For most small businesses, the answer is no.
But if you want to take advantage of business opportunities such as selling to the government (a.k.a. “government contracting”), then you have to obtain some form of certification. Why? The federal government sets aside a variety of contracts for competition among small businesses, women-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and disadvantaged small businesses. To qualify for these “set-asides,” certification is a must.
So how do you go about certifying your small business to qualify to compete for the nearly $100 billion worth of goods and services that Uncle Sam buys from small businesses each year?