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SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 8(a) CERTIFICATION

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SBA 8(a)

SBA (8a) is an ownership/diversity certification sponsored by the Small Business Association (SBA) of the United States government. The 8(a) program is a nine-year business development program that provides business training, counseling, marketing and technical assistance to small businesses that have been certified.

 
 

US SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) 8(a)

Get Certified and See Your Business Reap The Benefits
Our Team Will Put Together and Submit Your Entire Application

What is a SBA 8(a) Certification? 

Sections 7(j)(10) and 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 636(j)(10) and 637(a)) authorizes the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to establish a business development program, which is known as the 8(a) Business Development program. The 8(a) program is a robust nine-year program created to help firms owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

Businesses that participate in the program receive training and technical assistance designed to strengthen their ability to compete effectively in the American economy. Also eligible to participate in the 8(a) program are small businesses owned by Alaska Native corporations, Community Development Corporations, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations. Small business development is accomplished by providing various forms of management, technical, financial, and procurement assistance.

SBA partners with federal agencies to promote maximum utilization of 8(a) program participants to ensure equitable access to contracting opportunities in the federal marketplace. Once certified, 8(a) program participants are eligible to receive federal contracting preferences and receive training and technical assistance designed to strengthen their ability to compete effectively in the American economy.

Benefits of an SBA 8(a) Certification

The 8(a) program can be a valuable tool for experienced socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners, who have already been in business for at least two years or more, and are interested in expanding their footprint in the federal marketplace. The 8(a) program offers unique and valuable business assistance. The 8(a) certification does not guarantee contract awards but it is a dynamic tool to pursue and capture new opportunity from the government.

Certified firms in the 8(a) program can:

  • Efficiently compete and receive set-aside and sole-source contracts 

  • Receive one-on-one business development assistance for their nine-year term from dedicated Business Opportunity Specialists focused on helping firms grow and accomplish their business objectives

  • Pursue opportunity for mentorship from experienced and technically capable firms through the SBA Mentor-Protégé program

  • Connect with procurement and compliance experts who understand regulations in the context of business growth, finance, and government contracting

  • Pursue joint ventures with established businesses to increase capacity

  • Qualify to receive federal surplus property on a priority basis

  • Receive free training from SBA’s 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance program

 

The 8(a) certification qualifies your business as eligible to compete for the program’s sole-source and competitive set-aside contracts. The government authorizes sole-source contracts to 8(a) participants for up to $7.5 million for acquisitions assigned manufacturing North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and $4.5 million for all other acquisitions. Entity-owned 8(a) program participants are eligible for sole-source contracts above these thresholds, but the Department of Defense requires approval of a formal justification if the 8(a) sole-source contract exceeds $100 million; all other federal agencies require approval for sole-source 8(a) contract actions that exceed $25 million.

8(a) program participants are eligible to compete for contract awards under other socio-economic programs or small business set-asides they qualify for.

Requirements for SBA 8(a) Certification 

To qualify for the 8(a) program, businesses must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a small business

  • Not have previously participated in the 8(a) program

  • Be at least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens who are socially and economically disadvantaged

  • Have a personal net worth of $750 thousand or less, adjusted gross income of $350 thousand or less, and assets totaling $6 million or less

  • Demonstrate good character

  • Demonstrate the potential for success such as having been in business for two years

 

8(a) certification lasts for a maximum of nine years. The first four years are considered a development stage and the last five years are considered a transitional stage. Continuation in the program is dependent on staying in compliance with program requirements.

 

The federal government fully defines who qualifies for the 8(a) program — including what counts as being socially and economically disadvantaged — in Title 13 Part 124 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Why Let Our Team Get You Certified As A SBA 8(a) Organization? 

Frankly, because our team has expertise in certification we are able to prepare the documents needed for certification in a timely and professional manner.  The typical small business owner finds it difficult to complete the paperwork and government requests that are needed for certification.  We will ensure that you have filed what is needed accurately, and promptly.

Our Process:

  • Free extensive consultation of what certification you are looking for.

  • Professional audit of your business and sharing with the business owner exactly what is needed for certification before applying.

  • Completion of all required documents and applications needed for certification.  

  • Outstanding communication:

    • With issuers of certificates​

    • With business owner on progress, expectations, needed documentation or signatures, and when you can expect your certificate.

  • So you do not have to worry, our experts will serve as a your communication hub with the agencies you are seeking certification with.