Jun 18 2015

How to become an SBA certified small business

Description: The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a program that is designed to help small and disadvantaged businesses compete in the federal marketplace. Any business that is eligible should get certified under this program. The SBA’s business development (BD) program offers a great variety of assistance for small businesses to help them compete with other larger businesses that are into government contracting. All socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs can avail the certification that gains them access to the assistance, and gain a spot in the government contracting pool. The program has helped thousands of people since its inception and has been a boon for many small businesses. 

Eligibility Criteria: To become a part of the SBA Certified small business program at least 51% of the owners must be from the socially and economically disadvantaged citizens of America. You also need to demonstrate the potential to succeed and a good character to land set aside contracts from the government. 

What are the benefits of the certification? Once you are an SBA certified small business you will get specialized training, high- level executive development, marketing assistance and counseling provided by the SBA and their resource partners. You will also be eligible to gain access to surplus government property and resources under the program. There are specific SBA guaranteed loans and bonds available to the companies for being a part of the program. There are set aside contracts as well for goods and services worth up to $4 million and $6.5 million for manufacturing contracts. These small business set aside contracts are very helpful for businesses and gives them the opportunity to be competitive in the market. 

The small businesses are also eligible to form joint businesses with other SBA certified small businesses to bid on contracts together. This boosts the chances of securing a contract. The certification scheme also includes a Mentor-Protégé Program that allows companies to learn how to work the Federal Contracting business from more experienced firms. 

What other essential information should I know? Becoming a certified business under the 8 (a) BD Program has two different phases. The entire certification lasts nine years with four years being allotted to the developmental stage and the remaining five years are allotted to the transition stage. The goal of the program is to transform the small business into a company that can be competitive in the business environment. Being a part of the program also requires you to maintain a balance between your government and commercial business. Your business value from small business set aside contracts is limited to $100 million during the entire course of the program. 

Always stay in touch with the SBA district offices to monitor and measure your progress by getting evaluations done and checking your business planning alongside annual reviews. Using the services of websites like http://mysetaside.com allows small businesses to easily acquire government contracts.

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