With the popularity of Government Contractors with 8(a) Certification, I have seen a growing interest in this topic. Every year, the list of top federal contractors includes more and more SBA 8(a) certified companies. I don’t think this is a coincidence, I believe that the demand for this set-aside is sky-rocketing.
History of SBA 8(a)
The SBA 8(a) system gets its name is from Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, which was added by Congress in 1974 to serve small firms owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged men and women to develop their businesses. The system is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Preferred Access to Federal Contracts
The key business development system of the 8(a) program is preferred access to Federal contracts by 8(a) certified firms. Under to the program, certified businesses tend to be awarded sole source (non-competitive) contracts up to $3.5 million each and also participate in 8(a)-only competitions for contracts that exceed that amount. In some cases, SBA works as prime contractor and subcontracts performance of the contract to 8(a) certified businesses. In other cases, Federal agencies can award contracts directly to 8(a) certified businesses.
How to Apply to the 8(a) plan
The very first step in seeking 8(a) program certification is usually to contact the local SBA district office assisting your area. An SBA representative will address basic questions over the telephone and schedule your participating at a pre-application seminar which is where they go over the many different application forms and eligibility requirements