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Small and Diverse Business Classifications

This page outlines the various small and diverse business classifications.  View the Small and Diverse Business Resources page for more information.

What are the Various Business Types?

California Small Business

The Office of Small Business and DVBE Services (OSDS) certifies California Small Businesses free of charge. Requirements for certification include:

  • Be independently owned and operated;
  • Not dominant in field of operation;
  • Principal office located in California;
  • Owners (officers, if a corporation) domiciled in California; and,
  • Including affiliates, be either,
    • A business with 100 or fewer employees; average annual gross receipts of $15 million or less, over the last three tax years;
    • A manufacturer with 100 or fewer employees; or,
    • A micro business – a small business will automatically be designated as a micro business, if gross annual receipts are $5,000,000 or less; or the small business is a manufacturer with 25 or fewer employees.

Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise

The OSDS also certifies California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE) free of charge.  For DVBE certification purposes, a "disabled veteran" is:

  • A veteran of the U.S. military, naval, or air service;
  • The veteran must have a service-connected disability of at least 10 percent or more; and
  • The veteran must reside in California.

To be certified as a DVBE, your firm must meet the following requirements:

  • Your business must be at least 51 percent owned by one or more disabled veterans;
  • DVBE limited liability companies must be wholly owned by one or more disabled veterans;
  • Your daily business operations must be managed and controlled by one or more disabled veterans.

Federal Certifications

The U.S. Small Business Administration issues federal certifications, such as:

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs issues certification for: