An  SBA 8(a)termination or graduation appeal is an appeal from an 8(a) BD termination or graduation determination, made by the Director, Office of Business Development (CFR 124.301-304).

8a Termination SBA LawyersA small business can be terminated early from the 8(a) Program for situations such as:

  • noncompliance of the reporting criteria;
  • failure to maintain the business according to the rules, and
  • other statutory violations.

What Happens When the SBA Decides to Terminate You From the 8(a) Program?

When it initiates 8(a) termination proceedings, the SBA should send you a recommendation to graduate early or terminate you from the 8a program. You must respond to the termination letter within 30 days. Many businesses take the chance to respond without the help of qualified SBA lawyers when dealing with contested early 8a Program graduation challenges.

SBA lawyers filing a response can be a fatal mistake if the response is not detailed or supported with documentation. The SBA will then initiate a final recommendation to Washington D.C.

 What is the time limit for filing an 8a Termination Appeal?

  • You must file your 8a termination appeal with OHA within 45 calendar days of receiving the SBA determination being appealed.  
  • OHA must receive your appeal by 5 pm EST on the forty-fifth day.

What Should Go into a 8(a)Termination Appeal?

  • The full name of the company (the petitioner)
  • A statement of basis for OHA’s
  • An allegation that SBA acted arbitrarily, capriciously, or contrary to law in reaching its decision
  • A clear and concise statement of the facts which, if true, would warrant reversal or modification of the determination
  • The reason(s) why SBA’s 8(a) termination determination is arbitrary, capricious, or contrary to law
  • The relief being sought (i.e., that the judge should find the SBA acted arbitrarily, capriciously, or contrary to law in denying the company admission into the 8(a) BD program)
  • Name, address, email, and telephone and facsimile numbers of petitioner or its attorney
  • Signature of petitioner’s owner, officer, or attorney

You must have a solid legal argument to be successful on appeal. It is important to understand that a business typically does not have a right to be an 8(a) firm. However, you are entitled to due process. This is typically an argument used by a business without representation of a government contract attorney. If the argument is not crafted correctly, it will more than likely fail.

Documentation: You must have documentation to support your position. If you can show that the SBA abused its discretion, made a decision contrary to law, then you can be successful on appeal. With the proper legal arguments, appealing your 8(a) Program graduation /termination can be difficult.

What Happens after the Termination Appeal is Filed? The SBA must submit a response to your appeal. It will have to justify its decision. The OHA judge will render an opinion. If it is found that the termination was arbitrary, capricious or contrary to law, then the termination will be overturned.

Do You Need an Attorney? Having a government contract attorney that understands the 8(a) program and federal contracting small business programs will be a significant benefit. However, there is no legal requirement to have an attorney represent you. You must decide, the risk associated with your 8(a) termination and the value of maintaining your status.

Need Additional Help?

For 8a certification concerns or help appealing an SBA 8(a) termination call a government contract small business lawyer at 1866-601-5518.