How to Self-Certify as a SDB
A PTAC Counselor can help you with questions like this one:
Question: How can I self-certify for the SDB designation?
According the SBA website, all that is required is to register in SAM. The only
place where I can find the SDB designation is in the SBA profile but the field
is not editable. I've contacted my local SBA and the SAM help desk and no one
seems to know how to change the designation to YES.
means that you simply check the "small disadvantaged" box on Reps
& Certs and on any bid documents or anywhere else that asks for
socio-economic status. However, to be recognized as small and disadvantaged in
the federal system, you must first complete the basic SAM registration by
filling in three areas of data in SAM, for both "global" and
1. all the NAICS codes you are presently capable of performing in and
designate the primary one which represents the bulk of your business activity
(you only need one but may have more).
2. total number of employees (head count, not full-time equivalent) and if
there are seasonal variations, use the annual average number.
3. total revenues from all sources.
The system will then compare these three areas of data against the Small
Business Size Standards and will insert the business size for each industry.
This can take a few days and will open up access to edit the DSBS profile where
you can then fill in the capability statement, federal and other references,
searchable keywords, etc. Note that any time you go back in to SAM to add or
delete a NAICS code, employee head count, or revenues, the system will lock out
the DSBS while it re-calculates the business size, so you should time such
The former Online Reps & Certs (ORCA) are now integrated into SAM, so the
business size boxes in the regulated wording are automatically checked based on
SAM data and you would not manually check them. However, the
"disadvantaged" part is derived from Question #17 in the Reps and
Certs section. The question must be answered Yes or No. This question can be
answered once the business is identified as a small business.
When the business size has correctly appeared in SAM, the you can then go
to "update" and scroll down to "validate/update reps &
certs" in order to check the box for "disadvantaged". You might
want to review the standards for disadvantaged status to be sure you
are eligible both socially and economically. Checking the
"disadvantaged" box constitutes self-certification and should not be
A common reason you cannot get editing access to update the small
disadvantaged status is that the three elements of data needed for determining
size are incomplete, and/or you may not have waited long enough for the system
to process those data. Another possible cause is the wrong organizational
structure is checked, so go back and be sure it says either proprietor,
partnership or corporation, because if it says not-for-profit, it is not a
business and therefore not a small business. A minor error in data entry can
cause your problem, so be sure to check every data element carefully and
be sure nothing is left blank.
If the system's processing time causes a delay in meeting a bid date, you
might enclose a paper copy of the Reps & Certs with the size box and
the disadvantaged box checked manually, and insert a statement that the online
self-certification is in process, and submit the bid that way on time.
more questions? Find your local PTAC (click here) and get some answers!