SBA 8(a) Certification can help small business entities to get a better grip on the corporate world. In order to understand how SBA 8(a) certification works, you must know about it. You will need to undergo a lengthy process to get this certification.
The SBA 8(a) certification process has a few steps that you will need to complete before moving on to the next. To start, you will have to apply for the program and show documentation that your business meets all of the requirements set out by the SBA. Next, submit a proposal to them for review. If everything in your application is satisfactory, then your business will be certified and can take advantage of better opportunities!
So how do you get started on this process? Here we will go through all the steps to get a certification in this masterclass program. So, let’s get started!
What is the SBA 8(a) program?
The SBA (8a) certification is sponsored by the Small Business Association of the United States government, and it provides nine years’ worth of development programs. These programs include training, counseling, marketing, and technical assistance to those small businesses that have been certified. The first four years are considered developmental, while the last five are transitionary; in other words, once a business has completed all nine years, it will be able to compete comfortably in any business environment.
If your organization is at least 51% owned and controlled by members of disadvantaged social groups, you may be eligible for this certification. The Small Business Administration (SBA) recognizes African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Native Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans as socially and economically disadvantaged.
An individual who does not belong to any of the aforementioned groups can be admitted to the program if they are able to show that race, ethnic origin, gender, physical handicap, long-term residence in an environment isolated from American society, or another similar situation has left them disadvantaged.
How Can You Get SBA 8(a) Certification?
In order to get SBA 8(a) certification, you will need to complete a series of steps that show your business meets all the requirements set out by the SBA.
1. Meet the Listed Requirements
Before getting certified, take some time to check that your business meets all the requirements laid out by the SBA. You will have to prove that your business is owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and demonstrate financial need.
2. Assemble Additional Documentation
If you have established that your business meets all the SBA’s requirements, you must assemble additional documentation to apply for certification. This includes bank statements, tax returns, financial projections, resumes of key personnel, and a business plan.
3. Register Your Business
Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and information, you will need to register your business with the System for Award Management (SAM). This is a government-run database that allows businesses to be listed in order to receive federal contracts.
4. Write a Narrative
In addition to the necessary paperwork, you will need to write a narrative explaining why your business should be granted 8(a) certification. This should include details on how the business meets all of the requirements set out by the SBA and how it can benefit from the program.
5. Submit an application to the Program
When your paperwork and narrative are ready, you will need to submit them to the SBA. The application process can take anywhere from four to six months, and there is no guarantee that your business will be approved. If they approve your application, then you are officially certified!
6. Make an appointment to speak with an SBA representative
Once you have submitted your application, you will need to make an appointment to speak with a representative from the SBA. This is so they can review all of your documents and answer any questions you may have about the program. So now that we’ve gone through all the steps for getting certified, it’s time for you to get started!
7. Maintain Eligibility
Once you are certified, you will need to maintain your eligibility in order to remain in the program. This includes staying up-to-date with any SBA changes and ensuring that your business meets all its requirements.
How Long Does It Take to Get SBA 8(a) Certified?
The average processing time for an SBA 8(a) program application is 90 days. However, the amount of time it takes largely depends on how many other applications are ahead of yours. That being said, if you fail to submit complete or correctly filled-out forms, this will only end up delaying the process even further. If at any point during the reviewal process, your application is deemed incomplete, you will be promptly notified by the SBA. Upon receiving approval for your 8(a) certification, details regarding your approved status and exit date from the program will be made available via your SAM profile.
Can My SBA 8A Application Be Denied?
Yes, your SBA 8(a) application can be denied if you fail to meet the eligibility requirements or provide all necessary documents. It is important to ensure that your business meets all of the criteria set out by the SBA and that you provide a thorough narrative explaining why it should become certified.
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