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SBA 8(a) Certification Program Explained

How Can an 8a Certification Help my Small Business?

There are various reasons why your small business should look into government contracting. The SBA’s 8a Certification Program will limit your competition for business as an 8a contractor to other small similar companies. Business certifications are intended to help hindered small businesses thrive in a competitive environment.

These business certifications are the only one provided by the Federal Government and are the hardest to qualify for. Applicants who are members of socially disadvantaged groups and are economically disadvantaged can be considered for approval to this certification program. Once certified, the small business can be optimized and reap the benefits of the certification(s).

How do I know I’m eligible for an 8a certification?

The 8a Certification Requirements Include:

  • The business must be majority-owned (51% or more) by an individual(s).
  • The individual(s) must be an American citizen.
  • The business must be majority-owned (51% or more) and controlled/managed by socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s).
  • The individual(s) controlling and managing the firm on a full-time basis must meet the SBA requirement for disadvantage, by proving both social disadvantage and economic disadvantage.
  • The business must be a small business.
  • The business must demonstrate the potential for success.
  • The principals must show good character.
  • Separate eligibility requirements exist for a business that is owned by American Indians, Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians or Certified Development Companies

What else should I know about the 8a?

Many 8a applicants become ineligible for the 8a program due to the $250,000 net worth limit. This limit is defined as a personal net worth of $250,000 or less, excluding the equity in a personal residence or the business itself.

A firm will be automatically declined if the firm, its owner, manager, partners, LLC member, director, or officer lacks business integrity (i.e. any legal issues such as indictments, guilty pleas, convictions, judgments, settlements) or is currently incarcerated, on parole or probation (either pre-trial or following conviction for felony or any crime involving business integrity). The 8a program is also a “one-time only” eligibility program. A business may only participate in it once. Read Which Business Certification Is Right For You?

For 8a certification assistance, contact us today!

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