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Small Business Eligibility Requirements

Find out below if you’re eligible to apply for NIA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) funding.

Is my business a U.S. for-profit company?

Eligible businesses must be for-profit entities located in the United States; operating within the United States; or making a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials, or labor.

Eligible businesses must be in the legal form of an individual proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, joint venture, association, trust or cooperative, except that where the form is a joint venture, there must be less than 50% participation by foreign business entities.

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Is my business wholly owned by eligible entities?

Eligible businesses must be more than 50% directly owned and controlled by (a) one or more individuals who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States, (b) other businesses, each of which is more than 50% directly owned and controlled by individuals who are U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States, or (c) any combination of these.

To be eligible for SBIR, the business may be more than 50% owned by multiple venture capital operating companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, or any combination of these. No single venture capital operating company, hedge fund, or private equity firm may own more than 50% of the concern.

If an Employee Stock Ownership Plan owns all or part of the small business, each stock trustee and plan member is considered an owner. If a trust owns all or part of the small business, each trustee and trust beneficiary is considered an owner.

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Am I a representative or owner of a small business?

Eligible businesses must have 500 or fewer employees, including affiliates.

Is my idea appropriate for NIA?

Applicants must submit ideas that translates research on aging or Alzheimer’s disease, and/or the challenges and needs of older Americans into innovative programs, systems, networks, products, or services. Review NIA’s small business research priorities.

To find out whether your idea or product is a good fit for NIA, contact Dr. Michael-David A.R.R. Kerns. Include a one-page summary (draft Specific Aims page) with the following information:

  1. What is the therapeutic or technology you are developing?
  2. How is the therapeutic or technology innovative, what unmet need is being addressed, and what technical challenges must be overcome?
  3. What is the value proposition and the existing competition for the therapeutic or technology?
  4. How is the therapeutic or technology relevant to NIA’s R&D mission?
  5. What are your specific research aims, including key models, assays, metrics, and quantitative performance milestones?

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Where can I learn more about the application process?

Learn more about NIA small business programs and research priorities, and review tips for applicants.

Learn more about the process of applying for small business grants and contracts from NIH.

Return to the NIA Small Business Main Page.