For small business entrepreneurs, getting loans for the development of their businesses is extremely essential. However, there are quite a few number of small business loan rates offered by the U.S. SBA to help socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses. This option is only available for businesses that are owned or operated by women, minority or service unable veterans. SBA 8a program is perhaps one of the most availed small business programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. This program is extremely advantageous for small businesses when it comes to selling services or products to the federal government.
According to the last statistics available, during 2007 there were nearly 7,400 SBA 8a contractors across the country and almost 47% of them were awarded with at least one contract. Here is an overview of the 8a program and a brief about its application eligibility requirements.
The certification process of Small Business Administration primarily consists of three parts, each with distinct significance. • Part I: The first part of the program ensures that at least 51% of the small business applicant for the 8a status is owned by a woman or a qualifying minority. Not only that, the majority owner should also be involved in the daily operation of the business in consistence with their percentage of ownership. In this endeavor, the SBA uses a comprehensive system to analyze and identify the individual majority owner and make sure that they conform to all the regulations of the program.
• Part II: The second part of the SBA 8a certification program demands the applicants to prove that they are economically disadvantaged. There is however, a standard set by the SBA that qualifies any business to be considered as economically disadvantaged. The majority share holder of the business must have a net income of over $250,000. Personal residence and company ownership value is however, excluded from this amount.
• Part III: In the third part, the SBA thoroughly examines the applicant’s business to make sure the business qualifies all the small business size requirements. The SBA further makes sure that the applicant’s business is not on the list of prohibited businesses for becoming 8a certified. The size standards for qualifying small business are based on the North American Industry Classification System code that says: "The SBA has established three base size standards, which are (1) 500 employees for manufacturing, mining, and other industries with employee-based size standards (except for wholesale trade), (2) $7 million in average annual receipts for most non-manufacturing industries with receipts-based size standards, and (3) 100 employees for all wholesale trade industries."
However, there are considerable variations among the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes.