What is the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program?
The Small Business Association’s 8(a) Business Development Program certifications are among the most coveted certifications available to small business owners. The ultimate goal of the program is to help small businesses become much larger through government contracting and mentorship from a larger business in the same industry. To qualify, the company must be at least 51% owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (African American, Asian, Hispanic, and American Indian). The program is divided into two phases over a 9 year period: a four year developmental period and a five year transition period.
What are the Benefits of the 8(a) Program?
8(a) certified businesses can receive sole-source contracts for up to $4 million for goods and services and up to $6.5 million for manufacturing. Additionally, one of the best features of the program is the ability of 8(a) certified firms to receive subcontracts from larger prime contractors, allowing both companies to benefit tremendously. Participants in the program can receive up to $100 million dollars in sole-source contracts!
Another great aspect of 8(a) certification is the Mentor-Protégé program. This allows the small business to receive business development assistance from a more mature firm with the goal of enhancing the capabilities of the 8(a) company.
Details of the SBA’s 8(a) Mentor-Protégé program can be found here.
Do You Have What It Takes to Qualify?
The 8(a) program has a number of qualification requirements:
- Two years in business (or a waiver)
- Majority owned by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual
- Never participated in the 8(a) program before
- Business integrity for majority owner and any partners
- No franchises, brokers, or non-profits
- Full time employment at 8(a) applicant firm
- No partnerships with other 8(a) firms
- No defaults on SBA loans, bankruptcies, or student loans
- Must be US citizen or naturalized
- No parole or probation
- Must be defined as a small business
- Must have a variety of contracts, both private and public, and no one client account for more that 50% of revenue
Please contact us if you would like to see if you pre-qualify!
What Are the 8(a) Program Application Requirements?
The 8(a) Certification requirements are lengthy, but Cayenne’s expertise can ease the application process. We can help develop and organize all of the following for your 8(a) program application:
- Business Plan
- Capability Statement
- Operational Plan
- Up to Date Tax Returns
- Business History and Owner’s History
- Organizational Documents
- Organizational Chart
- Reference Letters
- Economic and Social Narrative
- Management Resumes
This list of requirements can definitely look overwhelming. Let Cayenne Consulting help you so you can focus on running your business. The 8(a) program is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your small business, both now and in the years to come.
Learn More About Our SBA and 8(a) Certification Services
If you'd like an assessment of your needs and a fee estimate, please let us know how to reach you: