Most people don’t give this too much thought but it can end up costing you a delay when it comes to the review and processing of your 8a application paperwork that you have worked so hard to put together.
Q: Should I organize and submit my 8a application in a notebook or binder with tabs.
A: While it is OK to use a notebook or binder and tabs while you are in the process of gathering and organizing your 8a application paperwork we suggest that you do not send the SBA your 8a application paperwork in a notebook or binder separated with tabs. Why? (1) The SBA discards your notebook or binder and tabs. You are essentially waiting money by purchasing custom tabs. (2) They must will remove your 8a application paperwork from the notebook and tabs to put it into their format. This will cause a delay in the 8a Application review process.
If you have used a notebook or binder and tabs to organize your 8a application paperwork we suggest that you remove all paperwork from your notebook or binder and just use paper or binder clips and rubber bands when you are ready to send it off to the SBA . We have seen actual client letters and emails, from the SBA, that actually state not to use a notebook or binder and tabs. The SBA also states it is not necessary to staple, bind or glue your 8a application. Nor is it necessary to use plastic sleeves.
Any letter or communication you receive back from the SBA will result in a minimum of 15-30 day delay in the review of your 8a Application.
Tip: Make sure you do not send originals of any document as you will not receive a copy back from the SBA should your 8a application be accepted.
Tip: Make a 2nd copy of your 8a application paperwork prior to sending it off to the SBA. The SBA can overlook and request a document you already sent to them. Also, there have been cases where the shipping provider has a lost the package.
Cloveer 8a Accelerator can ensure your 8a Application is organized properly. Within our 8a Accelerator, we provide you access to our separator sheets that are proven to be useful in identifying and organizing every item within your 8a Application and also indentify whether the item is applicable or non-applicable to your company. This is important since the SBA will assume that you left something out if you fail to tell them that it does not apply.