The office of the Hubzone Program uses a three-level review process for all Hubzone applications and supporting documentation to ensure that it only admits eligible firms into the program. Each level of review evaluates whether a firm should be certified or declined entry into the Hubzone program. First level analysts review supporting documents including owners’ proof of citizenship, principal office leases, payroll, employees’ driver’s licenses, and utility bills. The Hubzone program director or deputy director makes the final determination to certify or decline the applicant firm. See below for a summary of the steps in the Hubzone certification process.
Ok, so you are ready to take the leap into getting SBA 8(a) Certified. Where do you start?
Before you take the leap, you should be sure that you and your firm meet all the SBA 8(a) Program eligibility requirements. One of the most common mistakes is to automatically assume you qualify for the 8(a) Program because you are a minority owned business.
Pick up the phone. Speak to the actual person who will be preparing your application.
You should be able to call and speak directly to the individual who will be responsible for preparing your application. At Cloveer, you can call and speak to the employee who will be responsible for preparing your application. They will answer any of your questions and let you know whether or not you are eligible to become certified into one of these programs at no cost.
The federal government is the largest buyer in the world, but how do you know what agency will buy what you sell?
What do government agencies buy and where to locate opportunities?
You must provide copies of all your business bank account signature cards to the SBA as part of your 8(a) Application through certify.sba.gov.
Here are 6 tips to ensure you provide the appropriate bank signature cards and they meet the 8(a) Program requirements.
When you apply for the 8(a) Program through certify.sba.gov the SBA will require that you provide a detailed listing of your contracts* for the last 12 months.
Tip: We also suggest that you take a look at this breakdown for the last completed (e.g., 2021, 2020 and 2019) three years too. The SBA is likely to request this additional information to look at the totality of your economic dependency.
Here is the message you will likely receive from the SBA if you fail to provide the last three years of information:
“The chart associated with the Certify application does not ask for this level of detail, and is not sufficient in addressing this query.”
You must provide copies of all the required and special licenses (e.g., city, county, and state business licenses, special licenses, etc.)?
Surprisingly, many of our clients do not have the required county or state license when we speak with them. For example – If your business is located in Fairfax County, Virginia you must have a Business Professional and Occupational License (BPOL).
The SBA will review an 8(a) Applicants business loans and lines of credit in great detail.
Here are eight items the SBA looks at:
Have you provided complete copies of the personal Federal tax returns for the last three years from all required individuals? Federal tax returns are required from each 8(a) applicant and their spouse. Currently, the SBA does not require the same for other individuals who are an officer, director, partner, member and anyone else who holds more than 10% ownership interest in the business concern who is a non-disadvantaged individual with certify.sba.gov. However, be prepared to provide these to the SBA, if requested.
Here are 10 tips to ensure you are complaint with the SBA requirements for your 8(a) Application for personal tax returns.
The most common misunderstanding that many of our clients come to us with is not knowing which employees count towards the 35% Hubzone residency requirement and how the principal office is determined. Many think that as long as 35% of the employees in their principal office reside in a Hubzone, they will qualify. This is not true.