List of Documents Required to Obtain 8a Certification

We take calls all the time from people that are either looking to complete the application themselves or would like to begin putting the application together while they wait for a specific event to occur so that they can apply for 8(a). To aid people who have these objectives we have put together this list of required documents. I would also suggest after reviewing this list of documents that you also go over our explanation as to how the SBA utilizes these documents. If going it alone, we highly recommend you utilize our 8(a) Review Services as you will see from reviewing this page there are many working parts to the 8(a) application and once your package is submitted there is no taking it back. Additionally, the SBA retains a copy of any 8(a)-application denial letter, and this could hinder future application attempts.

Required Documents for an 8(a) Certification -
1 List of the Principles for the Business:
Principals include the following individuals: owner(s) of 10 percent or more of the firm officers and directors of the firm members of the firm partners key employees
2 Tax Return for the Business:
The firm's federal tax returns for the past three years.
3 Personal Tax Returns:
Personal federal tax returns for the past three years for individuals that own more than 10% of the firm.
4 Financial Statements:
The firm's financial statements for the past three years (include the most recent financial statements which are within 90 days of the firms’ application date. Including Income Statement and Balance Sheet following Accepted Accounting Principles.
5 Contracts:
List of all the firm’s contracts for the past two years
6 Leases:
All Lease agreements of which the firm is apart.
7 Documents of Bank Signor Rights:
Copy of the bank signature cards or letter from the bank.
8 Proof of Ownership Contribution:
Proof of funds contributed to acquire ownership in the firm for each owner.
9 Asset Disposal Documentation:
Proof and documentation of any transfer of assets to and from the firm
10 Asset Transfer Documentation:
Proof of any transfer of assets to and from any of its owners over the past two years
11 State Secretary of State Filings:
State filings where the firm conducts business Certificate of good standing for the business foreign corporation filings/status Articles of incorporation as well as the articles of organization Doing Business As filings
12 Firm Governing Documents:
The Governing documents that are signed by the principals such as Bylaws, operating agreements, partnership agreements, meeting minutes, stock certificates and ledgers
13 Social Disadvantage Documentation:
For majority owner(s) of the firm: Proof the primary owner suffers from social disadvantage such as birth certificate(s) or other relevant documentation.
14 Resume:
Background information and personal information for all principals in the form of a Resume or CV that explains the business owner’s personal history.
15 Proof of U.S. citizenship or naturalization:
Birth Certificate, US Passport etc.
16 Full-time Devotion:
Time devoted to the firm and position within the firm other business interests explained and time devotion to any outside employment from the firm and time devotion to that employment. This may take the form of a letter of separation from a prior W2 employer.
17 Financial information for all principals:
Completed personal financial statement form for both individual and spouse containing a list of all assets, liabilities, personal property, and real estate as well as transferred assets.
18 Tax Liens:
Any Information regarding the delinquency of federal tax obligations or past due taxes.
19 Financial Distress:
Any information regarding tax liens, bankruptcy filings and pending civil lawsuits.
20 SBA Obligations:
A detailed list of all SBA loans for both the applicant firm as well as SBA loans for all other businesses owned by the principal.
21 Additional Documents for Two-Year Rule Waiver:
This rule applies when a firm has been conducting business for less than two years. The owner must demonstrate substantial past business management experience as well as demonstrated the ability to enact and conduct the firm’s business plan. The owner must prove he/she has adequate capital to run the firm on an ongoing basis. Additionally, the firm must have a record of being successful run by the applicant owners. This is demonstrated by the performance of contracts which reflect the varied sizes the firm can manage as well as the variety of services/products the firm provides. Additional evidence such as billing invoices and bank statements reflecting deposit of receipts maybe necessary.
Additional evidence also to include letters of reference from the firm’s clients. The ability to obtain the personnel, facilities, equipment, and any other requirements to perform on contracts
Note: If the firm has not generated revenue, you will be unable to waive the two-year rule

How the SBA Uses These Documents

The SBA uses and reviews every document required and submitted in an 8(a) application. The SBA reports that there is only a 25% success rate in 8(a) applications and for this reason it is important that you understand how any why the SBA uses each of the documents contained in the 8(a) application.

Primary and Secondary Purpose: Document in the 8(a) application in many cases have both a primary and secondary purpose in the application. Meaning the SBA will use the same document to ensure multiple criteria are met. The secondary purpose for the document is the potential pitfall.

Listed below are some of the documents the SBA requires as part of an 8(a) application as well as the area the SBA is using the document to assess as part of the application process.

Economic Disadvantage Social Disadvantage Potential For Success Control Good Moral Character
Personal Tax Returns Primary Secondary
Business Tax Returns Primary Secondary
Credit Report Primary Secondary
Bank Signature Cards Primary
Leases Primary Secondary
Contracts Primary Secondary
Secretary of State Fillings Primary
Invoices Primary Secondary
Firm Website Secondary Primary Secondary
Resume Secondary Primary Secondary Secondary
FBI Background Check Primary
Sales by Customer Primary Secondary
The firm’s financial statements Primary Secondary

As you can see from this list of documents there are many potential secondary use documents, or pitfalls. For this reason, we recommend if you are planning to build your own 8(a) application that you have us review your application for compliance before you submit your application.