Get Consultation
Story Details
Aspiring 8a

Expanded 8(a) Program Requirements: Opening Up Opportunities

The Small Business Administration (SBA) implemented three significant adjustments to the qualifications for individuals seeking to be classified as economically disadvantaged for the purpose of applying to the 8(a) Business Development Program. These adjustments are crucial for ensuring fair access to opportunities within the program for those who truly meet the criteria of economic disadvantage.


In 2020, the SBA established a uniform definition for the 8(a) BD Program and the economically disadvantaged women-owned small business program. As part of this effort, a mechanism was put in place to periodically increase the economic disadvantage thresholds based on changes in the GDP price index. The most recent adjustment, which took effect in 2022, resulted in an 11.86% increase in the thresholds.


One notable change resulting from these adjustments is the increase in the net worth requirement for individuals applying for the 8(a) Certification. Previously set at less than $750,000, this figure has been adjusted to $850,000 to reflect the impact of inflation. This adjustment ensures that individuals with a net worth above the new threshold are not disadvantaged due to economic factors alone.


Additionally, the Aggregate Gross Income (AGI) threshold has been revised to account for inflation. The previous threshold of $350,000, implemented in 2020, has been adjusted to $400,000 following the 11.86% increase in the GDP price index. This change is aimed at accurately assessing the economic status of individuals applying to the program.


Another vital adjustment pertains to the total assets requirement. Individuals are now considered economically disadvantaged only if the fair market value of all their assets, including their primary residence and the value of the applicant firm, does not exceed $6.5 million. This figure has been updated from the previous threshold of $6 million to reflect the current economic climate.


The adjustments made by the Small Business Administration to the qualifications for the 8(a) Business Development Program reflect a commitment to ensuring fairness and equal opportunity for economically disadvantaged individuals. These changes, driven by inflation and economic considerations, aim to accurately assess the eligibility of applicants and prevent deserving individuals from being excluded based on outdated thresholds, while also offering new opportunities for those who were previously ineligible.


If you have any questions or concerns about your eligibility for the program, I recommend contacting an industry expert such as ez8a or Advance 8a. Their expert teams can assist and guide you through the entirety of the application process. Let them help you take the next step towards achieving your business goals. Neither charge for an initial consultation.


Comments submitted, will be published soon.
The 8a Experts