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Aspiring 8a

8(a) Application – Understanding the Importance of Your Documents

The 8(a) Certification with the benefits of sole source and set-aside federal contracts provides an average of $6-8MM per year in federal contracts for its holders. As a result of the high value placed on this certification, the SBA has to match this with a high level of scrutiny during the application process. This keeps the program free of illegitimate firms providing a more level playing field for all 8(a) firms.

The documents the SBA requires during the 8(a) application process are carefully reviewed by the SBA. Each document requested has at least one specific area it is used to test during the vetting process.

It is critical when putting an application together that all documents are reviewed just as the SBA will during their own process. The documents should also be reviewed on the basis of both their primary and secondary purpose in the application. It has been my experience that correcting and/or providing them with explanations can help the SBA correctly interpret issues within documents. This saves time, as well as spares an applicant from an unwarranted denial.

Firms that are denied in the 8(a) application process are barred from reapplying for a period of 1 year, and the SBA retains a copy of the denial letter so they can revisit the past application’s issues to make a determination if they have been overcome.

Listed below are some of the documents the SBA requires as part of an 8(a) application, as well as the area the SBA is using each specific document to test during the application process.



 

 

Economic Disadvantage

Social Disadvantage

Potential for Success

Control

Good Moral Character

Personal Tax Returns

Primary

   

Secondary

 

Business Tax Returns

   

Primary

Secondary

 

Credit Report

     

Primary

Secondary

Bank Signature Cards

     

Primary

 

Leases

   

Primary

Secondary

 

Contracts

   

Primary

Secondary

 

Secretary of State Filings

     

Primary

 

Invoices

   

Primary

Secondary

 

Firm Website

 

Secondary

Primary

Secondary

 

Resume

 

Secondary

Primary

Secondary

Secondary

FBI Background Check

       

Primary

Sales by Customer

   

Primary

Secondary

 

The firm’s financial statements

   

Primary

Secondary

 



The 8(a) Certification approval process can be intimidating but it has been my experience that the SBA evaluates applicants in a rational and logical manner.

If you have any questions on getting qualified for an 8(a) Certification, or would like a more in-depth analysis, I always recommend contacting an industry expert such as ez8a or Advance 8a. Neither charge for an initial consultation.

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The 8a Experts