Recently, JHC Technology, Inc. submitted an RFP to a Federal Government Agency. As we hope all contracting officers do their due diligence, the reviewing contracting officer from the agency contacted us to verify our small business status. Having previously successfully registered our small business with SAM and being a SDVOSB verified by the Department of Veterans Affairs, we all looked at each other with a raised eyebrow and asked the same question – why can’t the contracting officer just look up our small business status on SAM.gov and figure out that we really are a small business? It turns out that the answer is not clearly evident on any company’s profile in SAM. It actually requires the contracting officer, and anyone else looking for this information, to dig a bit deeper into the site to find out.
SAM does not actually post the small business concern in the general information tab of a company’s profile because the small business classification depends on the North American Industrial Classification (NAICS) code the business utilizes. In SAM, each NAICS code has a revenue cap assigned that determines whether a company is considered a small business under that code. So while you may consider yourself a small business under the SBA general standard, SAM has a different classification in mind.
So, how do you find an entity’s small business status?
1. Go to https://sam.gov
2. Search for the entity under “Search Records”
3. In the next screen, enter either the company name, the DUNS Number or CAGE Code for the business you are trying to find.
4. On the search results page, click on “View Details” for the entity you need to view
5. In the left menu bar, click on “Reps & Certs”
6. Scroll down to 52.212-3 or 52.219-1 and click on the provision. In some browser versions, this does not appear to be a hyper link. Scroll your mouse over the provision and click on it anyway and this will expand the record.
7. Scroll down to view the NAICS table, where you will see listed the company’s NAICS code, name of the code, any exemptions, the revenue size standard that sets the cap for small business, and whether the company is a small business under that particular NAICS code.Additionally, written under the table in section (1) and (2), you will be able to see if the business is a small business as a whole as well as whether the business is a veteran owned small business. Below is a sample of the NAICS chart you will see:
According to SAM, contracting officers are required to check the certifications created by each business when considering a contract award. While it may be understandable for many reasons why each contracting officer needs to complete this verification, it begs the question of whether the Federal Government has educated and trained the contracting officers on the use of their brand new site. Luckily, our contracting officer contacted us to inquire about our small business status, however, I think we would have all been very disappointed if we lost this bid based on the unclear nature of the SAM site.