A list of Items required for HUBZone Certification
1. SAM, SBA DSBS and DUNS profiles (all registrations must match address of principal office of the firm).
2. Identification of Primary NAICS code for firm.
3. Identification of Principal Office, Other Offices, Jobsites and Business mailing address if different from principal office address. Also provide the days and hours each office is staffed.
4. Average number of employees on the payroll during the last 12 calendar months.
5. Lease/rental agreement for principal office and any other offices. The lease agreement must identify the full name of the business and the address indicated as the principal office. If the location is a residence, a copy of the deed must be provided.
6. Liability Insurance for principal office.
7. Utility bill or Telephone bill (for period covering date of electronic submittal). This bill must identify the full name of the business and the address indicated as the principal office.
8. A copy of the most recent Balance Sheet and Income Statement for firm.
9. Last three (3) years of business’ tax returns, including all schedules and attachments, or as many as the firm has, if less than 3 years for the applicant firm.
10. Last three (3) years of business’ tax returns, including all schedules and attachments, or as many as the firm has, if less than 3 years for all affiliate firms.
11. Most recent personal Federal tax return for all owners, including all schedules, attachments and W-2′s.
12. Citizenship documentation of all business owner(s) that are U.S. citizens
13. Payroll report covering date of electronic submission.
14. Does the company have an ESOP plan? Copy of ESOP plan must be provided, if applicable.
15. Does the company have any Joint Venture agreements? Copy of Join Venture plan must be provided, if applicable. Additional information may be needed on the JV and any affiliates.
16. For anyone who is a stock holder, board member or officer – do they have ownership or hold a position in another company? If yes, they must provide the last three years of taxes for each company identified. Additional information may be needed, if the primary NAICS code is a based upon employees vs. dollars.
If the Firm is a Corporation:
1. Copy of firms Articles of Incorporation and any amendments and foreign filings
2. Copy of any DBA or Fictitious Business Name Filings
3. Copies of all issued/cancelled stock certificates (front and back), and stock ledger
4. Corporate Bylaws and any amendments
5. Current Certificate of Good Standing from each state you operate within
6. Listing of all current board members
If the firm is a Limited Liability Company (LLC)
1. Copy of the firms Articles of Organization and any amendments and foreign filings
2. Copy of any DBA or Fictitious Business Name Filings
3. Copy of the firms Operating Agreement and any amendments
4. Current Certificate of Good Standing from each state you operate within
If the firm is a Partnership
1. Copy of the firms Partnership Filing and any amendments and foreign filings
2. Copy of any DBA or Fictitious Business Name Filings
3. Partnership Agreement and any amendments
4. Current Certificate of Good Standing from each state you operate within
If the firm is a Sole Proprietor
1.Copy of any DBA or Fictitious Business Name Filings
All other information required:
1. HUBZone maps of employees’ home address
2. Most recent State Unemployment tax filing/report and Federal Form 941
3. Valid (unexpired) Drivers License, DMV ID or voter registration cards for each employee residing in a HUBZone
4. Provide a listing of any paid or unpaid owners, for salary or hourly employees or any other individuals who work for the firm. List should include full name, home address, number of hours worked per week and work location(principal office, other office, or job site).
5. Identify if there are any shared employees, shared facilities or equipment, shared licenses required to do business or bonding assistance between the applicant firm and any affiliates.
6.If you use independent contractors, you must provide:
a. The complete name(s) of all independent contractor(s); b. Signed copies of all executed contracts; c. Detailed description of work performed by all independent contractors including the number of hours work, the type of work performed, and where they perform their work. d. Copies of all invoices from the independent contractors, and proof of payment for all invoices; e. If any of the independent contractors have or have had in the past, business cards issued by your firm, please provide a copy of the business card; f. If any of the independent contractors have email accounts issued to them by your firm, please provide the individual’s email address.
7.Signed and Notarized HUBZone Program Certification Signature Sheet
For more information and assistance with your HUBZone Application, please call us at 813-333-5800 or visit http://www.cloveer.com/hubzone.html.
Among the many 8a business development program eligibility requirements, the applicant for 8a Certification must have a personal adjusted net worth of less than $250,000 at the time of 8a Application Submission.
What is the definition of Adjusted Net Worth?
The algorithm used to determine Adjusted Net Worth for 8a Certification purposes is:
Adjusted Net Worth = Personal Assets – Personal Liabilities – [Equity in primary residence + value of ownership interest in applicant business + value of any IRA/401(k) or other retirement account that is subject to a penalty for early withdrawal]
If the applicant is married and the asset or liability is jointly held, you split the value 50/50. If the applicant is married and lives in a community property state, you only split assets and liabilities 50/50 if you have a transmutation or pre/post nuptial agreement that states otherwise.
How can I determine my Adjusted Worth?
You can easily determine your Adjusted Net Worth by using our online calculator.
What is required to be submitted within the 8a Application to prove the applicant’s Adjusted Net Worth?
Each applicant, and their spouse, must submit a separate SBA Form 413, Personal Financial Statement. Along with the SBA Form 413 you must also submit statements for each asset or liability supporting the amounts reported. These statements cannot be any older than 30 days at the time of 8a Application submission.
Are there any ways to reduce an applicant’s Adjusted Net Worth below the $250,000 threshold?
For more information, contact us.
*Important* You cannot transfer an asset out of the applicant’s name within two years of the time your apply for 8a Certification for less than fair market value. Doing so will result in the full amount of the asset being re attributed back to the applicant.
When you apply for SBA 8(a) Certification, the individual who is claiming disadvantaged status must be able to provide a narrative statement of economic disadvantage as just one of the many items to be included in their 8(a) Application.
I have spoken to countless clients who typically think this is the hardest part of their 8(a) Application and dread having to come up with, recall and reflect on how their ability to compete has been impaired due to discriminatory practices against them due to their identification as a member of their SBA designated group.
HERE IS A QUICK GUIDE TO ASSIST YOU TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE ECONOMIC DISADVANTAGE NARRATIVE IS
WHAT IS THE ECONOMIC DISADVANTAGE NARRATIVE:
The Economic Disadvantage Narrative is a series of statements where you describe, in detail, your personal experiences stemming from actual or perceived prejudice or bias you have experienced. These experiences must have been occurred in American Society.
THE SIX AREAS:
There are six areas that the SBA requires that you consider when providing experiences of actual or perceived prejudice or bias that have affected your business life are:
1 – Bonding
2 – Credit or Financing
3 – Licenses
4 – Leases
5 -Market Restrictions
6 – Underemployment/Unemployment
Note – Some of these areas may or may not apply to your business life. If they do not, skip to the next area. Remember these important facts about what you are about to describe, (1) you must be able to describe at least one major negative experience to convince the SBA that you have subjected to unfair economic disadvantage, and (2), connect it back to your distinguishing feature, whether it is race, gender, ethnicity, handicap or culture.
The SBA will not accept the justification that you have been discriminated against because you are a small business and “can’t compete with the big guys” or your credit was not good enough to get a loan or line of credit.
SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WITHIN THE SIX AREAS:
1. Have you or your company ever been denied a performance or any other type of bond needed to acquire or perform your work?
2. Was the level of bonding that you have received less favorable in amount and terms than that of other similar companies who are not socially disadvantaged?
Credit or Financing:
1. Have you or your company ever been denied the required credit or financing needed to acquire necessary equipment, etc. or to finance the ongoing operations of your firm?
2. Were the terms (e.g. interest rate, collateral, etc.) of this financing less favorable than those received by similar companies who are not socially disadvantaged?
1. Have you or your company ever been denied a license required by you to conduct business?
2. Have you or your firm ever had a necessary license revoked?
1. Has your firm ever been denied a real or tangible property lease?
2. Were the terms of your leases less favorable than those received by similar companies who are not socially disadvantaged?
1. Have you or your firm ever been denied access to a client or to bidding on a contract opportunity?
2. Has your firm ever been rejected for a business opportunity on terms that were different than those provided to other similar firms that were not socially disadvantaged?
1. Have you ever been denied employment or advancement opportunities that have had a negative impact on your economic situation?
2. Have you ever been discharged, fired or downsized on terms that were different than those provided to other equivalently qualified individuals?
If you answered YES to any of the questions above or have ever experienced any other form of perceived prejudice or bias in the areas above you will need to answer the questions below:
What were the dates or periods of time over which the above prejudice or bias occurred? (You must be as specific as possible (e.g. January, 2013, January through March, 2010, Fall of 2008, etc.)
Who are or were the person(s) and/or entities (i.e., organizations) involved and their respective positions or titles (You must be as specific as possible (e.g. first and last name, title, name of company. If you cannot remember exactly, please provide as much information as possible and state to the best of your recollection. Do not make up any names.)
Identify and describe the specific instances that you claim represent the substantial and chronic prejudice or bias you have identified above? Be very specific, using the “street language” that may have been used.
What specific actions are being taken or were taken by you to overcome the effects of the prejudice or bias experienced by you or your company? (e.g. filed lawsuit, threatened lawsuit, wrote letter/email requesting reasoning, etc.)
Identify and discuss the specific negative impact (economic, loss of professional development, damage to your personal or company reputation) on you and/or your firm on the entry or advancement in the business world because of this disadvantage experienced by you. (You must be as specific as possible, e.g. the loss of revenue, profits or salary in actual dollar amounts.)
What type of physical evidence will you or can you provide to substantiate your claims of prejudice or bias? e.g. court or administrative findings, affidavits, documents related to rejected bonding, contemporaneous records memorializing meetings, conversations, negotiations, telephone calls, a letter or two from a co-worker that observed the above incident)
What additional facts do you consider relevant to claiming and/or evidencing the prejudice or bias that you claim? (For example, were there other incidents involving others who may have been subjected to the same types of prejudice or bias as you, if so, be specific about the name of the company, individuals, titles, dates, things said/done, minority/non-minority, etc
View our sample economic and social narratives of disadvantage. They are actual narratives that have been approved by the SBA. The names have been changed to protect the identity of the individuals but will give you a good idea of the level of specificity that must be provided with your narrative.
For more information on the SBA 8(a) Program, visit cloveer.com or call 813-333-5800. Over 1,600 successful 8(a) Applications .
8(a) certification…It’s all about gaining a significant competitive edge in doing business, especially with the Federal government. What is a competitive advantage? Simply stated, it’s what differentiates your company from any or all of your competitors in a way that’s important to a prospective customer’s decision to buy your product or service versus that of your competitors.
How do other companies differentiate themselves? There are six fundamental strategies that can be used, alone or in combination with one another. They are:
- Price – That is how Wal-Mart, as the low-price provider distinguishes itself.
- Quality – This is Mercedes, BMW’s and Rolex’s claim to fame, whether real or perceived.
- Ease of Use – Human friendliness and ergonomic design are what Microsoft software/Windows and AOL have depended upon to become national leaders.
- Speed of Service – Next Day Blinds, and even Dominos Pizza have used this ploy in the commodity markets of window blinds and fast-food.
- Customer Perceived Value – Such brands as Nordstrom and Publix Grocery stores are known for their “well above-average” level of service and customer relationship maintenance.
- Different – Being unlike others is a fundamental technique used by Apple Computer, the Satellite based radio providers, HBO, BET and Univision.
How does being 8(a) certified provide you with an opportunity to differentiate you and your company? Here are but a few of the ways:
- Price – Being certified can mean that your prospective customer need not buy from the lowest bidder, if you demonstrate other important values to them to contract with you.
- Quality – Being 8(a) certified can mean that your prospective customer can buy from you, if you can convince them that you are better, even though smaller than your competitors.
- Ease of Use – Being 8(a) certified can mean that your prospective customer can avoid developing detailed procurement specifications and having to organize and conduct complex and lengthy competitive procurements, subject to “sore-loser” protests.
- Speed of Service – Simpler procurements are faster procurements, and that means that your prospective customer can get your products or access to your services in a fraction of the time as that which is available through competitive bidding.
- Customer Perceived Value – Being 8(a) certified can mean that you are available quicker, easier, simpler and on more personally accommodating terms to your prospective customer than most of your competitors.
- Different – Being 8(a) certified can mean that you are unlike the remaining 99.9% of all other small businesses in the U.S. that are not certified, just because of the fact that you have this important procurement assistance tool that you can share with your prospective customer.
8(a) Certification …What Is It?
The Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Program was created in 1974 to help minority and other disadvantaged businesses to grow through a program of federal contracting preferences and set-asides. Through the program, eligible firms can be awarded federal government contracts on a sole-source or non-competitive basis. Contracts up to $6.5M for manufacturing and up to $4M for just about everything else are available to certified firms under these non-competition bases. In addition to this, 8(a) contractors will also be eligible for participation in limited competitions where their competitors will be other companies like their own and not the “big guys.”
The Federal government set aside billions in contracts for 8(a) certified firms in its fiscal year 2012. But in spite of this, many eligible minority, women and Service-Disabled Veteran-owned businesses fail to take advantage of this lucrative program because they are put off by the difficulty of the application process. Until now that was true. Cloveer’s software and services accelerate and simplify the process of small business applying and being accepted for the SBA’s 8(a) program.
Today’s 8(a) Business Development Program is strengthened and improved to be a truly effective business development vehicle. New regulations permit 8(a) companies to form beneficial teaming partnerships and allow Federal agencies to streamline the contracting process. New rules make it easier for non-minority firms to participate by proving their social disadvantage. The SBA has also implemented the new Mentor-Protégé Program to allow starting 8(a) companies to learn the ropes from experienced businesses.
The new and improved 8(a) Program has become an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society. Participation is divided into two phases over nine years: a four-year developmental stage and a five-year transition stage.
You see, applying for the SBA 8(a) Certification and gaining the above competitive advantages is well within your sights, need not be a waste of your time nor will it take forever either. It won’t be a waste of your money either, since Cloveer prequalifies all clients upfront. Visit our website at www.cloveer.com or call us at 813-333-5800 to discuss your particular situation.
1. Keep the End in Mind, First!
2. Develop a System for “Out-Managing” Your Competition
3. Know Yourself, Your Company and Your Team, Intimately
4. Be a Mentor, as Well as a Protégé
5. Understand Your Competition, and “Out Differentiate” Them
6. Be a Player – Join in the “Big-Guy” Games
7. Data, Information, and Knowledge – Know the Difference, and Use These to Power Your Leadership
8. Find and Win More Business – But First of All, “Be Picky”
9. Problem Solve, Without Creating Losers, and Scapegoats
10. Remember, You Get What You Pay For –Do You?
Don’t get denied. Make sure you fully qualify for the 8(a) Program before first!
Unfortunately, many businesses try to prepare their own 8(a) application, without some sort of outside assistance, when a quick call to Cloveer could have saved them countless hours of of wasted time they spent putting together their application and the hassle of being denied by the SBA, causing a 1 year delay for re-application.
Here are just a few of issues we see on a daily basis that applicants are not aware of:
1. The applicant firm is earning more than 70% of its revenue with one single client causing economic dependence by the SBA.
2. The applicant has ownership in another business, resulting in a less than full-time devotion to the applicant business determination by the SBA.
3. The applicant firm has a potential affiliation with another firm resulting in the SBA requiring a size determination analysis, possible resulting in the business losing their small business size status.
At Cloveer, we conduct a free detailed pre-qualification interview with all of our clients. We ask our clients the “Killer” questions that will let them know if they have an eligibility issue, unknown to them. The fact is that there are ways around a lot of the 8(a) eligibility issues. We advise our clients on the pros and cons to any potential 8(a) eligibility issue and tell them when there is one that has no workarounds.
As you can see from our blog and website, www.cloveer.com, we provide more information about the 8(a) Program that all of our competitors. We want you every client to learn as much information about the SBA 8(a) Program as possible since they will be the one participating and using it as one of the tools to becoming a success. The more you know, the better decisions you can make before you apply and while you are in the 8(a) Program.
For more information on the 8(a) Program, please visit us at www.cloveer.com or call us at 813-333-5800.