In my 15 years of assisting firms with the 8(a) application, the one truth that always shows through is that the SBA is incredibly meticulous in reviewing all 8(a) applications. They read every page of every document submitted, and the SBA has a purpose for all documents required in the application. Here is what someone considering starting an 8(a) Certification application needs to know about the use of those documents.
Result: People attempting to complete the 8(a) application without professional assistance have less than a 25% chance of successfully navigating the process on their first try.
Value: 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 to its holders.
Monitoring: As a result of the high value placed on this certification, the SBA has to match this with a high level of scrutiny in the application process. This keeps the 8(a) Business Development program free of illegitimate firms, providing a more level playing field for all 8(a) firms.
Document Purpose: Documents in many cases have both a primary and secondary purpose in the application. Meaning the SBA will use the same document to insure multiple certification standards.
Listed below are some of the documents the SBA requires as part of an 8(a) Certification application, as well as the area the SBA is using the document to test as part of the application process.
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 need assistance exploring your small business’ eligibility and/or future business development potential utilizing the 8(a) Certification, I always recommend contacting an industry expert such as ez8a or Advance 8a. Neither charge for an initial consultation.