May 25, 2022

What is SBA Form 355, and Do You Need to Complete It?

If you plan to apply for any SBA program other than the Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC) program, you’ll have to fill out this form. This blog post will review what SBA Form 355 is, the information you’ll need to provide, and how to complete it.

What is SBA Form 355?

SBA 355 provides requested information to the SBA that it needs to determine whether your company fits their definition of a small business.  According to the SBA, “A small business is a concern that is independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field of operation, and does not exceed the size standard applicable to the procurement or program for which the business is applying.” Based on your information on this form, the SBA will either approve or deny your eligibility for their small business loan programs.

What Information Do You Need to Provide for the SBA Form 355?

When you fill out this form, you’ll need to provide basic identifying information about your business. You’ll also need to determine the purpose for which you’re requesting a size determination and answer a few questions about the nature of your business. From there, the primary focus is to ensure that your business meets the following requirements:
  • Prove that you own an independently owned company
  • Confirm that you aren’t an industry leader
  • Certify that you are within the size standards for your industry.

1. Size Standards

The SBA size standards are based on one of the following:
  • The number of employees in your company
  • Percentage of sales or receipts that your company generated in the last fiscal year
These standards are shown in the Table of Small Business Size Standards. Remember that the SBA bases size standards on your industry as described by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). To find the size standards applicable to your business, use the NAICS identification tool to find your NAICS code, then look up that code in the Table of Small Business Size Standards. There, you’ll find the size status requirements for your industry.

2. Ownership Independence

To determine your company’s affiliations, SBA Form 355 asks for information about any officers, directors, owners, partners, and principal stockholders that you may have. Whether they’re for-profit or not, their total receipts or number of employees will count towards your total if you have affiliate businesses. Keep in mind that the SBA has specific rules that dictate whether an entity, business, or person is considered an affiliate to determine business size. You’ll need to provide contact information for your affiliates, the position they hold, and those affiliates’ ownership interest in your company. Finally, if your affiliates own another company, you’ll also need to provide information about their ownership percentages and the size of those companies.

Conclusion: Make Sure You Understand the SBA Form 355

The final part of SBA Form 355 only needs to be filled in under certain circumstances, found in Part V.  In some cases, the SBA will ask for additional information, but what we’ve reviewed in this post covers what most business owners should expect on Form 355. After finishing this form, you should have your lawyer, a trusted colleague, or your lender review it. At best, mistakes on Form 355 will slow down your loan application process. At worst, a single mistake could cost you thousands of dollars. Once you confirm that your form is complete, submit it to the SBA Office Government Contracting Area Office or the Office of Disaster Assistance if you’re applying for the SBA disaster loan program. Have you completed this form to apply for an SBA small business loan? Tell us about your experience applying for SBA funding in the comment section below! Editor’s Note: This post was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in May 2022.