8(a) Certification

Welcome to the new internet-based system designed to help you organize and complete the materials required to obtain certification in the 8(a) Business Development Program. By following the directions closely, you will provide the SBA with the information it needs to process your application in the least amount of time. It has been designed to guide your efforts in a logical and intuitive manner. Moreover, if you don't use this system to complete and submit your application, you risk long processing delays, as the SBA manually processes your application.

The Electronic Application Process

This new web-based interface provides step-by-step instructions to enable you to organize, complete and submit your application for 8(a) Business Development Program certification to the SBA in the least amount of time. Please note that, while an electronic record of your input to this system is retained by the agency, you must still provide hard-copy proof for the SBA to verify your claims.

The steps of the process:

  1. To do business with the Federal government and to be certified under the 8(a) Program, you must register in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database, and complete the Small Business Supplemental Page within CCR. As a government-wide single point of vendor registration, CCR is a key aspect of streamlining and integrating electronic commerce into the Federal procurement process. Effective October 1, 2003, Federal Acquisition Regulation require contractors to register in CCR prior to award of any contract, basic agreement, basic ordering agreement, or blanket purchase agreement. It's easy to register in CCR. Just go to www.ccr.gov and select the Start a New Registration button.

    Please read before you proceed:

    If you are a new registrant to CCR and/or updating your profile in CCR, you may experience a 24 to 72 hour waiting period before you are given access to the 8(a) Business Development Program electronic certification system, as the databases in the two systems synchronize. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

  2. You must also register for an account in the SBA's General Log-in System (GLS). GLS provides a single log-in point for all services of the SBA. This streamlines and simplifies service delivery to our clients. It's simple to register for an account.

  3. Log-in to the 8(a) Business Development Program electronic certification system via SBA General Log-in System (GLS).

  4. Complete and Submit a completed electronic application, following the step-by-step directions provided by the system. A detailed user manual is also available to download and print via this link: 8(a) Business Development Program Electronic Certification System User Guide. Also, you must mail in signed hard-copy versions of all required forms, as well as all required supporting documentation outlined in the 'Checklist' provided by the system.

The length of time for the SBA to review your application and arrive at a decision depends on the complexity of your application. Regulations stipulate a time-frame of ninety days to process an application from the time it is deemed complete by the SBA. So it is in your best interest to ensure that the package you mail in to the SBA contains all the required information and documentation, or processing delays could result. We will, of course, do our best to process your application and render a decision as quickly as possible.

On Eligibility

We highly recommend that prior to applying for certification, you take the on-line training course on SBA certification programs available through the SBA home page at www.sba.gov. The training course which will answer many elementary eligibility questions is available at http://www.sba.gov/training/courses.html (Look under the topic Government Contracting and click on Certification Programs.)

Application Information Privacy

The information submitted as part of your electronic application is protected by a username/password based authentication system for all system interactions that require authorization. All authentication related system interaction will be protected using secure, encrypted communications (SSLv3 with 128-bit encryption) to ensure that system passwords cannot be detected by network intruders. SSL is the industry standard for secure network communications. For further information regarding SBA's Internet Privacy Policy please contact BDMIS@sba.gov.

False Statements

Please make sure that your answers are truthful and accurate and submitted by you as there are serious legal consequences for falsifying information in an 8(a) Program application. These may include fines, imprisonment or both.

E-Application Hotlines

See Hotlines.

You may also email any questions or concerns surrounding your 8(a) Program application to BDMIS@sba.gov