8(a) Application Completion Service
2,500 + 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?
This turnkey service is designed for the small business owner who needs an expert to prepare all aspects of their SBA 8(a) Application. We work one-on-one with you to make sure your 8(a) Application is prepared properly and is accepted by the SBA.
We are experienced at solving complex 8(a) application show stoppers and have the knowledge and expertise 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.
1. You will have access to sole source/non-competitive federal contracts with a value of:
- $4M and under for all services-related contracts.
- $6.5M and under for manufacturing-related contracts.
2. You will have access to competitive set-aside federal contracts with a value of:
- $4M and over for all services-related contracts.
- $6.5M and over for manufacturing-related contracts.
A search of sam.gov (Small Business Goaling Report) found that between 10/1/2019 to 9/30/2020 there were 70,414 contract actions totaling $15.2 billion awarded in the 8(a) program.
3. You will severely limit your potential competition.
- There are less than 7,000 active 8(a) participants (As of August, 2021) in the entire 8(a) Program.
- The big guys (Lockheed Martin, CSC, EDS, Halliburton, etc.) cannot compete for these contracts.
4. It is easier for your federal prospects to buy from you.
- 8(a) contracts require much less paperwork, time, and bureaucracy than most other federal procurement methods.
- 8(a) contracts cannot be protested.
5. It is a much faster contract award process.
- 8(a) contracts take about 1/10 the amount of time to be awarded compared to most other federal procurement methods.
6. 8(a) firms can form Joint Ventures and teams to bid on contracts.
- You will have the ability to perform larger prime contracts and overcome the effects of contract bundling, the combining of two or more contracts together into one large contract. Also through the SBA All Small Mentor Protege Program it will allow your firm to learn the ropes from other more experienced businesses.
Before you sign-up:
Before engaging with us, we ask you to complete our FREE online 8(a) Eligibility Questionnaire to make sure there are no potential 8(a) Program eligibility issues that may prevent your business from becoming 8(a) Certified. If we find any showstoppers, based upon your responses to our questionnaire, we identify exactly what these issues are and let you know what needs to be done to overcome them, if possible, so you can apply when you can.
When you are ready to sign-up:
Assuming you meet all the eligibility requirements for the 8(a) Program, we will then send you a service agreement for the 8(a) Application Completion Service. Once we receive it back, you’ll be provided a progress report that details all the specific documentation needed from you and your business based upon your unique circumstances. Along with this progress report, we provide data collection worksheets, templates and samples that will assist you in providing or collecting some of the information requested. We also provide you with access to a secure Dropbox folder to upload the requested information and documents to.
We review, prepare, and complete your entire SBA 8(a) Application, including the online 8(a) Application through certify.sba.gov including uploading all required SBA forms, attachments and supporting enclosures that might be required. We also assist in preparing the 2-year waiver, if needed.
As we receive your information, we review each individual element, line by line, to ensure 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.
Below is a general listing of items we review. Please note, since every 8(a) application is unique, some of the required items may not be listed below:
- Dun and Bradstreet profile. We ensure the principal address for the business is correct and all other company information is accurate within your profile.
- 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 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’s requirements 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.
- 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.
- Subcontractor breakdown, if required.
- 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 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’s 30-day maximum sensitivity requirements are 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’s Adjusted Gross Income requirements and all supporting statements, 1099’s and W-2’s are provided.
- Evidence of 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.
- Business tax returns for the last three years. We ensure that all ownership is accurately reported and there are no inconsistencies between the taxes and the business financial statements.
- Evidence of 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 prepare and package all required documents in the SBA’s preferred format (PDF) for upload to certify.sba.gov.
Every item and specific area within your 8(a) Application will be noted as applicable or not so your assigned SBA 8(a) analyst can review your 8(a) Application as fast as possible.
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 analyst request any additional information needed to complete their review, we will draft and respond to all SBA requests as part of our 8(a) Application Completion Service.
We are devoted to making sure your 8(a) Application has the best chance for SBA approval and provide full support and guidance from the service start until you receive notification from the SBA that you are officially 8(a) certified.
For a free 8(a) Program eligibility analysis, please take our online 8(a) eligibility questionnaire.
You are also free to review the basic eligibility requirements below.
Generally, to be approved into the 8(a) Program you must meet these basic eligibility requirements:
- All applicant(s) must be a US Citizen. (Applicant = 51% or more owner or anyone else who is considered the applicant for 8(a) Certification 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 or Managing Member.
- The primary applicant must be able to demonstrate that they are the highest compensated individual in the business that is applying for 8(a) Certification. 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 $750,000 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).
- The applicant(s) AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) cannot be more than $350,000 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’s designated groups they must also be able to submit a narrative statement of social disadvantage that meets the SBA’s 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 was 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 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.
- 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 the 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 conditions set by the SBA to overcome this condition.
- The business concern and the applicant 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. The above are the general 8(a) Program eligibility requirements, there may be more eligibility requirements based upon your unique business circumstances.
Keep in mind that each 8(a) Application is unique and document requirements vary for each 8(a) Application.
Below is a general list of items that will need to be included within your 8(a) application. Your unique application may require additional items not specified below. Please note, the SBA can request anything they deem necessary to make a determination on your 8(a) Application. Failure to provide any requested information can result in a denial.
- 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 three filing years, or as many as you have been in business, if less than 3 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 possibly for the last three years.
- A current certificate of good standing (required for Corporations and LLC’s only).
- 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 worksheets, samples, and templates that assist in collecting and developing most of the information requested. For example, if you do not have a set of bylaws or an operating agreement, we will assist in the creation of these documents.
It typically takes a minimum of 2-4 weeks to prepare an 8(a) Application, although this time frame can be shorter or longer depending on the degree of complexity of your 8(a) Application.
Be cautious if any other consultant tells you that they can prepare your 8(a) application in just a few days, as this is sure to result in a denial or returned application. A typical 8(a) Application contains many documents ranging from several hundred to over a thousand pages in length when submitted to the SBA. It takes time to properly compile, complete and review all of your documentation.
Quote from SBA. ” We have experienced a 65% increase in 8(a) Application submissions and therefore, by submitting the most complete application possible it will assist the reviewer in processing your file in a more expeditious manner.“
Once your 8(a) Application is submitted to the SBA for review, you will typically receive an email or notification through certify.sba.gov within 1 day to 2 business weeks that identifies your SBA reviewer.
Your SBA reviewer, may at this time, request additional information to answer any questions they have. We will prepare all formal responses to the SBA as part of our Turnkey 8(a) Application Completion Service.
Once the SBA has determined that your 8(a) Application is deemed complete, it will take approximately 3 to 5 months to be notified of a decision by the SBA.
Quote from SBA: “Please note the burden of proof to verify compliance with 8(a) eligibility criteria lies with you the applicant. SBA is not required to process incomplete 8(a) Applications.“
We maintain a very high success rate for our 8(a) Application Completion Service. In fact, our success rate is over 99%.
We are able to reach this success rate by doing an extensive qualifying interview with every client to make sure they pass our qualification test for the 8(a) Program prior to engagement.
Don’t be surprised if we tell you don’t qualify for the 8(a) Program since only about 50% of the people we speak with meet all of the rigorous 8(a) Program regulations.
Even if you don’t qualify, we will tell you what you must do so you can apply in the near future.
1. We live and breathe 8(a) Certification!
- We keep up to date on all of the latest daily SBA 8(a) Program changes.
- We have a detailed understanding of the current SBA 8(a) Regulations.
- We review all of the latest SBA OHA (Office of Hearings and Appeals) cases on 8(a) Certification.
2. We have a very strong success rate!
- We maintain a success rate of over 99% for clients we qualify.
- We have assisted thousands of small businesses to achieve and maintain their 8(a) Program Certification.
- We have real references to back up our success rate, that you can contact.
3. We have 20+ years of experience within the 8(a) Program!
- All services performed are by Cloveer employees, not outside contractors, like some of our competitors.
- We just don’t offer 8(a) Certification Completion Services. We offer full life-cycle 8(a) Program services before and after you get 8(a) Certified.
- Our principals (Rick and Monica Otero) worked in their family’s 8(a) Certified business (RJO Enterprises). It was one of the country’s most successful 8(a), high-tech, information technology and electronics concerns. It was recognized for five consecutive years as one of the fastest growing companies in the nation, by Inc. Magazine.
4. We won’t waste your time!
- We attempt to pre-qualify all potential clients for our full 8(a) Application Service. We are not interested in wasting your time or ours if you do not qualify.
- When you ask a question, you will get a straight answer with no double talk.
- Even if you don’t qualify we will identify the workaround to your specific issue(s) so you can apply down the road, if possible.
5. We believe in Customer Service!
- We believe in treating every client with the respect they deserve as a small business.
- Our service agreements guarantee protection of your confidential information.
- All information provided to us is protected on our secure server and will never be shared with anyone.
Finally. We are the best 8(a) Program consultant that is available on the market. The others just try to emulate us.
The fee to complete the Turnkey 8(a) Application Completion Service is: $4,500.00.
This is fee payable in two installments. (1) The first installment is paid at the time of the start of your 8(a) Application engagement. (2) The final balance is due either 30 days after engagement or upon completion, which ever comes first.
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Checks for payment.
Request a Service Agreement, if you are ready to proceed.