SBA 8a Certification Eligibility RequirementsOvercoming the SBA’s 8a certification eligibility requirements is a way for small businesses to increase their ability to obtain federal government contracts.  Being 8a certified opens many doors for you and your business. However, it is crucial to make sure that 8a application meets all of the requires. 

Common mistakes made during the application stage include proving social and economic disadvantaged status and showing that the eligible applicant is in total control of the business.

Recent 2017 Appeal Case As Evidence that the SBA does deny 8a applications: (In denying the company’s application for admission of firm to 8(a) program, the SBA found that the applicant did not meet the 8a eligibility requirements because the SBA found that its owner was not economically disadvantaged, SBA (i) properly counted amount of advance to claimed disadvantaged owner of 8(a) applicant as asset because evidence did not establish it was a loan whose repayment was required; (ii) properly characterized personal loan from owner to applicant 8(a) firm as an asset of owner; and (iii) reasonably valued purchase agreements for corporate investments to purchase properties and an office for applicant firm in India).

To make sure that you and your company meet the SBA 8a certification requirements before submitting an application.  Watson & Associates’ consultants and attorneys specialize in helping clients receive their 8a certification and if needed, in size protests.

SBA 8a Certification Eligibility Requirements

The SBA requirements and how to get 8a status are not as straightforward as companies may think.

The SBA will only approve your 8(a) application of you meet the following 8a  status eligibility requirements:

  • The business must be majority-owned (51 percent or more) by an individual(s).
  • The individual(s) must be an American citizen, by birth or naturalization.
  • The business must be majority-owned (51 percent 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 SBA new rules have reduced the need for this requirement)
  • The business must be a small business.
  • The business must demonstrate the potential for success.
  • The principals must show good character.
  • Separate eligibility SBA requirements exist for a business that is owned by American Indians, Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians or Certified Development Companies. 

Learn about the massive SBA 8 a Program eligibility criteria  and how to get 8a status for your business

8a certification application requirements regulationsFor each area of the 8a certification review, the SBA looks at eligibility based on the information you provide with your application development. Although questions and answers may appear to be straightforward, the reality is that the SBA looks for conflicting information, the ability of a third party to control your business and other red flags that can lead to denial.

Social and Economic Narratives, if Needed, are the Most Difficult 8a Application Hurdles to Overcome When Looking at How to Get 8a Status: 

The most difficult, and where the most mistakes are seen in 8a applications, are the social and economic narratives. This aspect of 8a certification program eligibility requires a thorough understanding of what the SBA looks for when deciding whether to give you your 8a status.

As SBA program cases continue to increase at the appeals level,  minority-owned business applicants must still meet the SBA requirements at the application level. Sometimes getting the right professional help can minimize the likelihood of rejection by the SBA.

  • Once the SBA looks at your information in your application, it forms an initial impression that can be hard to overcome in a request for reconsideration.
  • Getting a professional review of your application to see if you meet the eligibility requirements can be beneficial.
  • Avoid costly mistakes when it comes to SBA 8a certification application eligibility. Increase your chances of getting your 8a status. 

Learn about 8a set asides versus HUBZone contracts.

Find out more about 8(a) Certification Benefits and Advantages

Read more about 8a certification net worth requirements

8a Certification Based on Ethnicity Bias and Immigration

See also information on SBA 8a annual report, SBA form 601 and SBA Form 1450.

See How We Can Help You With 8(a) Program Matters

Call our 8a certification consultants for help with your application development and how to get 8a status at 1-866-601-5518 for a free initial consultation. 

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