8(a) Application Completion Service
3,000 + Certified
We live and breathe 8(a) Certification. Our success rate is over 99% for clients we pre-qualify.
We have hundreds of real references you can contact to verify our process and their success.
20+ Years of Experience
We have been helping small businesses get certified and maintain their eligibility since 1999.
What is this service and who should consider it?
Looking to get your small business approved for the SBA 8(a) program? Look no further! Our turnkey 8(a) Application Completion Service is designed specifically for small business owners who need expert help in preparing all aspects of their 8(a) application.
With our one-on-one guidance, we’ll work with you to ensure that your 8(a) application is prepared properly and is accepted by the SBA. No more worrying about complex application show stoppers – we have the knowledge and expertise to solve any problem that arises.
Don’t leave your success to chance – trust our experienced team to properly prepare and complete your 8(a) application.
We pre-qualify all potential clients to determine if they meet all of the current 8(a) eligibility requirements. Even if you don’t currently qualify we will let you know the reasons why and what you need to do to meet the 8(a) eligibility requirements.
As we receive your requested information, we review each individual element, line by line, to make sure everything meets the 8(a) Program eligibility requirements. If potential issues or questions are found, we alert you immediately and let you know the workaround to any issue or question that might be brought up by the SBA.
Submit & Support.
At the end of the preparation process, we will upload your 8(a) Application documents to certify.sba.gov for review by the SBA. Should your SBA reviewer request any additional information needed to complete their review, we will draft and respond to all SBA requests as part of our service.
- You’ll gain access to federal contracts that are sole source/non-competitive, with the following maximum values:
- $4M or less for all services-related contracts.
- $6.5M or less for manufacturing-related contracts.
- You’ll gain access to federal contracts that are competitive set-asides, with the following minimum values:
- $4M or more for all services-related contracts.
- $6.5M or more for manufacturing-related contracts.
- Your competition will be severely limited.
- With fewer than 6,500 active 8(a) participants as of December 2022, the big players such as Lockheed Martin, CSC, EDS, Halliburton, etc. cannot compete for these contracts.
- The federal procurement process is streamlined for 8(a) contracts.
- 8(a) contracts involve much less paperwork, time, and bureaucracy compared to most other federal procurement methods. Additionally, 8(a) contracts cannot be protested.
- Contract awards are faster with 8(a) contracts.
- 8(a) contracts are awarded in approximately one-tenth the time it takes for most other federal procurement methods.
- 8(a) firms can team up with other businesses.
- You can form joint ventures and teams to bid on contracts, allowing you to perform larger prime contracts and overcome the effects of contract bundling. The SBA All Small Mentor Protege Program also enables your firm to learn from more experienced businesses.
To ensure that your business is eligible for 8(a) Certification, we kindly request that you complete our complementary online 8(a) Eligibility Questionnaire before proceeding with us. Our aim is to identify any possible eligibility issues that could hinder your business from becoming 8(a) certified. In the event that we come across any such issues based on your questionnaire responses, we will inform you of the specific problems and suggest possible solutions to overcome them, enabling you to proceed with the 8(a) application process.
If you meet all the eligibility criteria for the 8(a) Program, we will send you our service agreement for the 8(a) Application Completion Service for your consideration. Upon engagement, we will prepare a progress report tailored to your specific situation, outlining the precise documentation required from you and your business. Additionally, we will provide you with helpful tools such as data collection worksheets, templates, and samples to facilitate the gathering and provision of requested information. To enable secure document transfer, we will grant you access to a protected Dropbox folder.
Our services cover a comprehensive review, preparation, and completion of your SBA 8(a) Application, which entails the online submission through certify.sba.gov, including the upload of all necessary SBA forms, attachments, and supporting documentation. If required, we also provide support in the preparation of a 2-year waiver.
Upon receiving your information, we conduct a meticulous line-by-line review of each element to ensure that everything meets the current 8(a) Program eligibility criteria. In the event that we encounter any potential issues or questions, we promptly notify you and provide you with a solution to address any concerns that may arise from the SBA.
The list of items provided below is a general outline, as each 8(a) application is distinct, and certain required items may not be listed below:
- SAM.GOV profile. We review your profile to ensure all applicable boxes are checked and all other information is accurate.
- Website and LinkedIn profile. We review these items to ensure that there is no conflicting or inaccurate information contained on your site or LinkedIn profile.
- Business Ownership and all associated answers to each question within certify.sba.gov to ensure everything is accurate and all supporting documents that may be required based upon your unique responses are provided, complete and compliant.
- 2-Year Waiver, if required, including proper responses, and supporting documents to each of the 5 required SBA conditions.
- Business licenses. We ensure that all required business licenses are provided along with ensuring that unconditional control requirements are met.
- Bank signature cards. We ensure that the proper individuals are indicated on the associated business bank signature cards.
- SBA Representatives Form. We ensure the section is completed accurately.
- Fictitious business name/Doing Business As (DBA) filings, if required.
- Articles of Incorporation, Articles of Organization, etc., depending on your formation type. We review to ensure the company formation documents meet unconditional control requirements.
- Bylaws, Operating Agreement or Partnership Agreement, depending on your formation type. We review for unconditional control requirements and will even draft a current dated version if you do not have the required document or need an amended document to meet unconditional control requirements.
- Meeting minutes. We ensure all are provided, they meet the SBA requirement and will even draft a current dated set of meeting minutes if you do not have the required meeting minutes to meet unconditional control requirements.
- Stock certificates and ledger, if applicable. We review for accuracy, and we will even draft current dated stock certificates and a ledger to ensure current ownership is reported correctly, if needed.
- Certificate of good standing.
- Transmutation agreements, if required.
- Lease agreements.
- Bonding letter, if required.
- List of current and past Federal and non-Federal awarded contracts within the last 12 months and last three years. We provide a detailed contract listings worksheet and ensure that all required information is reported including checking for possible economic dependency issues.
- Personal information and all associated answers to each question to ensure they are answered accurately and all supporting documents required based upon your unique responses are provided, complete, and compliant
- Documents related to outside ownership in any other business, if applicable. We inform you if there is a potential for affiliation and what specific documents you may have to provide to the SBA.
- Resumes. We review against past employment reported on the W-2’s and 1099’s and ensure the resume meets the full-time and SBA’s unconditional control requirement.
- SBA Personal Financial Statement. We provide a detailed worksheet for you to complete to ensure that all assets and liabilities are reported along with ensuring the limitation on Adjusted Net Worth is not exceeding the SBA’s $850,000 threshold.
- Supporting statements to corroborate SBA Personal Financial Statement amounts. We review each statement and properly allocate the correct amounts to the respective individual along with ensuring that the SBA requirement of less than 30-days old is met.
- SBA Statement of Personal History. Review for completeness and accuracy.
- SBA fingerprint card, if required.
- Personal tax returns for the last three years. We review to ensure you meet the SBA Adjusted Gross Income requirements and all supporting statements, 1099’s and W-2’s are provided.
- Evidence of IRS payment for any personal taxes owed, if applicable.
- Business financial Statements for the current year to date and the last three years. We compare these against the company tax returns for accuracy and compliance to SBA required standards for financial statements.
- Business tax returns for the last five years. We ensure that all ownership is accurately reported and there are no inconsistencies between the taxes and the business financial statements.
- Evidence of IRS payment for any business taxes owed, if applicable.
- Business loan documents. We review for unconditional control requirements and to make sure all applicable documents are provided.
We take care of preparing and organizing all mandatory documents in the preferred PDF format for upload to certify.sba.gov. Every relevant item and specific section in your 8(a) Application will be appropriately marked as either applicable or not, enabling your assigned SBA 8(a) analyst to expedite their review of your application.
Upon completion of the preparation process, we will upload your 8(a) Application documents to certify.sba.gov for review by the SBA. As part of our 8(a) Application Completion Service, we will draft and respond to all SBA requests for additional information that may be needed to complete their review.
Our utmost priority is to ensure that your 8(a) Application has the best possible chance of receiving SBA approval, and we provide full support and guidance from the start of the service until you are officially notified by the SBA that you are certified under the 8(a) program.
To receive a complimentary 8(a) program eligibility assessment, kindly complete our online 8(a) eligibility questionnaire. Additionally, you may peruse the fundamental eligibility criteria for the 8(a) program listed below.
In general, the following basic eligibility requirements must be met to gain approval for the 8(a) program:
- All applicant(s) must be a US citizen. (Applicant = 51% or more owners who is considered the applicant for 8(a) certification disadvantage purposes). Additionally, all applicant(s) must reside in the United States.
- The applicant(s) must devote full-time to the business that is applying for 8(a) certification at the time of application submission. This means they must work at least 40 hours per week, during the normal business operating hours, within the business concern, without any other outside employment.
- The primary applicant must hold the highest management position within the business that is applying for 8(a) certification. Generally, this is the CEO, President in a corporation or Managing Member in an LLC.
- The primary applicant must be able to demonstrate that they are the highest compensated individual. The SBA will most likely deny your 8(a) application if you cannot demonstrate the primary applicant is currently the highest compensated or there is a very good reason why they have elected not to be.
- The applicant(s) must have an adjusted net worth of less than $850,000 at the time they apply for 8(a) certification. Adjusted net worth = Assets – liabilities – (Equity in primary residence + value of ownership interest in business concern + IRA/401(k) or Other Retirement Accounts). Complete our adjusted net worth calculator to help determine yours.
- The applicant(s) AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) cannot be more than $400,000 averaged over the last three tax years.
- The applicant(s) cannot have transferred any personal assets during the last two years to an immediate family member for less than fair market value. If they have, the result of the transfer will be counted back towards their adjusted net worth.
- The applicant(s) must be a member of an SBA designated group that is considered socially disadvantaged. The following individuals are presumed to be socially disadvantaged for 8(a) certification purposes: Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans (American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, or Native Hawaiians), Asian Pacific Americans (persons with origins from Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, China, Taiwan, Laos, Cambodia (Kampuchea), Vietnam, Korea, The Philippines, U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (Republic of Palau), Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Samoa, Macao, Hong Kong, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, or Nauru); or Subcontinent Asian Americans (persons with origins from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives Islands or Nepal). Being born in a country does not by itself, suffice to make the birth country an individual’s country of origin for purposes of being included within a designated group. An individual must demonstrate that he or she has held himself or herself out, and is currently identified by others, as a member of their designated group if the SBA requires it. Native Americans and Hispanics with Anglo-names can expect their inclusion in their respective “designated groups” to be challenged, from time-to-time. Finally, Native Americans must be able to provide a copy of their federal or state recognized tribal card to be considered socially disadvantaged.
- If the applicant(s) are not a member of one of the SBA designated groups they must also be able to submit a narrative statement of social disadvantage that meets the SBA preponderance of evidence standard.
- The applicant(s) must generally hold all licenses or professional certifications required to operate the business concern. The only exception is if the individual who holds the required license or professional certification is not an equity owner, and the applicant(s) can prove that they have ultimate supervisory control over this individual.
- The applicant(s), any other owner in the business or anyone else who is considered a key officer, employee or director cannot have any delinquent SBA loans, federal (taxes), state (taxes), liens, or local obligations unless they can provide proof of a payment arrangement agreement with the associated party along with copies of timely payments being made as proof of compliance. All liens must be satisfied.
- The applicant(s), any other owner in the business or anyone else who is considered a key officer, employee or director cannot have used their eligibility to qualify another 8(a) concern or been an officer of another current or past 8(a) participant.
- The applicant(s), any other owner in the business or anyone else who is considered a key officer, employee or director cannot have an immediate family member who is or has been a participant in the 8(a) program unless this other business is in a totally separate line of business and no business has been conducted together.
- The business concern, applicant(s), any other owner in the business or anyone else who is considered a key officer, employee or director cannot have filed for bankruptcy in the last (7) seven years unless the bankruptcy has been discharged by the court.
- The applicant(s), any other owner in the business or anyone else who is considered a key officer, employee or director should generally not be involved in any pending civil lawsuits that could adversely affect the business applying for the 8(a) program.
- The applicant(s) cannot have any ownership in another business concern other than the business concern that is applying for 8(a) certification unless it is an entity solely for the purpose for holding and managing real estate.
- Any other owner in the business or anyone else who is considered a key officer, employee or director who has ownership interest in any other business, other than the business concern that is applying for 8(a) certification may possibly cause the SBA to affiliate the associated business.
- Any other owner in the business or anyone else who is considered a key officer, employee or director who has ownership interest in any other business cannot be the former employer of the applicant(s) for 8(a) certification.
- The applicant(s), any other owner in the business or anyone else who is considered a key officer, employee or director cannot be debarred from doing business with the federal government.
- The applicant(s), any other owner in the business or anyone else who is considered a key officer, employee or director cannot be on probation or parole. If anyone has been arrested in the past it does not automatically deny them unless they were convicted of a specific crime. Having an arrest, regardless of how long ago, will delay the review of your 8(a) application by a minimum of 90 additional days.
- The business concern must be considered a small business by the SBA. Your primary NAICS code, gross sales and sometimes the number of employees define your size standard that the SBA will base its size determination on.
- The business concern must have been in business for two full years. In addition, the last two years of its filed business tax returns must show a reasonable amount of revenues. If it has not, you must seek a waiver and meet the (5) five conditions set by the SBA.
- The business concern and the applicant(s) cannot have any delinquent tax filings or have any any delinquent SBA loans, federal (taxes), state (taxes), liens, or local obligations unless they can provide proof of a payment arrangement agreement with the associated party along with copies of timely payments being made. All liens must be satisfied.
- The business concern must be at least 51% directly owned and controlled by the applicant(s). The business concern must be a for-profit business and cannot be classified as a broker or be a subsidiary of another business concern.
- The business concern’s current year-to-date financial statements, at a minimum, must exhibit positive net income, positive net equity and positive working capital at the time of application submission.
- The business concern cannot be determined to be economically dependent on one of its clients. Please see the 8(a) economic dependency or the 70% rule explained article for further information and to determine if your business would be determined to be economically dependent by the SBA.
- If the business concern has existing management, joint venture, indemnity, consulting, distributorship, license, trust or franchise agreements, the SBA will want to review these in detail.
- If changes of ownership have occurred to the business concern in the past two years, and the current applicant(s) have become the new majority owners, the SBA will want to examine these ownership changes in great detail. This can possibly be an eligibility issue based upon your unique circumstances.
- If the business has ownership in or an affiliation with another business the SBA will want to examine this in detail.
- If another business has ownership in the business concern applying for 8(a) certification, the SBA will want to examine this in great detail.
- If the business concern buys from, sells to, or uses the services or facilities of any other business concern, or conduct business with any other business concern in which any other owner in the business or anyone else who is considered a key officer, employee, other than the applicant(s), the SBA will want to examine this in detail.
- The business concern applying for 8(a) certification cannot have been previously approved for the 8(a) program.
- If any other business concern or anyone who is considered a key officer, employee, other than the applicant(s) provides financial, bonding support, licenses, or required professional certification, office space or equipment to the business concern that is applying for 8(a) certification, the SBA will want to examine this in detail.
- The business concern applying for 8(a) certification cannot have been started with 50% or more of the assets of a previously certified 8(a) program participant.
- The business concern must not be subcontracting out more than the allowable percentages. See CFR §125.6 for what are the prime contractor’s limitations on subcontracting for the specific percentages.
Please Note. Above are the general 8(a) program eligibility requirements. There may be more eligibility requirements based upon your unique business circumstances.
Please be aware that every 8(a) application is one-of-a-kind, and the document requirements for each application may vary.
Outlined below is a general listing of items that must be incorporated in your 8(a) application. Your specific application may necessitate additional items that are not indicated below. Please be advised that the SBA may request any information they consider essential to make a final determination on your 8(a) application. Failure to supply any requested information may result in a denial. It is crucial to note that merely providing the listed documents does not guarantee certification. The documents must also meet the SBA’s eligibility criteria.
- Signed 1040 personal tax returns (last three filing years) including all schedules, attachments, W-2’s, 1099’s and proof of payment for any tax owed for each 8(a) Applicant and their spouse.
- Signed business federal tax returns including all schedules and attachments for the last five filing years, or as many as you have been in business, if less than five years. Proof of payment for any tax owed may be required, if applicable.
- Balance Sheet, Income Statement, A/P and A/R aging statements no older than 30 days old for the current year to date. Please note, your financial statements must be prepared either on an income tax basis or be GAAP compliant.
- Balance Sheet, Income Statement, A/P and A/R aging statements for the last three completed fiscal years.
- A resume for each 8(a) applicant and any other key officer, employee, director or 10% or more owner.
- A detailed listing of all clients broken down by revenue earned for the last 12 months and for the last three years.
- A certificate of good standing (required for Corporations and LLC’s only) no older than 1 year old.
- Stock certificates/Stock ledger (Corp), Membership Certificates/ledger (LLC).
- Articles of Incorporation/Organization/Partnership filing/DBA Filing.
- Foreign Organization Filings and associated Certificates of Good Standing (If applicable).
- Articles of Conversion/Buy-Sell Agreements, Voting Agreements (if applicable).
- Bylaws, Operating Agreement or Partnership Agreement that meet the SBA 8(a) program control requirements.
- Stockholder/Board or Member Meeting minutes (Most Recent).
- Proof of US citizenship (if required).
- Business bank signature cards.
- Copies of all business and special licenses.
- Copies of any business loan agreements.
- A copy of the current lease agreement for business.
- A current personal financial statement and supporting statements for the following: (Checking/Savings, IRAs with terms and conditions including a signed and dated certification attesting to the fact the accounts have a penalty for withdrawal, Life Insurance (Cash Surrender only), Stocks/Bonds, Mortgage, Deeds, Fair Market Value for Real Estate, Any Other Assets (Boats, RV’s, Motorcycle, Other Business Ownership, etc.), Automobile Title/Registration and associated loans, Credit Cards, Home equity or any other Loan Agreements (Student, etc.).
We have created data collection worksheets, templates, and samples to aid in gathering and generating the majority of the requested information. For instance, if you do not possess bylaws or an operating agreement, and meeting minutes, we will aid in producing these documents for your assessment.
The process of preparing an 8(a) application typically takes around 2-4 weeks, although this duration may vary depending on the complexity of your application. It is advisable to exercise caution if any consultant guarantees to complete your 8(a) application in just a few days, as this can result in your application being denied or returned. A typical 8(a) application comprises a variety of documents that can range from several hundred to over a thousand pages when submitted to the SBA. It takes time to adequately compile, complete, and most importantly, review all of the documentation.
According to the SBA, “Cases are reviewed and processed in the order in which they are received. We have experienced a more than 65% increase in 8(a) application submissions and we are also currently experiencing a staffing shortage.” This highlights the significance of ensuring that your 8(a) application is meticulously prepared and complete before submission.
After submitting your 8(a) Application to the SBA, you should expect to receive an email or notification through certify.sba.gov within one day to two business weeks, which will identify your assigned SBA reviewer. Your reviewer may request additional information or clarification, which we will provide as part of our Turnkey 8(a) Application Completion Service.
Once the SBA confirms that your 8(a) application is complete, it may take approximately three to five months to receive a decision. It is important to note that the burden of proof to verify compliance with 8(a) eligibility criteria rests with the applicant, and incomplete applications will not be processed by the SBA, as stated by the SBA.
Our 8(a) Application Completion Service boasts a success rate of over 99%. This achievement is possible because we conduct a rigorous qualifying interview with each client to ensure they meet all the 8(a) program regulations before engaging in our service.
If, after our assessment, we determine that you do not qualify for the 8(a) program, please do not be discouraged. Approximately 50% of individuals we speak with do not meet the rigorous 8(a) program requirements. Nonetheless, we will provide you with guidance on what steps you need to take to apply for the program in the future.
- Our team is dedicated to the 8(a) Certification process!
- We stay up to date on daily changes to the SBA 8(a) Program.
- Our understanding of the current SBA 8(a) Regulations is comprehensive.
- We review the latest SBA OHA (Office of Hearings and Appeals) cases on 8(a) Certification.
- We have a proven track record of success!
- Our success rate is over 99% for clients we qualify.
- We have helped thousands of small businesses attain and maintain their 8(a) Program Certification.
- We can provide references to support our success rate.
- We have over 20 years of experience in the 8(a) Program!
- All of our services are performed by Cloveer employees – we don’t use outside contractors like some competitors.
- We offer full life-cycle 8(a) Program services, not just Certification Completion Services.
- Our principals, Rick and Monica Otero, have personal experience in a successful 8(a) Certified business.
- We value your time!
- We pre-qualify potential clients for our full 8(a) Application Service to avoid wasting their time and ours.
- We provide clear and honest answers to your questions.
- Even if you don’t qualify for the 8(a) Program, we will identify any possible workarounds for your specific issues.
- We prioritize customer service!
- We treat every client with respect, recognizing them as a small business.
- Our service agreements guarantee confidentiality of your information.
- We protect all information provided to us on our secure server and never share it with anyone.
In summary, we are confident in our ability to provide the best 8(a) Program consulting services available. While others may try to imitate us, our experience and track record set us apart.
The cost of our Turnkey 8(a) Application Completion Service is $4,995.00, which can be paid in two installments.
The first installment is due at the start of your 8(a) Application engagement, and the final balance is payable either 30 days after engagement or upon completion, whichever comes first.
We offer multiple payment options, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, checks, PayPal, and wire transfer.
If you’re interested in proceeding with our service, please request a Service Agreement.
- You are welcome to view our blog or 8(a) faqs for more frequently asked questions on the SBA 8(a) Program.
- You can also view the latest SBA 8(a) Regulations (CFR: Title 13:Part 124) and read up on the extensive rules and regulations that govern the 8(a) Program.
- Payable in two installments
- We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Checks, PayPal and Wire Transfer
- All SBA responses included
- This is a turnkey service. No hidden fees.