The definition for a small business varies all over the place. Hence there’s no simple definition for it. According to the “Small Business Administration” or SBA’s various business size standards:
A store and a software publisher can be considered a small business if they have an annual revenue of $27.0 million, or less and $25.0 million, or less respectively.
A telecommunications reseller can be considered a small business if it has 1,500 or less employees.
A cigarette manufacturer, a mineral wool manufacturer, and the wholesale trade can be considered as small business if they have 1,000 employees, 750 employees, and 100 employees respectively
However, anyone can challenge against your designation if he/she thinks that you or small company does not fit the SBA size standards. The SBA publishes the names of businesses that have been challenged in an 18 page document listing. They labeled such companies as “other than small” and hence they are not eligible for small business government loans, or contracts.
Why is this concern to most business owners?
Given below are four basic reasons, that why the business owners are concerned about not getting listed in the SBA, and getting labeled as “other than small”:
1.) Size becomes a matter of concern if you attempt to do business with the federal government, as many of their programs are directed only at the businesses that are defined as small.
2.) It’s important that your business is considered “small”, if you plan to apply for any of the SBA’s loan programs.
3.) The government periodically offers special programs, loans, grants, etc. to small businesses; hence you must be designated “small” by the SBA for getting qualified.
4.) Many government regulations affecting many businesses often have different rules for different size standards. Hence it’s very important to protect your “small” status.
How to prevent your small business from being named in an EEOC charge?
For any small business owner, getting a claim filed with the EEOC or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can seem like an intimidating task. However, given below are a few key points that can help you save your company thousands of dollars. Remember these points, for keeping your company profitable over the long run:
• Your company should have enough employees to be covered: The Americans with Disabilities Act, a law enforced by the EEOC, applies to employers with 20 or more employees.
• Budget early: This is the Cost of Doing Business. One of the biggest mistakes that small business owners make is not properly budgeting for legal expenses in the upcoming fiscal year. Every time small business owners ignore the fact that they may sustain legal expenses every year related to the employment claims in the upcoming year and hence simply ignore these expenses while preparing a budget. Hence small businesses often are ill-equipped to afford to defend themselves from even EEOC charges. So budget early and budget wisely.
• Consider hiring professional help: Small business owners must hire experienced counsel to represent their Company in the EEOC process. If the EEOC finds the charge in favor of your former employee, then the price tag will rise exponentially. Hence do not try to defend the claim yourself as this can result in a costly mistake. Hiring a lawyer or an experienced attorney to present a powerful case to the EEOC is often a wise business move. Small business attorneys are equally important as that of health care attorneys who help medical practitioner as well as patients who are victims of medical malpractice and sexual abuse attorneys who help the victim of molestation or sexual assault
• Secure your budget at the start of the matter: If you are planning to hire a small business lawyer who will act as your employment counsel, then prepare a beforehand budget to handle the matter through the EEOC process. If you do this then you’ll know the cost upfront.
With the above mentioned basic steps your small business can protect itself against meritless and baseless employment claims and you can afford and protect your Company’s earned assets.