Apply to get certified as an 8(a) small business

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Participation in the 8(a) program is one-time-only for firms and people, with the exception of entity-owned businesses. Alaska Native corporations and Tribal-owned Native Hawaiian organizations can have many 8(a) companies, as well as Community Development Corporations. Some firms may be eligible for the 8(a) program, but they may not be ready to contract with the federal government.

Businesses that want to learn more about the 8(a) program may use SBA’s Certify website to get a preliminary evaluation of whether they are eligible for 8(a) certification. Continue with the article t see if you are qualified for funding.

Before you can participate in the 8(a) program you must be certified by SBA.

Determine if you’re ready to apply and prepare by reviewing the Application Tips for Success Guide and meeting with a local SBA District Office or a Procurement Technical Assistance Center counselor.

To apply for the 8(a) program, follow these steps:

  1. Identify your primary NAICS code(s).
  2. Register your business in the System for Award Management (SAM).
  3. Apply for 8(a) certification.

To get started, visit the Knowledge Base for additional helpful information, including an application guide to assist with gathering required documentation as well as finishing and submitting the application.

If your application is not approved, SBA will notify you by email through Once SBA has verified that the application is complete, it has 90 days to evaluate it and make a decision. Your SAM profile’s approval date and exit date for the 8(a) program will be shown once certified.