Small Business Administration’s 8(a) FAQ
What is it?
Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act empowers the SBA to enter into contracts with other agencies to provide supplies, services and construction. In contracting with another agency, the SBA subcontracts all of the performance requirements to a "socially and economically disadvantaged small business concern." Vendor participation is divided into two phases over nine years: a four-year developmental stage and a five-year transition stage.
Simply put to gain access to the largest market in the world and have as your main attribute the use of “sole-source” awards that eliminate any competition.
What are the Pre-Qualifications to getting into the program?
To qualify for the program, a small business must be owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual. Presumed disadvantaged groups include African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans.
Other individuals can be admitted to the program if they show through a "preponderance of the evidence" that they are disadvantaged because of race, ethnicity, gender, physical handicap, or residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society.
Individuals must have a net worth of less than $250,000, excluding the value of the business and personnel residence.
How long does it take to get in?
The process can take as long as it will take for all of the SBA questions to be answered in order to complete their examination of your application. This is why is you are not familiar with the process, you can get into a “tennis match scenario” with the SBA. This may delay your approval for months and even years.
Our expedited processing of you application will have you approved in no more than 90 days, even sooner in some cases.
How does Road Map Consulting assist?
The 8(a) Program is well run by the SBA with teams of business opportunity specialists that review 8(a) applications. These specialists are aware of the luxury they are affording a small business when they award it with 8(a) status. This is why these specialists are extremely careful and diligent in their analysis of the small businesses that apply to the 8(a) program. The SBA specialist will analyze the small business owner’s control of the business, economic and social disadvantage status as well as the businesses likelihood for success in completing government contracts. Any issues they uncover with the application will result in a potential denial of the application. With 70% of applications being returned for lack of completeness (meaning the SBA specialists will not even render an acceptance or rejection regarding the application) if you are serious about getting 8(a) certified it makes sense to use a business consultant to expedite the process.
The Road Map Consulting promise to our customers is that we will provide accurate forthright and timely advice to our potential customers. We will not accept an application that we feel will not meet the SBA 8(a) Certification requirements. All consultations are free until a determination is made that a very high likelihood for success can be achieved with the firm’s application. From acceptance of the application we will work diligently for the client as we are aware time is of the essence. In the long run this saves our clients time and money. When and if the SBA has follow-up questions regarding items regarding the application included within the application one of our business analysts will work in conjunction with the client for immediate clarification to the SBA with the requested additional information. Once your 8(a) application is approved and certification is received our additional services such as form 1010c and re-certification services will help insure that your business gets contracts as fast as possible avoiding early graduation.
What are the steps once I engage Road Map Consulting?
- Completion of RMC Client In-Take Form 101.
- All client docs forwarded to RMC FTP site for review.
- Client responses to RMC Request for Additional Information (RFI) all received.
- Client review of completed SBA docs by RMC.
- SBA 8(a) Package forwarded to SBA for Approval.
- Client/RMC review and response to SBA letter.
- SBA Approval document received.
How does Road Map assist me once I am 8(a) Certified?
As our name implies, we differ from other consulting firms in that we provide comprehensive, end-to-end solutions to your Business Development needs that go well beyond your entry into the SBA 8(a) Program. Our consultants will work with you once you have been approved to make full use of your Nine-Year Tenure in the program, giving you expert advice of how to position your firm to receive millions of dollars in federal contract awards. This will involve efforts such as:
- Getting on GSA Schedule
- Teaming with large and small primes
- Getting your Security Clearance
- Gaining industry certifications
- Gaining owner personal certifications
- Getting large multi-year IDIQ contracts