the company's eligibility for these important loan opportunities. While most small manufacturing concerns never approach the limit of 500 employees, these small business enterprises should exercise caution when acquiring competing firms or planning expansions to their existing operations to remain in compliance with this SBA standard for small business. Both part-time and full-time employees are considered as full employees for purposes of these size standards. Small businesses must also maintain average annual receipts under $7 million. For companies in existence for three years or more, this figure is determined using the average annual income for the past three years; companies that have been in operation for fewer than three years must figure their annual receipts by dividing all received income by the number of years the company has been in business. The SBA instituted these small business standards to ensure an even playing field for companies throughout a particular industry. In order to qualify for loans and other initiatives offered by the SBA, small businesses must not be the dominant company in their particular industry. This is true even if they meet the employee count and annual income requirements to be considered a small business.
The regulations and standards for small businesses can prove confusing and overwhelming for some owners and administrators. CNF Exchange can help company owners and operators manage these regulatory requirements and determine their eligibility for small business loans and other SBA programs. The exclusive services provided by CNF Exchange can provide an added level of security for businesses interested in acquiring these government-backed lending arrangements and can allow business owners to acquire competing firms and manage their ongoing operations in the most advantageous way. The knowledgeable and professional staff members at CNF Exchange can provide insight into SBA small business standards for business owners throughout the life of their companies.