The 8(a) Authority

Excuses

Here are the real facts about those excuses you’ve been making for not applying to be 8(a) certified.

Here are the benefits:

  1. Sole source or non-competitive contracts of $4.5M for services or $6.5M for manufacturing
  2. Reducing the number of your competitors by about 99.99% in your market area
  3. Decreasing the amount of time to book a contract from about a year to about a month
  4. Making it about 90% easier for your prospective customer to buy from you versus from your competitors
  5. Virtually eliminating the potential for “sore-loser” protests of your hard-earned winning bids
  6. Never having to compete on price alone or having to be the “cheapest guy in town”
  7. Being awarded contracts that are typically more than 4 times larger than those awarded to other small businesses
  8. Becoming a favored subcontractor to the “big guys” and received with open arms by them simply because you can help them to win contracts not available to their competitors
  9. Favored customer of banks and other lenders, just because they too recognize the above advantages that you and not everyone enjoy
  10. Real potential to be among the top 90% of all businesses that are similar to your own and among the top 25% of all Federal contractors

What I have discovered over these last 20 years of assisting companies to be certified are the following two lessons:

Lesson 1- “Anyone can be certified”. Don’t believe it?

  • Not a U.S. citizen? – Apply for citizenship
  • Not a member of one of the designated minority groups? – Prepare a convincing Social Disadvantage Narrative
  • Have outside employment? – Quit your job before you apply
  • Not economically disadvantaged? – Transfer your assets to your spouse and wait 2 years or invest them into your business or your personal residence
  • More than 70% of your revenues derived from a single commercial client? –Reduce this dependence by getting more clients
  • Just started your business yesterday or less than 2 years ago? – Buy an established business or wait the 2 years before applying

Lesson 2 – “Not everyone can be certified, at least immediately”. Here are the major reasons for SBA denials!

  • Company financials not acceptable – You must exhibit positive equity, working capital and earnings.
  • Affiliation with your former employer or family member who has a business – You must exhibit independence and capability to run your own business.
  • Can’t prove that you are socially disadvantaged – Unless you have a solid story of when the bias occurred, who was responsible, what they did or said to you only based on your distinguishing feature, e.g., gender, and what the impact on you was, the SBA will not accept your story.
  • Not economically disadvantaged – There is more to proving your disadvantage than the net worth test and unless you address each of the other reasons, the SBA will deny you.
  • Ownership and control of the firm is not convincing to the SBA – If you haven’t amended your corporate governance documents, e.g., bylaws, minutes, stocks, etc. the SBA will never certify you.

While, it isn’t easy, here are the current number of woman and Service Disabled Veteran -owned 8(a) certified companies:

  • 1998 Women-Owned
  • 707 SDV-Owned

It’s not impossible, if you can answer yes to at least one of the following 30 questions and prepare a convincing narrative stating that you have been subjected to bias or prejudice based on your gender or handicap.

30 Questions for Women:

Area: EDUCATION

    1. Have you ever been denied admission to any school, college, or university because of your gender?
    2. Have you ever been excluded from membership in any educational clubs, or professional organizations, because membership was limited to men?
    3. Did the school, college, or university that you attended seriously lack qualified teachers, staff, facilities, or equipment to the extent that it had a negative affect on the quality of your education?
    4. Have you ever been denied a scholastic honor or recognition only because you are a woman?
    5. Have you ever been denied a scholarship or other forms of financial support required to finance your education because of your sex?
    6. Have you ever been channeled into a specific “learning track” (e.g., teacher, nurse, secretary, etc.) only because of your gender?
    7. Have you been denied attendance or admission to any school, college or university because of your long-term residence in a community isolated from the mainstream of American Society, such as a city ghetto, the “deep south”, or the “back hills”?
  1. Have you ever been denied professional training in your work that has impaired your entry or advancement in your professional career, only because your management thought it would be a waste of time to train a person (i.e., woman) who would only leave to start a family?
  2. Have you ever been subjected to sexual harassment in your educational environment such that it had a dramatic affect on your learning?
  3. Have you ever been subjected to extreme social pressures (e.g., “nice southern girls are not engineers”) that have discouraged you from pursuing professional or higher education or selected career fields that would naturally prepare you for business ownership?

Area: EMPLOYMENT

  1. Have you ever been denied access to mentoring, on-the-job training, apprenticeships, etc., required to gain the necessary skills to advance in your field, only because of your gender (e.g., “everyone knows that women work only to supplement their husband’s salary”)?
  2. Have you ever been subjected to significant variations in salary from those of your equally qualified contemporaries, who happen to be men?
  3. Have you ever been unfairly denied salary increases, bonuses, or commissions, and been told that your male counterpart is the “bread-winner”, and that’s the reason why?
  4. Have your fringe benefits been out of concert with your position, tenure, and other factors commonly applied to all employees, only because you were a female employee?
  5. Have you ever been terminated for what you consider to be unjust reasons, based only on your gender?
  6. Have you ever been subjected to sexual harassment in your work environment such that it had a dramatic affect on your job performance?
  7. Have you ever been subjected to a glass ceiling that kept you from advancing into management positions?
  8. Have you ever been excluded from participation in company groups or functions that a person of your level would otherwise have been included, including management meetings at bars, hotel rooms or during weekend out-of-town golf outings?
  9. Have you ever been subjected to unfair or inequitable performance evaluations or merit reviews that had a negative impact on your professional progression, because “you were not “cooperative” when asked to do something that was against your principles?
  10. Have you ever been denied employment opportunities on bases different than those applied to other non-socially disadvantaged individuals, such as being denied an interview or job only because of your gender?

Area: BUSINESS HISTORY

  1. Have you ever been denied access to contract bidding opportunities, only because the buyer expressed an opinion that “women were not fit to be in that business?
  2. Have you ever been unfairly denied the award of a contract, due to factors only related to your gender?
  3. Have you ever been unfairly kept from joining in teaming or subcontracting relationships, because of being a woman-owned business?
  4. Have you ever been subjected to unfair negotiations, because the negotiator thought he could “be tough” on you and you would back down, because you are a female?
  5. Have you ever been systematically excluded from access to facilities where business is normally conducted, such as bars, hotel rooms, men’s clubs or weekend golf outings?
  6. Have you ever been unfairly excluded from participation in professional or business groups, only because they have historically been seen as the exclusive domain of the “good old boys”?
  7. Have you or your firm been unfairly characterized for unsatisfactory past performance, in an attempt to secure a non-professional favor or consideration from you?
  8. Have you unfairly been denied access to private sector or Government decision makers, contracting officers, or buyers, only because they couldn’t see that a woman could be qualified to have them waste their time talking to?
  9. Have you ever been unfairly denied access to the capital or credit necessary to operate and grow your business, and asked to have you “husband” co-sign a business loan, even though he was not part of your business, even unemployed, and in jail?
  10. Have you ever unfairly denied bonding, licenses, or leases necessary to operate and grow your business, only because the grantor thought that women represented an unreasonable risk over male-owned companies for the same bond, license or lease?

30 Questions for Service Disabled Veterans:

Area: EDUCATION

  1. Have you ever been denied admission to any school, college, or university because of your handicap?
  2. Have you ever been excluded from membership in any educational clubs, or professional organizations, because membership was limited to “physically fit” individuals?
  3. Did the school, college, or university that you attended seriously lack qualified teachers, staff, facilities, or equipment that were “unfriendly to handicapped persons” to the extent that it had a negative affect on the quality of your education?
  4. Have you ever been denied a scholastic honor or recognition only because you are a veteran and/or a handicapped individual?
  5. Have you ever been denied a scholarship or other forms of financial support required to finance your education because of your veteran status or handicap?
  6. Have you ever been channeled into a specific “learning track” (e.g. professions that did not require any physical actions on your part) only because of your handicap?
  7. Have you been denied attendance or admission to any school, college or university because of your long-term residence in a community isolated from the mainstream of American Society, such as a city ghetto, the “deep south”, or the “back hills”?
  8. Have you ever been denied professional training in your work that has impaired your entry or advancement in your professional career, only because your management thought it would be a waste of time to train a person (i.e., a service disabled veteran) who would only be limited in their professional growth because of your handicap?
  9. Have you ever been subjected to ridicule or harassment in your educational environment, by virtue of any physical limitations or appearance due to your handicap, such that it had a dramatic affect on your learning?
  10. Have you ever been subjected to extreme social pressures (e.g., “Why bother getting an MBA? No one would do business with a gimp.”) that have discouraged you from pursuing professional or higher education or selected career fields that would naturally prepare you for business ownership?

Area: EMPLOYMENT

  1. Have you ever been denied access to mentoring, on-the-job training, apprenticeships, etc., required to gain the necessary skills to advance in your field, only because of your handicap (e.g., “We know that in your condition you probably can’t be doing this kind of work long-term.”)?
  2. Have you ever been subjected to significant variations in salary from those of your equally qualified contemporaries, who happen to not be handicapped?
  3. Have you ever been unfairly denied salary increases, bonuses, or commissions, and been told that your physical handicap makes your clients or peers uncomfortable, and that’s the reason why?
  4. Have your fringe benefits been out of concert with your position, tenure, and other factors commonly applied to all employees, only because you were a (service) disabled employee?
  5. Have you ever been terminated for what you consider to be unjust reasons, based only on your handicap?
  6. Have you ever been subjected to harassment in your work environment (because of your handicap) such that it had a dramatic affect on your job performance?
  7. Have you ever been subjected to a glass ceiling that kept you from advancing into management positions because senior management didn’t think you fit the “image the company wanted to project”?
  8. Have you ever been excluded from participation in company groups or functions that a person of your level would otherwise have been included, including management meetings at bars, hotel rooms or during weekend out-of-town golf outings because you couldn’t physically participate or because these locations were not handicap-accessible?
  9. Have you ever been subjected to unfair or inequitable performance evaluations or merit reviews that had a negative impact on your professional progression, because “you were not “cooperative” when asked to do something that was difficult or impossible to perform because of limited physical ability?
  10. Have you ever been denied employment opportunities on bases different than those applied to other non-socially disadvantaged individuals, such as being denied an interview or job only because of your handicap?

Area: BUSINESS HISTORY

  1. Have you ever been denied access to contract bidding opportunities, only because the buyer expressed an opinion that as a service-disabled veteran, you probably could not perform on the job?
  2. Have you ever been unfairly denied the award of a contract, due to factors only related to your handicap?
  3. Have you ever been unfairly kept from joining in teaming or subcontracting relationships, because of being a service disabled veteran owned business?
  4. Have you ever been subjected to unfair negotiations, because the negotiator thought he could “be tough” on you and you would back down, because of your handicap?
  5. Have you ever been systematically excluded from access to facilities where business is normally conducted, such as bars, hotel rooms, men’s clubs or weekend golf outings because they are inaccessible to you because of your handicap?
  6. Have you ever been unfairly excluded from participation in professional or business groups, only because they have historically been seen as the exclusive domain of the “good old boys” who probably do not have your handicap or may not come from your social background?
  7. Have you or your firm been unfairly characterized for unsatisfactory past performance simply on the basis of your handicap?
  8. Have you unfairly been denied access to private sector or Government decision makers, contracting officers, or buyers, only because they couldn’t see that a handicapped individual could be qualified to perform the work they needed?
  9. Have you ever been unfairly denied access to the capital or credit necessary to operate and grow your business, and asked to have a non-handicapped individual co-sign a business loan, even if he or she was not part of your business?
  10. Have you ever unfairly denied bonding, licenses, or leases necessary to operate and grow your business, only because the grantor thought that service disabled veteran (SDVOB) represented an unreasonable risk over other non – service – disabled veteran owned companies for the same bond, license or lease?

Incidentally, we have a “tool” to assist you to prepare the above narratives. Just email me!

Here is the truth about the 2-years in business requirement.

Do you really believe that you can’t be 8(a) certified unless you’ve been in business for at least two years? Well, if you do, you might just be wrong!

Have you been told that you have to be an established mid-sized business before you should apply for the 8(a) Certification? Again, you just might have been misinformed or even “hoodwinked”

First of all, you should know that despite what you may have heard, the average 8(a) company is a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company or a sub-chapter S corporation with less than two employees, one being the owner.

You might also be interested in knowing that the 8(a)- certification process includes the “real-possibility” of being granted a waiver to the so-called “Two-Year Rule”. Here’s the rub! Although the SBA spells out the five criteria that you must meet to be granted the waiver, they provide absolutely no guidance as to “how to prove” that you meet each criterion.
Worse than that, they don’t tell you that there are a number of legal and regulatory compliant ways to avoid having to prepare the waiver altogether.

It does not have to be, although the paperwork is not for the “light-hearted”.

HERE IS THE REAL CHECKLIST TO BE COMPLETED BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR 8(a) – APPLICATION AND AVOID THE CERTIFICATION TRAPS

Complete and comply with the checklist below and your chances of being 8(a) certified will be increased significantly.

The 17 items identified by the SBA below are ONLY the tip of the iceberg!

SBA Item 1: A list of current and past Federal and non-Federal awarded contracts within the last 12 months. Include award date, agency/customer name, NAICS code, a description of work, and dollar value.

  • Provide the above for at least 2 commercial clients or at least 1 government client
  • Ensure that the revenue from that client providing you with your largest portion of your revenues over the last 12 months does not exceed more than 70% of your total revenue from all clients over for the last 12 months
  • Ensure that the NAICS code provided in the table is the same primary NAICS code provided in your SBA Form 1010, your SAM profile and your company’s tax return for the most recently completed fiscal year

SBA Item 2: Interim or year-end balance sheet and profit and loss statement no older than 90 days from the application date.

  • Ensure that the financial statements meet the SBA criteria for determining that your company exhibits a “positive potential for success” as represented by a positive equity, positive working capital, i.e., Current Assets-Current Liabilities>$0, and positive current period earnings, i.e., profitable at the time of the application.
  • If the statements are provided on an accrual versus cash basis, provide an Accounts Receivable (AR) and Accounts Payable (AP) aging report for the same data represented by the financial statement, ensuring that the amounts shown for AR and AP from the aging reports match the values shown on the balance sheet.
  • If the balance sheet provided indicates the existence of a loan from or to any individual or organization, provide a complete executed copy of the loan agreement and include it in Item 9.

SBA Item 3: Copies of the last three years of the Applicant Firm’s filed Federal tax returns including all schedules and attachments.

  • Provide the above appropriately signed taxes, i.e., Federal taxes ONLY for the last 3 years. If you have yet to file your taxes for the most recently completed tax year, provide a copy of the Request for Tax Filing Extension.
  • If taxes show that there was money owed at the end of ANY of the above tax years, you must provide proof of the tax payment or alternatively provide a copy of the tax repayment plan with the IRS and also proof that you are in compliance with the payment terms of this tax repayment plan.
  • If the Business Activity Code shown on your company tax return does not match the NAICS Code shown on your SBA Form 1010, Sam profile or List of Contracts, i.e., Item 1 above, then you must secure and provide a letter from your tax preparer that indicates that the Business Activity Code was entered in error by him/her and identify the correct code.

SBA Item 4: Copy of firm’s current Certificate of Good Standing (for Corporations or LLCs, if applicable), or similar document, from the state where the applicant firm is incorporated/organized.

  • The Certificate must be no older than 90 days from the date that the application is provided to the SBA.
  • If the company was organized in a state, but operates out of a different state, these certificates must be provided from each state in which the company has an operating location.

SBA Item 5: Copies of the last three years of filed Federal tax returns, including all schedules and attachments, for all of the Applicant Firm’s acknowledged affiliates. SBA criteria for defining affiliates should be carefully reviewed and can be found at 13 CFR & 121.103

  • Provide the above appropriately signed taxes, i.e., Federal taxes ONLY for the last 3 years for both you and your spouse, if married. If you have yet to file your taxes for the most recently completed tax year, provide a copy of the Request for Tax Filing Extension.
  • If taxes show that there was money owed at the end of ANY of the above tax years, you must provide proof of the tax payment or alternatively provide a copy of the tax repayment plan with the IRS and also proof that you are in compliance with the payment terms of this tax repayment plan.
  • If any of the tax schedules provided show the existence of another business, then, you must provide proof that that business is either owned by your spouse and provide necessary documentation to prove that fact, e.g., corporate governance documentation clearly showing that, such as stock certificates, operating agreement, etc., or indicate why your ownership in that business does not interfere with your effective day-to-day operations of the applicant firm.
  • If the Schedule B from your IRS Form 1040 indicates that you have a financial interest in or signature authority over a financial account, such as a bank account, securities account, property or business located in a foreign country, you must identify and reflect this ownership in your Personal Financial Statement, SBA Form 413. Further, if your foreign holdings include ownership in another business, you will have to explain to the SBA that this outside ownership does not negatively affect the day-to-day operations of your applicant firm.

SBA Item 6: Copies of all stock certificates (front and back), stock ledgers, registers, any transmutation agreement (for community property states), and any voting agreements.

  • Complete copy of all outstanding or issued signed stock certificates, both front and back, signed by the President and Secretary of the corporation
  • If any of the stocks has been sold or transferred to another individual, the back of the respective certificates must be completed and signed by the individual transferring the certificate.
  • The stock ledger must match precisely with the data contained in the issued stock certificates.
  • If you live in any community property state, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico, You must provide a copy of a Transmutation Agreement to ensure, that if you are married, your spouse cannot prevent you from owning the controlling interest in your applicant firm.

SBA Item 7: Copies of all business bank account signature cards. In lieu of this, a letter from the bank identifying all individuals with signatory authority on all bank cards will suffice.

  • If the business bank signature card includes any additional signatures, the rationale for this must be provided and the additional signatories must provide an executed copy of an SBA Form 912, Statement of Personal History.
  • Bank signature cards must be provided for each and every bank account, e.g., savings, checking, etc., held by the applicant firm.

SBA Item 8: Copies of business and special licenses under which the Applicant Firm operates. This included industry related licenses. Include the name(s) of the qualifying party/individual.

  • If your city, county or town requires a local business license you must provide it.
  • If the business area in which the firm operates requires a special license, e.g. plumbing, electrical, professional engineering, etc. you must provide a current license and also the name of the individual who qualified the firm to hold the license
  • If that individual that qualified the company for the special license is not the applicant, then the SBA will likely deny the application, alleging that that individual can exercise control of the form and the applicant.

SBA Item 9: Copies of Applicant Firm’s current loan agreements, including lines of credit and shareholder loan(s). Provide all loan sources, amounts, purposes of money loaned, name(s) of any persons/firms securing the loan and the name(s) of the qualifying party/individual.

  • You must provide a complete copy of any and all loan agreements that appear on the most current or interim balance sheet provided to the SBA in conformance with Item 2 above.

SBA Item 10: Copies of buy/sell agreements, shareholder agreements or other similar arrangements which may impact the unconditional ownership of the disadvantaged individuals.

  • You must provide copies of any and all agreements affecting the ownership of the applicant firm that have occurred within the last two years preceding the date of the 8(a) application
  • You must provide copies of the applicant firm’s meeting minutes that indicate the approval of any buy/sell, shareholder or changes in ownership and control by the applicant.

SBA Item 11: List of all contributions or transfers of assets to/from. The Applicant Firm and to/from any of its owners over the past two years. Include dollar value, from whom transferred, to whom transferred, relationship between the parties, date of transfer and copies of any supporting documents and agreements.

  • Ensure that the value of the transferred assets are reflected on the transferor’s personal financial statement if the transfer occurred within 2 years of the date of the application

SBA Item 12: Copies of all management and joint venture agreements, to include any mentor-protégé agreements, teaming agreements, indemnity agreements and consulting agreements, including agreements for assistance in completing this 8(a) BD application.

  • If you do use a consultant to assist in preparing your 8(a) application, provide a complete signed copy of this agreement and proof that you paid this consultant in accordance with the terms in the agreement,

SBA Item 13: Copies of all statements of bonding ability from the Applicant Firm’s surety specifying single job limit and aggregate limit, if applicable for the firm’s primary industry (construction or engineering).

  • Ensure that the bond is active and held by the applicant firm.

SBA Item 14: A completed Individual Information Form (SBA Form 1010-IND), SBA Form 912, and all supporting documents required by those forms for each individual owning at least 10% or more of the business and each director, management member, partner, and officer.

  • You must provide a written rationale and details to explain every positive, i.e.,Yes response to any question on the SBA Form 1010-IND.
  • If the applicant was born outside of the U,S., he or she must provide proof of citizenship in the form of a U.S. Passport or Certificate of Naturalization.
  • If you have answered Yes to any of the questions in blocks 7, 8, or 9 of the SBA Form 912, Statement of Personal History, you must provide complete details as described on the SBA Form 912 and also copies of all court records associated with the incident. Also, do not forget to initial blocks 5,7, 8 and 9 of the SBA For, 912.

SBA Item 15: A completed Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413) for all individuals claiming economic disadvantage to qualify the Applicant Firm and for those individual’s spouses.

  • Ensure that you have backup statements (No older than 30-60 days old from the date of the application) that match precisely the personal assets and liabilities that you enter onto your and your spouse’s SBA Form 413, Personal Financial Statement. Be prepared for the SBA to ask you to provide this back-up information.
  • Include a calculation of your adjusted Net worth as part of this item, using our Adjusted Net Worth Worksheet as an example, to convince the SBA and you that you are in compliance with the $4M in personal assets and $250K in net worth after allowable deductions.
  • If you or your spouse indicate any IRA & Other Retirement Accounts, provide a recent statement attesting to the value of each retirement account and also provide a copy of the plan document associated with each retirement plan, highlighting the language within the plan that states clearly that there will be a penalty, e.g., 10% in taxes for early distribution of the funds from these plans before the normal age of retirement stated in the plan, e.g., 59 ½.

SBA Item 16: Copies of the Applicant Firm’s governing documents, as applicable (see below):
For Corporations: Articles of Incorporation (original and current version), Bylaws (current version), and the most recent Stockholder and/or Board Member Meeting Minutes showing the election of officers and directors, if applicable.
For Limited Liability Companies: Articles of Organization (original and current version), Operating Agreement (current version); resolution or other documentation designating officers, directors, and members representative, management committee members, and/or general managers as required by the business concern’s governing documents (if not included in the Operating Agreement).
For Partnerships: Partnership Agreement
For Sole Proprietorships: Copies of Fictitious Business Name Filing.

  • The Operating Agreements for Limited Liability companies or the Bylaws for corporations must indicate that the applicant has complete and unconditional control over all strategic and day-to-day operations of the applicant firm. If not, these corporate governance documents must be amended and seen as approved by the applicant in the most recent set of organizational or annual meeting minutes.
  • The Shareholder, Director and Member Meeting minutes, in addition to the election of officers and directors, must also approve any amendments to the associated bylaws or Operating Agreement and also approve the application to the SBA for participation in the 8(a) – program.

SBA Item 17: Resumes for all individuals claiming social and economic disadvantage to qualify the Applicant Firm and day-to-day managers of entity-owned firms.

  • Provide a resume that shows your current position in the applicant firm, your roles and responsibilities, your dates of employment at each firm that you have worked at, together with your title and roles at each firm that you have worked at, back to your first job, if at all possible.
  • Ensure that as a minimum, your resume identifies all employers that are reflected in the last 3 years of taxes that you provided in compliance with Item 5 above.
  1. How long does it take? It takes me and my firm about 2-3 weeks to prepare the application. 90% of that time is spent by you, the applicant gathering the required information and finally providing the correct data that is required to be submitted.
  2. The SBA “should respond” in 2 weeks, either indicating that the application is “complete” and ready for further processing OR provide the applicant with a LONG list of missing items, asking you to send these along.
  3. By their own regulations, the SBA is “SUPPOSED” to have up to 90 days to render a decision about an applicant’s eligibility, but only after they have decided that the applications is “complete”, a decision with a moving starting line. In TRUTH, they rarely meet that 90 days in processing, primarily due to poorly completed applications, a heavy workload of evaluations and an understaffed SBA workforce.
  4. In PRACTICE, the SBA will take from 6-12 months to come to a decision if you start counting from the first day that you send in your first shot at the 8(a) – application to the day that you get a final approval or denial of your application.
  5. How can we assist you to meet the 90 days, most of the time? The real secret is that “YOU MUST READ THE SBA’s MIND” about your application. What that means is that you, with our assistance, MUST ANTICIPATE ALL of the SBA’s questions about an applicant and the application and provide this information in the INITIAL APPLICATION. If you do not do this, the SBA, will CERTAINLY request additional information from you or otherwise challenge some part of your application. AND, even of you respond immediately to the SBA’s challenges, this “BACK AND FORTH” will cost you additional months in the application evaluation process
  6. How can we help you do this? This is done by us by conducting a FORENSIC examination of every item requested by the SBA, and if we find any issues, BEFORE submitting the application and address those issues UP-FRONT and include the ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR EXPLANATION of the issue and include this in the INITIAL SUBMISSION, precluding the SBA from having to request this data, which is a step in the process that adds months to the evaluation time-line.

Just about every day, I get asked how long an 8(a) application will take to be processed. Here is my response, after having successfully processed tons of applications.

  1. Preparation of 8(a) application. It takes me and my firm about 2-3 weeks to prepare the application. 90% of that time is spent by you, the applicant gathering the required information and finally providing the correct data that is required to be submitted.
  2. The SBA “should respond” in 2 weeks, either indicating that the application is “complete” and ready for further processing OR provide the applicant with a LONG list of missing items, asking you to send these along.
  3. By their own regulations, the SBA is “SUPPOSED” to have up to 90 days to render a decision about an applicant’s eligibility, but only after they have decided that the applications is “complete”, a decision with a moving starting line. In TRUTH, they rarely meet that 90 days in processing, primarily due to poorly completed applications, a heavy workload of evaluations and an understaffed SBA workforce.
  4. In PRACTICE, the SBA will take from 6-12 months to come to a decision if you start counting from the first day that you send in your first shot at the 8(a) – application to the day that you get a final approval or denial of your application.
  5. How can we assist you to meet the 90 days, most of the time? The real secret is that “YOU MUST READ THE SBA’s MIND” about your application. What that means is that you, with our assistance, MUST ANTICIPATE ALL of the SBA’s questions about an applicant and the application and provide this information in the INITIAL APPLICATION. If you do not do this, the SBA, will CERTAINLY request additional information from you or otherwise challenge some part of your application. AND, even of you respond immediately to the SBA’s challenges, this “BACK AND FORTH” will cost you additional months in the application evaluation process
  6. How can we help you do this? This is done by us by conducting a FORENSIC examination of every item requested by the SBA, and if we find any issues, BEFORE submitting the application and address those issues UP-FRONT and include the ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR EXPLANATION of the issue and include this in the INITIAL SUBMISSION, precluding the SBA from having to request this data, which is a step in the process that adds months to the evaluation time-line.
  7. Lastly, our firm DOES NOT accept clients for the 8(a) – application, UNLESS we are 100% certain that we can get them certified AND we PUT OUR MONEY WHERE OUR MOUTH IS by providing a 100% money-back guarantee, if we accept a prospect and they do not get certified.

No, it does not have to!

Provide me with the data that I need to prepare your 8(a) application in 30 days or less and I will complete your application in these same 30 days or less and I will discount my fees to complete your application by 50% from my normal fees. That is $2500.

I will still respond to any SBA questions and challenges at no additional cost to you, and also continue to provide you with the industry’s only 100% money-back guarantee, if your application gets denied by the SBA.

Rocket speed, a 50% discount, will respond to any SBA challenges, and guaranteed results! It doesn’t get any better than this!

This is true! Only the SBA can guarantee your 8(a) -certification.  Even we cannot guaranty your certification. If someone promises you that they can, run away as fast as you can, keeping both hands on your wallet.

What I can guaranty you is that if we accept you as our client and you get denied by the SBA and we cannot overturn the SBA’s denial decision, we shall return 100% of your investment with us back to you!

First things first! After the champagne, the hard work begins. Here are the first 5 things to do.

  1. Sign and return to the SBA the Participation Agreement provided to you to explain your responsibilities and restrictions over the next 9 years.
  2. Prepare the required 8(a) Business Plan and submit it to your assigned Business Opportunity Specialist (BOS) located at your local SBA District Office.
  3. Make a personal visit to your local SBA District Office, attend the initial orientation session and introduce yourself to your BOS.
  4. Read that part of the Code of Federal Regulations dealing with the 8(a) Business Development Program – 13 CFR 124
  5. Learn how to prepare an Offering Letter on behalf of a potential client requesting a set-aside contract for your company.