Small Business Certifications-8(a) Business Development Program

Updated: 4 days ago

What is an 8(a) Business Development Program?

The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses. The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The program helps thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in government contracting.

What kind of business may be qualified for 8(a) Certification?

  • A small business

  • Never participated in the 8(a) program before

  • At least 51% owned and controlled by one or more U.S. citizens who are economically and socially disadvantaged

  • Owned by a person whose personal net worth is $250,000 or less

  • Owned by someone whose average adjusted gross income for three years is $250,000 or less

  • Owned by someone with $4 million or less in assets

  • Have the owner manage day-to-day operations and also make long-term decisions

  • Have all its principals demonstrate good character

  • Show potential for success and be able to perform successfully on contracts

What are the advantages of been certified as an 8(a) business?

  • Eligible for sole-source contracts: Sole-Source contracts are a kind of contract that can be issued without a competitive bidding process; thus, an 8(a) certified companies can win contracts with a fair market price before other businesses are even given notice of an opportunity.

  • Eligible for set-aside federal contracts: in order to help provide a level playing field for 8(a) businesses, the federal government limits competition for certain contracts to 8(a) certified companies. Those contracts are called set-aside federal contracts. In the U.S. there is a total of 30.2 million small businesses, and only about 6,500 to 10,000 firms are 8(a) certified. Therefore, it is obvious that the competition for set-aside federal contracts is much lower.

  • Eligible for federal contracting 101: 8(a) certified businesses can get a Business Opportunity Specialist to help navigate federal contracting from the very basics. Therefore, even if a business has no federal contracting experience, they will have the opportunity to be trained and be a successful contractor.

  • Eligible for Joint Venture and Mentor-Protégé programs: 8(a) certified businesses can participate in Joint Ventures and Mentor-Protégé programs to expand their knowledge of contracting work, build their performance history, and be awarded contracts that they otherwise would not be able to win.

  • Eligible to receive business administrative assistance and training: 8(a) certified businesses can receive management and technical assistance, including business training, counseling, marketing assistance, and high-level executive development.

What is the 8(a) Verification Processing Time?

SBA will advise the applicants within 15 days after the receipt of their applications whether the application is completed and suitable for evaluation and, if not, what additional information or clarification is required to complete the application. SBA will process an application within 90 days of receipt of a completed application package. 

What services does the American Notary Service Center provide?

  • We will be your point of contact/representative, and help you navigate the entire 8(a) verification process.

  • We will help you register on SAM, Dun & Bradstreet, and SBA.

  • We will help you to prepare your documentation in accordance with SBA requirements (13 C.F.R. 124).

  • We will help you organize the required documents and submit them in the proper format.

  • We will draft the appropriate Letter of Explanation for those documents you do not possess.

  • We will ensure your peace of mind during the entire verification process.

8a certification

American Notary Service Center Inc. provides fair, fast, confidential, and professional document notarization and certification services for our clients. We also provide various assistance services to small businesses led by socially and economically disadvantaged groups. Our service helps small businesses obtain federal government contracts, gain a foothold in the market, and boost their sales. For more information, please visit our website at, and contact us by calling 202-599-0777 or by email at


7510 Diplomat Dr., STE 101,

Manassas, VA 20109, USA

+1 202-599-0777

© 2021 American Notary Service Center Inc.

ANSC is a legal entity incorporated in Virginia, USA. We are not affiliated, associated, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with any government agency. The materials and information available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. We provide information and software and you are responsible for appropriately using this material.