How to Get 8A Certification

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The 8A program was created by the Small Business Association (SBA) to help small businesses grow financially and complete successfully for government contracts against larger competitors.. Once certified by the program, businesses can be awarded federal government contracts for up to 3 million dollars. The process of being certified in the 8A program begins with taking an online course at the SBA website and then filling out an application that establishes the severity of your company's need to receive a federal financial contract. (See Resources).

  • Go to the SBA website and click on the "8(a) application" option from the righthand side of the page (See Resources).

  • Click on the "8(a) Business Development Suitability Tool" option in the second paragraph. This link will take you to the online course that the business manager and owner must take before filling out the 8A application form. The course is also a teaching tool, informing the business of the details of the 8A program, the various contracts available, and eligibility requirements. You must correctly answer the yes or no questions in the eligibility section and then correctly answer the 23 questions in the assessment tool to be able to fill out the application.

  • Click on the "What You Should Know When Applying for 8(a) Business Development Program Certification" option after completing the online course. After thoroughly reading the information in the link, you can request a paper application or go on to filling out the electronic application.

  • Click on the "electronic application" option from the bottom of the page. You will not be able to fill out the application if you didn't complete the online course referenced in Step 2. Also, you must have established your eligibility to take the online course.

  • Send your application and wait to receive an email from an SBA representative letting you know whether or not your application was accepted. After being accepted, you'll receive a paper certification in the mail and a SBA representative will contact to discuss the disbursement of aid from the federal contract that your business qualified for.

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