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.
The website certify.sba,gov contains an area titled “Am I Eligible”. Taking this interview will certainly give you a basic idea if you might qualify for the 8(a) Program but it does not definitively determine your overall 8(a) Program eligibility.
Did you know there are many other questions you need to ask yourself to ensure you meet all of the 8(a) Program eligibility requirements? If not, you may be in for a rude awakening when you apply for the 8(a) Program.
Cloveer has developed a comprehensive online 8(a) Eligibility Questionnaire that asks ALL of the questions required to determine your overall 8(a) eligibility before you take the leap.
There is no cost to take the 8(a) questionnaire.
As you answer most of the questions, our online 8(a) eligibility questionnaire will automatically let you know if have a potential eligibility issue that might prevent you from becoming 8(a) Certified. Some questions may require additional information from you, for us to determine your overall 8(a) Program eligibility.
Upon your submission of your responses, we will follow up to discuss your current state of 8(a) Program eligibility and answer any additional questions you might have. If you do not qualify, we will let you know why and how to possibly get around these issues, if possible.
OK. Now that you have determined you meet all of the 8(a) Program eligibility requirements. What’s next?
You have several options:
- You can attempt to tackle the 8(a) Application yourself. To do this, go to certify.sba.gov and follow the instructions for obtaining an account to begin the process of applying for the 8(a) Program. Just an FYI. 7 out of ever 10 8(a) Applications submitted to the SBA are either rejected or returned for deficiencies.
- Hire a consultant or even a trusted Attorney. The investment made to have an outside consultant or attorney assist in your 8(a) Application preparation and submission can certainly increase your chances for getting 8(a) Certified, assuming they have the experience and knowledge with the 8(a) Program regulations. Be sure that the consultant or attorney has extensive experience in preparing 8(a) Applications with a high success rate.
- Contact to your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). A PTAC counselor can help guide you through the steps necessary. Many PTAC centers offer training courses on government contracting and the various certification programs. These are usually offered for free or for a minimal cost.