An ideal SBA 8(a) application will contain personal taxes for the years 2012, 2011 and 2010 which meet all of the following requirements:
- Your tax returns must be signed or electronically signed.
- Your tax returns must be complete meaning all pages, all schedules, and all attachments–you cannot take any shortcuts here.
- Your tax returns must be legible; unreadable copies or pages with missing sections will not be accepted.
- You need to include any any all W-2 forms you earned from all sources of employment, not just the applicant firm.
- If married you have to include all of your spouse’s tax documentation including their W-2 forms.
- If you also earned income on 1099 forms as reflected on Line 7 of the tax return, attach copies of the relevant 1099 forms.
- You can remove the state pages.
- If your tax return shows you owed taxes (no refund), then you also need to attach proof of full payment such as a cancelled check from your bank (be sure they copy both sides) or an IRS payment plan with documentation evidence of the 3 most recent payments made under the plan.
- If you include an IRS payment plan it must be all of the pages–typically 5 to 7 pages in length.
- If you don’t have a payment plan yet but you still owe the IRS taxes, don’t apply for 8(a) status until after you have established a formal payment plan with the IRS.
For more help with your 8(a) application feel free to contact our certification specialists at email@example.com or 703-350-8381.
SCORE, a national network of business mentors funded by the SBA, has revamped its library of forms and templates to offer business owners free financial statement templates and more.
The SCORE Business Planning & Financial Statements Template Gallery also offers you business plan templates (although we still recommend 8[a] certified companies use the SBA’s Form 1010C instead of other formats.)
For more information about SCORE and its services you can also visit http://www.score.org.
Some prospective clients choke when we tell them our fee, which is (as of October 1, 2013) $3,980.00 for our full service 8(a) application assistance package.
It is understandable that this dollar amount can sound formidable on the surface, as all an 8(a) consultant does is printing and collating documents, right?
Not exactly. In addition to collating documents for your 8(a) application, here is a partial list of activities our consulting service performs to prep your 8(a) application:
1. We ask you a ton of questions probing for potential risk areas and take notes while we do this.
2. We take the time to find and propose solutions for any risk areas we uncover in your application. Sometimes this means hours of Internet research examining federal laws and court case files.
3. We interview each socially and economically disadvantaged owner.
4. We compose narratives for each socially and economically disadvantaged owner.
5. We prepare missing documents for you, such as stock registers, meeting minutes, or whatever else you might be missing that we are legally allowed to do.
6. We send you examples and templates.
7. We take time to answer all of your questions, which sometimes requires research.
8. We prepare personal and company documentation checklists for you and your key employees, then manage and track those checklists.
9. We log in every item you send us in a standardized checklist. This often means more than just marking a check in the box to record the fact that an item was received; we often have to prepare notes to document and explain anomalies in your paperwork.
10. We read and review every sentence of every page of every document you give us.
11. When a client disputes or objects to our advice, we take the time to explain to each client why we advised him or her the way we did and how the law affects the advice we give him or her. Some clients want to debate these topics with us, which takes additional time to resolve. Sometimes we conduct research to prove our points and positions when a client is skeptical.
12. We perform data entry on the electronic application.
13. We print and collate the printed half of the application.
14. We help you respond to SBA letters and questions.
15. We have telecons with our clients to explain SBA letters and questions and gather data to help respond to the SBA.
Again, this is just a partial list of what we do as 8(a) application consultants–many other activities are required along the way, such as helping clients collaborate with System for Award Management (SAM) technical support staff to fix technical glitches in Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) profiles; asking clients to explain and clarify information and documents they gave us that are difficult to interpret or hard to understand; answering client emails and queries; editing files and proofreading; examining financial statements for compliance; and many, many more 8(a) application tasks.
This type of work can sound simple but it takes hours and hours of labor by multiple Government Certification Specialists Inc. staff members, some of whom you know by name and others who work quietly and namelessly on the sidelines (all of us are based in the USA, however–no foreign contractors are ever used because we care about information security).
If our 8(a) application services sound of interest to you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or else peruse our collection of downloadable DIY resources available on our secondary site http://www.8application.com.
The next few days will be interesting for government contractors and 8(a) applicants alike as we wait to see what October 1, 2013 will bring: a normal business day, or a full federal government shutdown.
If the shutdown does indeed occur, any days the federal government is closed will be days lost in regards to your 8(a) application, so if you are meticulously counting down the days to see if the SBA really will give you a decision on your 8(a) application within the 90 day processing time frame, you’ll be waiting on that SBA decision letter a little bit longer.
In the mean time, please do continue to meet any deadlines the SBA might have given you, and be sure to track your packages and use signature confirmation–you might need your delivery records later on to prove you actually met your deadline even though the government’s doors were technically closed that day.
Try not to panic and proceed normally when it comes to your 8(a) application; to date the SBA has not issued any public statements about the 8(a) review system and how it will be impacted by a potential shutdown, so unless the SBA issues advice to the contrary, just move forward as if everything is the same.
Government Certification Specialists Inc. has lowered its price for its SBA 8(a) application review service to $1,000.00.
What this 8(a) application review service provides you:
1. You send GCS Inc. your completed 8(a) application and we analyze it from end-to-end hunting for any incomplete documents, documents that require changes to comply with 8(a) rules, any possible risk areas, and other issues or concerns that should be addressed.
2. We give you a detailed review report that outlines our findings and gives you advice on how to correct any problems or issues in your application. A typical review report is 20 pages long, so we give you a lot of information and detail to help you understand what the SBA wants to see in your application.
Believe it or not, most people who try our review service believe their 8(a) applications to be “complete” and are subsequently shocked at what GCS Inc. finds and how many more documents are required for a successful 8(a) application.
If you are interested in our review service and/or a payment plan for our review service, please email an inquiry to email@example.com (the fastest way to reach us and get started) or give us a call at 703-350-8389 to discuss your needs.
Whether you use our review service or not, we wish you much success in the 8(a) program!
New Rule in Effect August 15 Requires Primes to Notify Contracting Officers When They Fail to Utilize Their Subcontractors
A provision of the year 2010 Small Business Jobs Act enters into effect on August 15 requiring prime contractors to notify their contracting officers when they fail to utilize their subcontractors.
This notification rule goes into effect when one of the following three conditions occur:
1. If the subcontractor was specifically cited in the bid or proposal yet was not utilized during actual contract execution;
2. If the prime contractor entered into a written agreement with the subcontractor stating that the sub would be a part of the contract yet the prime then failed to include the subcontractor in the contract performance; or
3. If the subcontractor wrote parts of the winning proposal–technical or pricing–and was subsequently excluded from contract activity.
This rule is designed to stop prime contractors from using and abusing subcontractors so that more federal dollars will actually trickle down to small businesses.
When you apply for SBA 8(a) certification you (and your spouse, if you are married) must submit SBA Form 413, the Personal Financial Statement, for SBA review. In addition to filling in the form itself, you need to attach personal financial documentation.
Many 8(a) applicants forget that these attachments must be included, rendering their 413 forms incomplete.
Be sure to attach the following items to SBA Form 413:
a. Ownership records. For houses, cars, and similarly significant assets, attach proof of ownership such as deeds, titles, or settlement sheets.
b. Current balance statements. Validate the dollar amounts you have entered into SBA Form 413 by attaching current balance statements (also referred to as account statements, monthly statements, etc.) that show the same dollar amounts. (It is understood that certain accounts have daily fluctuations; simply enter the dollar amount shown on the most recent balance statement you have, which should be fewer than 30 days old.)
c. Proof of current value of assets. For houses, cars, and similarly significant assets, attach current valuation documents such as appraisals, county tax assessments, or similar.
If you do not have a current account statement in hand for your IRA, 401K or other investments, you are responsible to obtain them to attach to SBA Form 413 anyway. Log into your online brokerage account to obtain a current statement or else speak to your broker in person and request a current statement from him or her. Be sure your name is on the printout(s).
The SBA validates your Form 413 in several ways including a WESTLAW database check to ensure you have not forgotten any liens or significant debts and credit checks with the three major credit bureaus. The SBA also checks your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to validate which real estate property is your current primary residence.
Do your best to remember, document, and declare any and all of your personal assets and liabilities on SBA Form 413 as accurately as possible (even if one or more assets are ignored when the SBA calculates your personal net worth). Even items that are skipped when personal net worth is calculated must be declared.