It is the federal government's goal to award at least 5% of all federal contracting dollars to small disadvantaged businesses annually. Through the Small Business Administration (SBA) business owners in the United States that have suffered from both economic and social disadvantage (through SBA’s criteria) can enter what’s called the 8a Business Development Program. Entry into the program is obtained through the acquisition of an 8a certification. This program is designed to help small businesses and their owner(s) overcome past hardships and challenges they’ve experienced. There are different criteria required but among other things the owner of the firm must be a US Citizen in order to apply.
The 8a Business Development Program is designed to give preference to those businesses that are 8(a) Certified in working with federal clients by obtaining contracts. The total amount of 8a certification application certified firms has ranged anywhere from 6,500 to 10,000 firms in recent years. This business development program can help a small business grow by cutting the red tape that has customarily come with federal contracts. Through this program, small business entrepreneurs can get their feet wet in federal contracting and use those successes and experiences in order to fast track their firm to greater sales. Small business owners who are finding it challenging to grow their business through traditional means would find the SBA 8a Business Development Program a great resource.
8a Business Development Program Highlights
- This small business development program enables businesses to obtain support from the SBA. Under the 8a Program, small businesses are eligible for introduction by the SBA to contract directly with federal agencies that are in need of qualified 8a contractors in order to meet their congressional budgetary guidelines for spending.
- The program of 8a government certification gives 8a firms 9 years of preference in federal contracting in order to overcome previous suffering based on racial, ethnic, gender, geographical or disability bias.
- The 8a Business Development Program consists of two phases over the course of the nine year eligibility period. Phase 1: 4-year ‘Development Stage’ followed by a phase 2: 5-year ‘Transitional Stage’. During the latter, the firm is required to take steps to insure its survivability once it graduates from the 8a program.
- All 8a certified companies are entitled to receive ‘sole-sourced’ government contracts up to a maximum of $4 million on a per contract basis for those dealing in goods and services. For those businesses that are in manufacturing, the firm’s ‘sole-sourced’ contracts can reach a maximum of $6.5 million on a per contract basis.
- 8a firms with 8a certification Consultants can participate in set-aside contracts whereby the competition for the contract is only other 8a contractors. This limits the bidding field to a pool of contenders with similar sizes and capabilities.
- 8a firms can learn, as well as take part in larger projects, by partnering with another firm, while still receiving the benefits of their 8a certification. These partnerships are known as mentor/protégé or joint venture arrangements. They enable small business firms to increase the scope of their skills and experience by taking part in larger contracts at a much lower risk to their company.
In order to get approval from the SBA, the small business applicant will have to meet the following eligibility criteria. A firm whose application is denied by the SBA will be barred from reapplying for a period of 1 year. Here are the primary 8a eligibility details...
- All 8a program applicants need to verify that at least 51% of the firm is owned by an individual who is a US Citizen as well as socially and economically disadvantaged.
- All applicants need to have documented sales in the public or commercial marketplace over the previous two years and be successful in doing so.
- All applicants must be classified as a small business according to the SBA guidelines associated with the firm’s primary line of business/NAICS Code.
- The owner of the firm will have to submit a variety of documents and items, as well as answer a multitude of questions, that are deemed pertinent by the SBA as part of the application process.
- The SBA can and will follow-up with clarifying questions of applicants throughout the process. It is paramount that these concerns being addressed by the SBA are responded to in a timely manner or they will have no choice but to deny the application.
The 8a application process is long and detailed. Part of the process is completed online through the SBA’s portal, and part of it requires a paper application which typically ranges anywhere from 300-500 pages in length. Applicants must follow very specific protocol so that it is consistent with the SBA’s review process. Reasonable expectations are that the SBA will complete its review of an 8a application in a period of three months from the date in which the application was received.
- The corporation's federal tax returns for the beyond 3 years.
- Personal federal tax returns for the beyond 3 years for people that personal greater than 10% of the corporation.
- The corporation's economic statements for the beyond 3 years (consist of the maximum current economic statements which might be inside ninety days of the firms’ utility date.
- List of all the corporation’s contracts for the beyond years
- Lease agreements of which the corporation is apart.
- Copy of the financial institution signature playing cards or letter from the financial institution.
- Proof of budget contributed to accumulate possession with inside the corporation for every owner.
- Proof and documentation of any switch of belongings to and from the corporation
- Proof of any switch of belongings to and from any of its proprietors during the last years
- State filings wherein the corporation conducts enterprise
- Governing documents, signed with the aid of using the principals
- Background statistics and private statistics for all principals
- Financial statistics for all principals
- Principals consist of the subsequent people
- Two-Year Rule Waiver applies whilst a corporation has been accomplishing enterprise for much less than years
- A whole SBA 8a certification technique
- 8a certification utility assistance
- 8a certification 2years waiver
- Help with 8a requirement
- Review provider to lessen 8a certification status
- Joint ventures and JV agreement
- Termination from 8a software
- Dispute approximately early 8a software
- Help with capacity for achievement disputes and capacity for achievement
- FAR barriers on subcontracting
- Appeals of SBA 8a utility denials and 8a denials to SBA Office of Hearings and Appeal (SBA OHA)
- NAICS Code Appeals
Now that we've checked out what you could benefit from 8a certification let’s have a take a observe the way to proceed. Before we get into that, a short observe on 8a certification cost: its miles free, and you could observe DIY in case you want. However, as we imply below, there are various advantages particular to running with us (in particular preserving in thoughts our ninety eight percentage 8a certification attractiveness rate).
FAQ on 8a Certification
The first step in looking for certification with the 8(a) software is to touch the nearby SBA district workplace serving your area. An SBA consultant will solution preferred questions over the smartphone and installation an appointment with you to head over the numerous utility bureaucracy.
The following bureaucracy and documentation are required in 8a certification companies to be submitted for an eligibility dedication:
- SBA Form 1010A, 8(a) Personal Eligibility Statement
- SBA Form 1010B, Business Eligibility Statement
- SBA Form 413, Personal Financial Statement
- SBA Form 912, Statement of Personal History
- SBA Form 4506, Request for Copy of Transcript of Tax
- SBA shape 1623, Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters
- FD 258, Fingerprint Card (if indicated)
- Business Organization Information
- Federal Income Tax Returns (private and enterprise)
- Business Financial Statements
- History of the Business
- Organization Chart
- Financing Arrangements
- Bonding Information
- Arrangements for Business Premises
- Arrangements for Business Equipment
- Management, Consulting or Other Agreements
- Schedule of Business Insurance
- Information Regarding Affiliates
The DPCE has 15 days to study the utility for completeness. If the utility is incomplete, the applicant may have 15 days to offer extra statistics. The utility will then be resubmitted to the local DPCE. If the DPCE determines the utility is whole, a very last selection concerning 8(a) Program eligibility have to be made inside ninety days of SBA's dedication that the utility is whole.