What is a Small Business?

Last Updated on July 20, 2018

What exactly is a “small business?” In what ways does a business qualify as “small?” Is it the size of the building? Is it the amount of revenue a business generates that makes a business “small,” or perhaps the quantity of employees that work in one? In this article, we’ll break down what the term “small business” really means, and the role size plays in managing the financial aspects of smaller vs. larger-scale businesses.

what is a small business?

Who’s to Say Your Business is “Small?”

The phrase “small business” is sometimes taken as a distasteful term by business owners. Just because a business isn’t a sprawling enterprise doesn’t mean its owners don’t have large and ambitious goals for growth. However, the term wasn’t invented as a way to poke fun at entrepreneurs who operate with small buildings and limited numbers of employees.
Instead, the phrase actually refers to a set of standards established by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to determine which businesses qualify for funding from the Small Business Administration (SBA). In order to qualify for government funding options such as an SBA loan, businesses must first meet the standards necessary to be considered small. These size standards set a maximum limit as to the number of employees working for a company, as well as its gross, or “total” annual revenue. These standards fluctuate depending on the industry a business belongs to.
Read on to learn more about these small business size standards in greater detail.

Size Standards for Small Business Qualification

  • Total Annual Revenue: All applicants seeking funding through the SBA will undergo an analysis of all revenue their business generates within a year. This includes capital gained from selling products and services, as well as accrued interest, fees, commissions, reimbursements, payroll taxes, and any and all other sources of revenue. This calculation excludes any capital gains or losses resulting from taxes other than those collected from payroll.
  • Number of Employees: Temporary, part-time, and all other types of employees are counted the same as full-time workers by the SBA when tallying the total amount of employees that work for a given company. Volunteers are the only type of workers that are not considered employees by the SBA, and will not be taken into account when calculating a business’s gross annual income as well.To see a full table that lists all maximum employee numbers and annual revenue caps according to industry, click the link here and download the “Small Business Size Standards by NAICS Industry” excel document. Of course, there are many variables that may affect the answer of whether or not your business is considered small by the NAICS. For further help, or to see if your business is categorized by the NAICS as small, contact the SBA Government Contracting Area Office, or visit https://www.sba.gov/document/support–table-size-standards.

How Does Size Affect Business Funding Methods?

The truth is, whether or not your business is categorized by the government as a big or small business does not matter at all—unless you seek financial help from a government agency. In order to receive any financial help through the SBA, you must first prove your business matches the federal government’s definition of “small business” by completing a lengthy certification process. Once your business is certified, you can then begin the even longer and more complex process of getting approved for, and later receiving funding from a business loan provided by the government.
Fortunately, instead of going through this long and arduous process, alternative financing companies like National Business Capital do not require any certifications, and provide funding options for all businesses regardless of their size, revenue, amount of employees, and credit score.
To NBC, businesses aren’t defined by the size of their wallet, or the size of their staff, but the size of their business goals and dreams for growth and success. The small business loans provided by NBC offer solutions to virtually all business challenges, the chance to take advantage of any opportunity for growth and success.
Without any unnecessary size qualifications necessary, NBC is able to secure financing for businesses in a fraction of the time taken by traditional lenders by finding offers with larger amounts, longer terms, and lower rates within their global marketplace of 75+ lenders.  

How to Get Small Business Loans Through NBC

Simply fill out National Business Capital’s 1-page, 1-minute application, or call (877) 482-3008 to speak with an expert Business Financing Advisor, and ask them how they can help secure your small business with the funding it needs in as little as 24 hours.

National Business Capital & Services is the #1 FinTech marketplace offering small business loans and services. Harnessing the power of smart technology and even smarter people, we’ve streamlined the approval process to secure over $1 billion in financing for small business owners to date.

Our expert Business Financing Advisors work within our 75+ Lender Marketplace in real time to give you easy access to the best low-interest SBA loans, short and long-term loans and business lines of credit, as well as a full suite of revenue-driving business services.

We strengthen local communities one small business loan at a time. For every deal we fund, we donate 10 meals to Feeding America!

About the Author, Matt Carrigan

Matt Carrigan is the Content Writer at National Business Capital & Services. He loves spending every day creating content to educate business owners across every industry about business growth strategies, and how they can access the funding they need!

Disclaimer: The information and insights in this article are provided for informational purposes only, and do not constitute financial, legal, tax, business or personal advise from National Business Capital & Services and the author. Do no rely on this information as advice and please consult with your financial advisor, accountant and/or attorney before making any decisions. If you rely solely in this information it is at your own risk. The information is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge, but there maybe errors, omissions, or mistakes.