Cloveer Inc. Blog

Why most people fail at getting their business 8(a) certified?

They rely solely on the certify.sba.gov eligibility questionnaire to determine if they qualify for the 8(a) Program.

If you answer the five questions “Yes” within the “Are you eligible for the 8(a) Business Development Program?” questionnaire on certify.sba.gov the results will state “Based on the responses you provided above, you appear to be eligible for the 8(a) Business Development Program”. 

Do not assume that by answering these five questions you are truly eligible for the 8(a) Program. 

There are only five questions asked by the SBA in their eligibility questionnaire. See below:

Again, If you rely solely on the answers to the above five questions, you may not get 8(a) certified. Just look at the difference between the SBA’s eligibility questionnaire (above) and our 8(a) eligibility questionnaire (below).

By completing our eligibility questionnaire you will know if you definitively qualify for the 8(a) Program.

Below are additional questions that you are not asked within the above SBA questionnaire that would result in a denial of your 8(a) Application.

  1. If your business is solely reliant on one billable commercial client, you will be denied for economic dependence.
  2. If the applicant (the individual whom 8(a) eligibility is based upon) or the business has filed bankruptcy in the last seven years and it has not been discharged by the bankruptcy court, you will be denied.
  3. If the applicant or business previously obtained an SBA loan and it is not current with the lender, you will be denied.
  4. If any other owner or key officer in your business, is a former employer or officer of the applicant, you will be denied.
  5. If the applicant has ownership or management involvement in any other business, you will be denied. Please note. Exceptions may be made for ownership in an LLC for holding real estate.
  6. If the applicant or business has any delinquent federal obligations, delinquent taxes, owes back taxes, without a repayment arrangement, or has a lien, you will be denied.
  7. If the applicant previously used their eligibility to qualify another business into the 8(a) Program, you will be denied.
  8. If the applicant or business is voluntarily excluded or otherwise the subject of an action that rendered them ineligible for procurement or non-procurement purposes from any department or agency of the Federal Government, you will be denied.
  9. If the applicant is currently on parole or probation, you will be denied.
  10. If you fail to disclose any past arrest, even if it happened 10 or 20 years ago, you will be denied, regardless of disclosing it after your application submission.

Have you seen enough? Take our free online eligibility questionnaire to ensure you qualify for the 8(a) program before attempting to complete your 8(a) application.

No, I haven’t seen enough. I want to see more potential denial issues.

  1. If the business has changed ownership or key management in the last two years, and the previous majority owner remains involved in the business, you will most likely be denied.
  2. If someone other than the applicant solely guarantees a business loan or lease, you will be denied.
  3. If the applicant is not the highest compensated, you will most likely be denied.
  4. If the applicant is not the highest-ranking officer in the business, you will be denied.
  5. If the business owns 50% of the assets of a previously 8(a) certified business, you will be denied.

Have you seen enough? Take our free online eligibility questionnaire to ensure you qualify for the 8(a) program before attempting to complete your 8(a) application.

No, I haven’t seen enough. I want to see more potential denial issues.

  1. If your business financial statements do not show you are operating with a profit, does not have positive equity or sufficient working capital, you will be denied.
  2. If your business is not performing the proper percentage of work using its own W-2 employees? No more than 50% subcontracting for service-related firms, 85% for general construction firms or 75% for construction/trade related firms, you will be denied.
  3. If you are classified as broker, you will be denied.
  4. If your business has not earned sufficient revenues in its primary NAICS code for the last two years, as evidenced on its business tax returns, you will be denied, unless you can meet the conditions of the two-year waiver.
  5. If your business earned the majority of its revenues from a past employer, you will be denied.

These are just 20 potential denial issues that are not brought up by the SBA in their eligibility questionnaire within certify.sba.gov. There are at least 50 other ways the applicant or business can be denied.

I have seen enough. I want to take the free 8(a) eligibility questionnaire to make sure I truly qualify for the 8(a) Program.

8(a) Program Two Year Waiver Requirements

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