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ISO and SMEs

ISO International Standards help businesses of any size and sector reduce costs, increase productivity and access new markets.

For small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), standards can help to:

Learn more about the benefits of standards for SMEs with our free brochure

Cover of "10 good things for SMEs", showing a blurred image of a worker in a yellow safety vest

Managers of small businesses in 10 countries from around the world say how ISO standards contribute to their success.

Plus see our free feature on SMEs and implementing multiple management system standards.


Learn how ISO standards help SMEs

Standards make market access easier, in particular for SMEs. They can enhance brand recognition and give customers the guarantee that the technology is tested and reliable.

Jens Albens CEO

Nanotron Technologies Ltd, Germany

Top tips for SMEs

Check out our fun infographics that help SMEs get started with standards

ISO 50001 for SMEs

Whatever size your business is, being less wasteful makes good sense.
Discover our 8 top tips for saving energy that are good for your pocket

ISO 14046 for SMEs

How much water do you use?
Check out our top tips for measuring your water footprint

ISO 20121 for SMEs

Got a big event coming up?
Check out our top tips for sustainable event management

Resources for SMEs

ISO has a number of publications aimed specifically at SMEs. Buy them here or from the ISO Store.

Two guides to help SMEs transform their businesses through quality control and environmental management.

ISO/IEC 27001 for SME

Practical advice for SMEs about Information Management, an increasingly regulated area.

ISO Pack: Food Safety Management Systems

Practical management processes for all food businesses, from Farm to Fork.

Getting involved in standards development

ISO International Standards are developed with the help of a wide range of stakeholders - not just big business. Active involvement involved helps you shape the rules that define your sector. Don't leave it all up to your competitors.

Get involved today

ISO Standards and SMEs in the real world

Not taking part [in standardization] would have cost me my company and my livelihood… What does it cost me if others define rules that are out of line with my needs but which I have to comply with because they are laid down in a standard ? It is best to join in right at the start.

Martin Denison, Managing Director of Scuba Schools GMBH

Scuba Schools Dive Training is an SME based in Austria.

Read the full story.

Discover more case studies on the Economic Benefits of Standards.

Standards specific to SMEs

ISO Store

  • ISO 14005:2010
    Environmental management systems -- Guidelines for the phased implementation of an environmental management system, including the use of environmental performance evaluation
  • ISO/IEC TR 29110-1:2011
    Software engineering -- Lifecycle profiles for Very Small Entities (VSEs) -- Part 1: Overview
  • ISO/PAS 28004-2:2012
    Security management systems for the supply chain -- Guidelines for the implementation of ISO 28000 -- Part 2: Guidelines for adopting ISO 28000 for use in medium and small seaport operations
  • ISO/PAS 28004-3:2012
    Security management systems for the supply chain -- Guidelines for the implementation of ISO 28000 -- Part 3: Additional specific guidance for adopting ISO 28000 for use by medium and small businesses (other than marine ports)

Visit the ISO Store to buy more standards