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The U.S. Small Business Administration Small Business Size Standards

The Small Business Administration (SBA) established size standards that define the maximum size a business (including its subsidiaries and affiliates) may be to remain classified as a “small business” for SBA and federal contracting programs. The SBA’s small business standards are classified by industry, and are based on the number of employees or the average annual receipts. The industry classifications are based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), which is maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau. The SBA small business size standards are codified in 47 CFR § 121.201 by NAICS industry and NAICS code. Businesses can assess whether their business is small and locate the NAICS code and size standard for their industry using the tools and information the SBA provides on the Table of Size Standards support page.

The Federal Communications Commission primarily uses the NAICS industry classifications and the SBA small business size standards when considering the impact of rulemakings on small businesses pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act. When necessary, in consultation with the SBA’s Office of Size Standards and Office of Advocacy as required by 13 CFR § 121.903 of the SBA’s small business regulations, the Commission can adopt size standards that are different from those established by the SBA. Prior to adopting any small business size standards that differ from the SBA’s size standards, the Commission provides public notice and the opportunity to comment on the proposed size standards pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act and the SBA’s small business regulations.