Achieving Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) Self-Certification in SAM


Achieving Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) Self-Certification in SAM:

By: M. Gonzalez – M&A SDC

In your pursuit of Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) certification within the System for Award Management (SAM), the process may seem a bit elusive, but we’re here to demystify it. SDB certification is a valuable designation for businesses seeking federal contracts and achieving it can be straightforward if you follow the correct steps.

1. Start with Basic SAM Registration: To begin, ensure you’ve completed the basic SAM registration. Within SAM, you’ll need to
provide information in three crucial areas, both for your “global” and “local” profiles:
A. NAICS Codes: List all the NAICS codes relevant to your business activities. Designate one as the primary code that best represents your primary business focus.
B. Total Number of Employees: Provide your total headcount. If your workforce experiences seasonal fluctuations, use the annual average number.
C. Total Revenues: Report your total revenues from all sources. Once you’ve filled in these details, SAM will compare them against the Small Business Size Standards to determine your business size in various industries. This process may take a few days.

2. Wait for SAM to Update: During this waiting period, SAM will calculate your business size and open access to edit the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) profile. This is where you can enrich your profile with a capability statement, federal references, searchable keywords, and more. Keep in mind that any updates to your NAICS codes, employee count, or revenues will temporarily lock the DSBS profile while SAM recalculates your business size. Plan your updates accordingly to avoid delays.

3. Self-Certification as an SDB: Now that your business size has correctly appeared in SAM, you can proceed with self- certification as an SDB. To do this:
a. Navigate to “update” in SAM and scroll down to “validate/update reps & certs.”
b. Check the box for “disadvantaged” in Question #17 of the Reps and Certs section.

4. Review Your Eligibility: Before checking the “disadvantaged” box, it’s essential to review the standards for disadvantaged
status to ensure you meet the social and economic criteria. Self-certification should not be misrepresented, as it carries significant implications for your business.

Troubleshooting Tips: If you encounter difficulties gaining editing access to update your SDB status, consider these potential issues:

Incomplete Data: Ensure that all three elements of data required for determining business size are complete and accurate.

Processing Time: Allow sufficient time for SAM to process your data.

Organizational Structure: Verify that the correct organizational structure (proprietor, partnership, or corporation) is selected, as “not-for-profit” organizations are not eligible for SDB certification.

Data Accuracy: Double-check all data entries to ensure nothing is left blank or contains errors.

Meeting Bid Deadlines: If SAM’s processing time causes a delay in meeting a bid deadline, you can include a paper copy of the Reps & Certs with the size and disadvantaged boxes manually checked. Additionally, insert a statement indicating that online self-certification is in progress, and submit your bid on time. Key takeaways; achieving SDB certification in SAM is a critical step for businesses seeking federal contracts. By following these steps and ensuring accurate data entry, you can navigate the process with confidence and take full advantage of the opportunities available to SDBs in government procurement.