SDB Certification Guidelines To Help Disadvantaged Business Owners


When a business achieves a SDB certification, they are self-representing as a Small Disadvantaged Business. This certification can be vital to receiving federal help for your business, such as the 8(a) Business Development Program. If you are at a social or economic disadvantage, your business may qualify for consideration as a Small Disadvantaged Business. To register for your SDB certification online, follow the steps below.

Meet The Qualifications

The first, and most important, step to achieving SDB certification is to ensure that your business meets the qualifications, just as you would if you were looking for a Farmers Insurance plan. A Small Disadvantaged Business is defined as a business that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are economically and socially disadvantaged. These disadvantaged groups most often tend to be minorities who have been historically subjected to racial or ethnic prejudices in American culture. However, others may qualify for SDB certification as well. These qualified individuals may be physically or mentally handicapped. Others may experience biases and prejudice based on gender. In addition to the social disadvantages, the business owner must also be at an economic disadvantage. This includes those who have been denied access to certain financial opportunities, often due in part to their social disadvantage. If you and your business meet these qualifications, proceed to completing the SDB certification.

Size Requirements

In addition to requirements regarding disadvantaged populations, your business must also meet size guidelines for SDB certification. You are required to operate a small business as defined by the SBA size standards. These standards vary by industry. In order to determine whether or not you meet this particular criteria you must visit the SBA website to determine small business guidelines for your industry. This is the only additional guideline to qualify for Small Disadvantages Business certification.

Go To SAM.Gov

Prior to 2008, if businesses wanted to become certified as a Small Disadvantaged Business they had to apply and register through the SBA. Today however, businesses can self-identify as a Small Disadvantaged Business through the System for Award Management. is an official U.S Government system. On this website, you can register your business, search all past entity records and access important data. The site is free to register. Before you can get your SDB certification, you must create an account. You can register as an individual business owner or as a business entity. Be sure to fill out all of the necessary information as you would if you were purchasing a franchise for veterans. Once you have completed this step, confirm your information. Then, move on to obtaining your business’ SDB certification.


Once you have created an account and you are actively utilizing, getting your business SDB certified is simple. All you will have to do to be considered a Small Disadvantaged Business is check off the available box on each form you fill out. Whether you are applying for a contract exemption or registering your business as an entity on the site, there will be an option to self-identify. When you check the box, you are confirming that your business meets the required qualifications. Upon doing this, you will then be eligible to receive benefits for your business.

Prepare Examples

Although the self-certifying process is much easier than registering with the SBA, it does have its drawbacks. It is possible that your business’ SDB eligibility may come into question. When you self-certify, you should prepare a defense in case your company’s SDB certification is challenged. This defense should include proof of instances in which the business owner, as a socially and economically disadvantaged person, experienced hardship related to these disadvantages. This defense will be good to have on hand should you ever need it to protect your SDB certification status due to additional franchise opportunities you are apart of, or for any other reason.

If you are a socially and economically disadvantaged business owner, there are federal resources for you. When your business receives an SDB certification, you will be eligible for many assistance programs. Self-representing as a Small Disadvantaged Business is simple and incredibly useful. Follow the steps above to begin receiving the benefits you need.

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