8(a) Eligibility Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basic eligibility requirements to get 8(a) certified?

Generally, to be approved into the 8(a) Program you must meet these basic
eligibility requirements:

  • The business concern must be at least 51% directly owned and controlled by the applicant(s). The business concern must be a for-profit business.
  • All applicant(s) must be a US Citizen and reside in the US.
  • The applicant(s) must devote full-time to the business that is applying for 8(a) Certification at the time of application submission. This means they must work at least 40 hours per week, during the normal business operating hours, within the business concern without any other outside employment.
  • The applicant(s) must have an adjusted net worth of less than $750,000 at the time they apply for 8(a) Certification. Adjusted net worth = Assets – liabilities – (Equity in primary residence + value of ownership interest in business concern + IRA/401(k) or Other Retirement Accounts)
  • The applicant(s) AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) cannot be more than $350,000 averaged over the last three tax years.
  • The applicant(s) must be considered socially and economically disadvantaged.
  • The applicant(s) must also be able to submit a narrative statement of social disadvantage that meets the SBA’s preponderance of evidence standard.
  • The business concern must be considered a small business by the SBA. Your primary NAICS code, gross sales and sometimes the number of employees define your size standard that the SBA will base its size determination on.
  • The business concern cannot be determined to be economically dependent on one of its clients. Please see the 8(a) Economic Dependency or the 70% Rule Explained article for further information and to determine if your business would be determined to be economically dependent by the SBA.

What are the benefits of the SBA 8(a) program?

1. You will have access to sole source/non-competitive federal contracts with a value of:

  • $4M and under for all services-related contracts.
  • $6.5M and under for manufacturing-related contracts.

2. You will have access to competitive set-aside federal contracts with a value of:

  • $4M and over for all services-related contracts.
  • $6.5M and over for manufacturing-related contracts.

A search of usapending.gov found that between 1/1/2019 and 1/1/2022 there were 35,445 contract actions totaling $33.9 billion awarded in the 8(a) program.


How long does it typically take to complete the 8(a) Application?

It typically takes a minimum of 2-4 weeks to prepare an 8(a) Application, although this time frame can be shorter or longer depending on the degree of complexity of your 8(a) Application.


How long does it typically take to get 8(a) Certified once the 8(a) Application is submitted?

Once your 8(a) Application is submitted to the SBA for review, you will typically receive an email or notification through certify.sba.gov within 1 day to 2 business weeks that identifies your SBA Business Opportunity Specialist (BOS).

Your SBA BOS, may at this time, request additional information to answer any questions they have. We will prepare all formal responses to the SBA as part of our Turnkey 8(a) Application Completion Service.

Once the SBA has determined that your 8(a) Application is deemed complete, it will take approximately 3 to 6 months to be notified of a decision by the SBA.


How will LIBERTY8a help to get me certified faster than I can?

The short answer is that we are organized, know what the SBA wants and will make it easier for you. We are able to get the things we need from you in very little time. We also reduce application returns and challenges. Moreover, we prevent fatal flaws that will prevent you from ever getting certified. It takes a lot of companies over a year to get certified and approximately 70 percent of all applications to the SBA are rejected.

Almost all applicants face at least one challenge during the process. LIBERTY8a helps to eliminate the errors during submission. We know every detail of what the SBA wants to see in your package and will make sure it is there, in a logical place, and compliant with their regulations. This will get your application done fast!


What is LIBERTY8a success rate for 8(a) Applications prepared?

We maintain a very high success rate for our 8(a) Application Completion Service. In fact, our success rate is over 99%.

We are able to reach this success rate by doing an extensive qualifying interview with every client to make sure they pass our qualification test for the 8(a) Program prior to engagement.

Even if you don’t qualify, we will tell you what you must do so you can apply in the near future.


Can a Caucasian female really get certified?

The simple answer is “yes,” although it is difficult. Handicap business owners and woman business owners can get certified especially since the SBA lowered the standard to “preponderance of evidence.” Please call and we can discuss your case.


Do you have any references I can contact?

You can view our list of testimonials and call any of our clients.


What is the fee for the 8(a) Application Completion Service and How do I get started?

The fee to complete the 8(a) Application Completion Service is: $5,500.00.

This is fee payable in two installments. (1) The first installment is paid at the time of the start of your 8(a) Application engagement. (2) The final balance is due either 30 days after engagement or upon completion, whichever comes first.

We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Checks for payment.


Where can I find more facts on the 8(a) Program?

  • You are welcome to view 8(a) FAQs for more frequently asked questions on the SBA 8(a) Program.
  • You can also view the latest SBA 8(a) Regulations (CFR: Title 13:Part 124) and read up on the extensive rules and regulations that govern the 8(a) Program.

Get Started Today! Call (813) 784-0066 Now!

    Client Testimonials

    Ravi Vasist - President, EG Management Services, Inc:

    “I highly recommend Lindsay Thompson to obtain an SBA approved 8(a) certification, 8(a) annual report, Mentor-protégé agreement and Joint-Venture agreement. EG Management Services Inc. has been working with Lindsay since 2011. She helped us to get a SBA approved 8(a) certification as well as a SBA approved Mentor-protégé agreement and it felt effortless. EGMS would like to thank Lindsay for her hard work that provided the best results possible.”

    Stephen Rolston - Principal, Rolston Information Systems Assurance, LLC:

    “Working with Lindsay these past few years has been a wonderful experience. She effortlessly walked me through the process to obtain my business’ 8(a) certification and helped me prepare our annual 8(a) report. In both instances she was responsive, well-organized and extremely detail-oriented. I can’t thank her enough for helping my business obtain and maintain our 8(a) certification through the Small Business Administration. I look forward to working with her again in the future to help us fulfill all of our SBA requirements. I trust no one else more than her to get the job done right the first time.”

    Hugh A. House Jr - President, Eagle Engineering & Development Land, Inc:

    “We’ve had the pleasure of working with Lindsay on several projects over the last few years. She is professional, knowledgeable, and thorough and completed everything ahead of schedule. We have recommended her multiple times to other companies and intend to hire her again for all relevant future projects. We appreciate her help and expertise.”

    Founder and CEO, Amivero:

    “I have had the pleasure of working with Lindsay on my firm’s 8a application. Lindsay helped navigate me through the process and made sure we submitted a complete and accurate application to SBA. Although my application required a social disadvantaged narrative, as I am a Caucasian woman business owner, Lindsay helped me to prepare a solid narrative and was able to get my firm 8(a) certified. Thank you to LIBERTY8a for your assistance and guidance through this entire process.”