By regulation, the SBA has up to 90 days to complete the evaluation of your 8(a) application. Here’s the rub! The 90 day clock does not start until the SBA, in their sole discretion, find your application to be COMPLETE. If the SBA finds just about any reason to claim that your application is NOT COMPLETE, you will get a letter or an email with a ton of questions for you to answer. Even if you answer these without any delay (and we respond on your behalf at NO EXTRA COST TO YOU) the 90 day clock will restart.
So how do you shorten the process of having your 8(a) application reviewed and approved? The answer is simple. You have to read the SBA’s mind and anticipate every follow-up question and provide the answers in your first shot at being certified and not your third or fourth submission. What does this mean? It means knowing what will trigger an SBA question and provide a response to the question even before they ask it. Want a few examples?
— You are the 100% owner/applicant, but your spouse owns a business – You will have to provide documentation to prove that you have nothing to do with this business or the SBA will accuse you of having outside employment and even worse, consider your business and your spouse’s business to be affiliated and perhaps not even a small business, an absolute 8(a) requirement.
— You prepare a “spot-on application” proving that your business is fully-qualified as a provider of Custom Computer Programming Services, NAICS code 541511 as shown on your SBA Form1010, basic application form. However, your trusted tax accountant has entered your Business Activity code on your taxes as a Management Consultant, NAICS code 541618. You shall have to provide a letter from your tax Accountant stating that he was in error in classifying you as such, and if you don’t take this pre-cautionary step, the SBA will accuse you of having changed the nature of your business within the last 2 years and demand that you prepare and submit a formal Request for a Waiver of the Two-Years in Business requirement, an onerous and unnecessary application processing delaying tactic.
If you want to avoid the above and dozens of other “traps” in the 8(a) application process that will delay, by up to a year, an otherwise fully-qualified company from being certified, you only have to outreach to me.