Small business owners have lots of items on their to-do lists. In addition to actually running the business, there are many administrative tasks required to make sure that you meet the applicable small business size standards and maintain those standards year-after-year (in order to avoid, or at least minimize, vulnerability to an SBA size protest).

Among the (sometimes admittedly) tedious tasks associated with remaining eligible for small business contract awards is registering in the required government databases. Over the past five years, this process has been considerably streamlined by the rollout of the System for Award Management ( SAM is a no-cost, government website where contractors must register and provide certain identifying information about their business.

One of the areas covered by a SAM profile is a business's size – and specifically whether it qualifies as "small" under the applicable size standards.

The importance of paying proper attention to your SAM profile was highlighted in a recent SBA size protest concerning a small business set-aside contract for the lease of two bucket trucks at Marine Base Camp Lejune, North Carolina.

In the protest, a disappointed offeror argued that the awardee did not meet the size qualifications required by the contract. Although the SBA's Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) found that the protest lacked real specificity (and therefore was subject to being dismissed) – it nevertheless sustained the protest.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.