What is the 8(a) Business Development Program?

The 8(a) Business Development Program is the U.S. Government’s flagship federal contracting program for small disadvantaged businesses owned and controlled at least 51% by one or more economically disadvantaged individuals. This business assistance program offers a broad range of procurement technical assistance and mentoring. Participation in the program is divided into two (2) phases over nine years: a four-year developmental stage and a five-year transition stage.


Benefits of the SBA 8(a) Program

SBA 8(a) program participants can receive sole-source contracts, up to a maximum of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing. The SBA’s assigned and dedicated personnel helps 8(a) firms build their competitive and institutional know-how via technical assistance and SBA approved mentoring programs.

Among other strategic competitive advantages, SBA 8(a) firms are also able to:

  • Form joint ventures (JVs) and teams under contractor teaming agreements (TAs) to bid on larger multi-million dollar contracts. This enhances the ability of SBA 8(a) firms to perform larger prime contracts and mitigates the effects of contract bundling.
  • The SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program allows starting 8(a) companies to learn the ins and outs of their industry from other more experienced businesses and leverage their skills, past performance and resources under an officially approved and supervised strategic alliance.


Did you know?

  • Did you know that the U.S. Government sets aside 23% of all federal spending dollars for Small Business as prime contract holders and another 33.7% of large contract dollars for small business concerns as sub-contractors?

  • Did you know that small business owners in the USA may compete for annual revenues totaling approximately $500 Billion dollars in set aside and small business contracts?

  • Did you know that of the approximately 7 million minority-owned small businesses in U.S., fewer than 7,000 are part of the SBA 8(a) business development program?

SBA 8(a) Certified firms may qualify for

  • Specialized business training
  • Counseling
  • Marketing assistance
  • High-level executive development
  • Access to:
    • Surplus government property and supplies
    • SBA-guaranteed loans
    • Bonding assistance

Why Should Your Small Business Pursue an SBA 8(a) Certification?

The U.S. Government sets aside 23% of all federal spending dollars for Small Business as primes and reserves another 33.7% of large contract dollars for small business concerns as sub-contractors. The 8(a) Program is an essential instrument for helping economically disadvantaged small business entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society. The 8(a) program also helps thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in government contracting.


Qualifications and Requirements

Generally, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) qualifications for the 8(a) Program are extensive and include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The applicant firm must be classified a small business by NAICS code, based upon the SBA’s size standards.
  • The individual(s) must be an American citizen, by birth or naturalization.
  • The business must be majority-owned (51 percent or more) and controlled/managed by socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s).
  • The individual(s) controlling and managing the firm on a full-time basis must meet the SBA requirement for disadvantage, by proving both social disadvantage and economic disadvantage.
  • The SBA regulations also have specific restrictions on ownership by immediate family members, non-disadvantaged individuals, and by other firms.
  • The qualifying individual(s) of the firm who are applying for SBA small business programs MUST:
  • Be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Demonstrate good moral character. This also applies to all principals and owners of more than 10% of the applicant firm.
    1. Officers
    2. Directors
    3. Members
    4. Partners
    5. Key employees
  • Not fail to pay significant financial obligations owed to the federal government.
  • Be an economically Disadvantaged person (as per SBA guidelines).
  • Have a net worth not exceeding $250,000 excluding (residence, IRA, business)
  • Not exceed $4M in total assets
  • Have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) not exceeding $250,000 (averaged) for past 3 years
  • Prove direct ownership. (The firm is neither owned through another firm nor trust).
  • Applicant Owner must have unconditional ownership, without restrictions or conditions
  • Not have ever been debarred or suspended by any federal entity.
  • Own a for profit business in the U.S. and operate primarily within the United States,
  • Makes a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labors.
  • Be devoted to and able to demonstrate full-time dedication to the applicant firm.
  • Demonstrate potential for success.

The certification process for the SBA 8(a) Program is laborious. Fortunately, Rafael Marrero & Company takes the headache out of the SBA 8(a) application process!

sba 8(a)

  1. Call us today for a FREE Initial consult at 888-595-6221 to check if your firm qualifies for this special small business development program.
  2. Schedule a FREE initial one-on-one consult with our award-winning founder and CEO, RafaelMarrerohttps://calendly.com/rafaelmarrero
  3. Email us for a FREE FACT SHEET: info@rafaemarrero.com