Five 8(a) Program Annual Review Tips

TIP 1: Keep an eye on your Adjusted Net Worth. To remain economically disadvantaged while you are a participant in the SBA 8(a) Program the 8(a) applicant(s) Adjusted Net Worth must be less than $750,000 when you submit your 8(a) Annual review.

The algorithm used to determine Adjusted Net Worth for 8(a) 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 are 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.

You can easily determine your Adjusted Net Worth by using our adjusted net worth calculator.

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.

*Important* You cannot transfer an asset out of the applicant’s name for less than fair market value. Doing so will result in the full amount of the asset being re attributed back to the applicant.

TIP 2: Watch out for Excessive Withdrawals. Withdrawals are excessive if in the aggregate during any fiscal year of the Participant they exceed (i) $250,000 for firms with sales up to $1,000,000; (ii) $300,000 for firms with sales between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000; and (iii) $400,000 for firms with sales exceeding $2,000,000.

The term withdrawal includes, but is not limited to, the following: Cash dividends; distributions in excess of amounts needed to pay S Corporation, LLC or partnership taxes; cash and property withdrawals; payments to immediate family members not employed by the Participant; bonuses to officers; and investments on behalf of an owner. Although officers’ salaries are generally not considered withdrawals for purposes of this paragraph, SBA will count those salaries as withdrawals where SBA believes that a firm is attempting to circumvent the excessive withdrawal limitations through the payment of officers’ salaries. SBA will look at the totality of the circumstances in determining whether to include any specific amount as a withdrawal under this paragraph.

TIP 3: Watch your percentage of 8(a) vs Non 8(a) revenue earned as you enter the transitional stage of the 8(a) Program.

To ensure that Participants do not develop an unreasonable reliance on 8(a) awards, and to ease their transition into the competitive marketplace after graduating from the 8(a) program, Participants must make maximum efforts to obtain business outside the 8(a) program. Work performed by an 8(a) Participant for any Federal department or agency other than through an 8(a) contract, including work performed on orders under the General Services Administration Multiple Award Schedule program, and work performed as a subcontractor, including work performed as a subcontractor to another 8(a) Participant on an 8(a) contract, qualifies as work performed outside the 8(a) program.

During both the developmental and transitional stages of the 8(a) program, a Participant must make substantial and sustained efforts, including following a reasonable marketing strategy, to attain the targeted dollar levels of non-8(a) revenue established in its business plan. It must attempt to use the 8(a) program as a resource to strengthen the firm for economic viability when program benefits are no longer available.

Required non-8(a) business activity targets during transitional stage—(1) General. During the transitional stage of the 8(a) program, a Participant must achieve certain targets of non-8(a) contract revenue (i.e., revenue from other than sole source or competitive 8(a) contracts). These targets are called non-8(a) business activity targets and are expressed as a percentage of total revenue. The targets call for an increase in non-8(a) revenue over time.

Non-8(a) business activity targets. During their transitional stage of program participation, Participants must meet the following non-8(a) business activity targets each year:

Participant’s year in the transitional stage Non-8(a) business activity targets (required minimum non-8(a) revenue as a percentage of total revenue)
1 15
2 25
3 35
4 45
5 55

TIP 4: Make sure your financial statements breakout 8(a) and Non 8(a) Revenue.

Your annual financial statements, specifically your Profit & Loss Statement, must show a breakout of your revenue earned by any 8(a) contract revenue and any non 8(a) revenue. This is a common issue we see when we perform 8(a) Annual Reviews for our clients.

TIP 5: Ensure that you provide the correct type of prepared financials depending on your gross annual receipts.

Participants with gross annual receipts of more than $10,000,000 must submit to SBA audited annual financial statements prepared by a licensed independent public accountant.

Participants with gross annual receipts between $2,000,000 and $10,000,000 must submit to SBA reviewed annual financial statements prepared by a licensed independent public accountant.

Participants with gross annual receipts of less than $2,000,000 must submit to SBA an annual statement prepared in-house or a compilation statement prepared by a licensed independent public accountant, verified as to accuracy by an authorized officer, partner, limited liability member, or sole proprietor of the Participant, including signature and date

Need assistance with your 8(a) Annual Review? With 15 years and over 2,000 successful applications under our belt, we can assure you that your 8(a) Annual Review will be completed properly.

8(a) Annual Review Completion Service

This service is designed for the 8(a) Certified business who needs an expert to prepare all aspects of their required 8(a) Annual Review paperwork.

We work one-on-one with you to ensure that your 8(a) Annual Review is completed properly so you can continue to operate within the SBA 8(a) Program each year.

  • Our staff will gather and analyze all required data so you can turn your attention to “doing business” instead of “doing paperwork”.
  • We will complete an adjusted net worth analysis to ensure you will still be considered economically disadvantaged and also an adjusted gross income analysis if necessary.
  • We will advise you of any possible eligibility issues as well as remedies to any potential problems.
  • We will complete the online 8(a) Annual Review submission and the paper/supporting sections of your 8(a) Annual Review.
  • At the conclusion of this service your 8(a) Annual Update will be 100% ready to be submitted to the SBA. All electronic and paper documents will be prepared for you and packaged the way the SBA wants it.

 

 

 

8(a) Certification Tip – Your primary NAICS code and what’s reported on the business tax returns.

When you apply for the SBA 8(a) Program you must report to the SBA what your primary NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code is.

Your primary NAICS code is defined as the six digit code in which your business earned its largest segment of revenue, in the most recently completed fiscal year. To get 8(a) certified you typically must have earned your largest segment of revenue in your primary NAICS code for at least the last two fiscal years. If your business has not earned the largest segment of revenue in the primary NAICS code reported to the SBA for the last two fiscal years you will need to apply with a 2 year waiver.

To determine the primary NAICS code for your business you can visit our blog post titled “How to Determine your Primary NAICS Code” for detailed instructions.

The primary NAICS code for your business must also match what is reported on your business tax returns otherwise the SBA will assume that the business does not meet the two years in business requirement.

If your primary NAICS code is different that what is reported on your filed business tax returns, and the NAICS code reported on the business tax returns is incorrect you must:

Submit a letter of explanation to SBA, as part of your 8(a) Application, from your CPA or tax preparer regarding the business activity code and service listed on the filed business tax returns vs what NAICS code that should have been reported on them. This letter will save you 15-30 days of processing by the SBA.

Need assistance with your 8(a) Application? With 15 years and over 2,000 successful applications under our belt, we can assure you that no matter which option you choose, Cloveer will work harder and faster to get your business SBA 8a certified.  Contact us today at 813-333-5800 or visiting our website at www.cloveer.com to discover what Cloveer can do for you. We also offer these options for further assistance in completing your 8(a) Application.

Option 18(a) Application Review

  • For those who wish to complete the application on their own we offer an 8(a) Application Review service.  Here, one of our 8a program experts will review your entire application, checking it for missing documents and potential eligibility issues.  We will then advise you as to how best to modify your application to ensure it will be approved an SBA reviewer.

Option 28a Application Completion Service

  • The majority of our clients however, prefer a little more of a hands-on approach.  They recognize the expertise we have accumulated in the over 15 years we’ve been assisting clients obtain 8(a) certification, and want us to put it to use for them.  If you opt for our 8(a) Application Completion Service, we will work one-on-one with you to ensure that your 8(a) Application is 100% complete and compliant so the SBA can review and accept it the first time.

Stock Certificates and Ledger Guide: What you need to provide and tips for compliance.

Our 2017 Stock/Membership and Ledger Guide will assist in the preparation and 100% completion of your Stock or Membership Certificates and Ledger for your SBA 8(a) Application. This downloadable guide is $79.95. Click on the Buy Now button below to purchase the guide and download now. This guide will not only show you how to properly prepare your Stock/Membership Certificates and Ledger but will save you countless hours of trying to figure out how to be compliant with these SBA 8(a) application requirements and possible endless back and forth or long delays of the processing of your 8(a) application by the SBA. The guide includes the following information:

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  • Who needs to provide Stock/Membership Certificates and Ledger within the SBA 8(a) Application documentation.

Detailed tips for compliance including:

  • What to do if you have never prepared the required Stock/Membership Certificates and ledger in the past.
  • How to ensure they are completed properly so they correspond with the ownership information presented to the SBA.
  • What to do if you have lost any previous issued  Stock/Membership Certificates.
  • How to properly complete every area of the Stock/Membership Certificates and Ledger  to alleviate any questions by the SBA.

Need assistance with your 8(a) Application? With 15 years and over 2,000 successful applications under our belt, we can assure you that no matter which option you choose, Cloveer will work harder and faster to get your business SBA 8a certified.  Contact us today at 813-333-5800 or visiting our website at www.cloveer.com to discover what Cloveer can do for you. We also offer these options for further assistance in completing your 8(a) Application.

Option 18(a) Application Review

  • For those who wish to complete the application on their own we offer an 8(a) Application Review service.  Here, one of our 8a program experts will review your entire application, checking it for missing documents and potential eligibility issues.  We will then advise you as to how best to modify your application to ensure it will be approved an SBA reviewer.

Option 28a Application Completion Service

  • The majority of our clients however, prefer a little more of a hands-on approach.  They recognize the expertise we have accumulated in the over 15 years we’ve been assisting clients obtain 8(a) certification, and want us to put it to use for them.  If you opt for our 8(a) Application Completion Service, we will work one-on-one with you to ensure that your 8(a) Application is 100% complete and compliant so the SBA can review and accept it the first time.

8(a) Certification: Family members with ownership in another business. What do I need to know and provide?

When you apply for the 8(a) Program the SBA will ask if you have any immediate family members who have ownership in a business. Why? 13 C.F.R 121.103(f) defines that the SBA may find affiliation on an identity of interest between individuals or business, including family members.

Immediate family member is defined as father, mother, husband, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, grand-daughter, father-in-law, and mother-in-law.

Tip: They do not ask this question upfront. To alleviate any questions by the SBA during the review process you should provide a signed and dated certification that you or any immediate family members do not have ownership in any other business during the application submission process, if this is the case.

If you do have an immediate family member that has ownership interest in any other business you must provide the following documentation to the SBA:

The above must be supplied if any immediate family member, any owner of more than 10%, any director, any officer has ownership in any other business entity.

  1. SBA Form 355 (listing each firm as an alleged affiliate);
  2. Interim year to date financial statements, as well as number of employees;
  3. Three most recently filed business tax returns, including all schedules, attachments, and proof of tax paid;
  4. If the firm is a corp, provide:
    – Articles of incorporation and by-laws;
    – The last two years of  shareholder meeting minutes showing the election of the board of directors;
    – The last two years of board of director meeting minutes showing the election of the officers;
    – Stock certificates and ledger;
    – Assumed/fictitious name registration, if dba name is used;
    Copies of cert of good standing if your firm is a foreign firm; and;
    – Any buy/sell agreements, stock transfer agreements, etc.
    If the firm is a LLC, provide:
    – Articles of organization and operating agreement;
    – Assumed/fictitious name registration, if a dba name is used;
    – Certificate of good standing; and
    – Any buy/sell agreements, stock transfer agreements, etc.If the firm is a sole prop, provide:
    – Assumed/fictitious name registration.

    If the firm is a partnership, provide:
    – Partnership agreement;
    – Official filings with the state; and
    – Assumed/fictitious name registration, if a dba name is used.

Why do they require this information?
The SBA requires the above information to determine if any affiliation exists between the 8(a) Applicant firm and any other business that your family member owns.

Need assistance with your 8(a) Application? With 15 years and over 2,000 successful applications under our belt, we can assure you that no matter which option you choose, Cloveer will work harder and faster to get your business SBA 8a certified.  Contact us today at 813-333-5800 or visiting our website at www.cloveer.com to discover what Cloveer can do for you. We also offer these options for further assistance in completing your 8(a) Application.

Option 18(a) Application Review

  • For those who wish to complete the application on their own we offer an 8(a) Application Review service.  Here, one of our 8a program experts will review your entire application, checking it for missing documents and potential eligibility issues.  We will then advise you as to how best to modify your application to ensure it will be approved an SBA reviewer.

Option 28a Application Completion Service

  • The majority of our clients however, prefer a little more of a hands-on approach.  They recognize the expertise we have accumulated in the over 15 years we’ve been assisting clients obtain 8(a) certification, and want us to put it to use for them.  If you opt for our 8(a) Application Completion Service, we will work one-on-one with you to ensure that your 8(a) Application is 100% complete and compliant so the SBA can review and accept it the first time.

 

 

8(a) Certification: Ownership or outside work in any other business can be a certification show stopper!

The applicant(s) for 8(a) Certification must devote full-time to the business that is applying for the 8(a) Program with no outside employment. This means that they must generally work at least 40 hours a week during the normal hours of operation of the business that is applying for the 8(a) Program.

If the applicant(s) have an ownership or are an officer, director or partner  in any other business, other than the business that is applying for the 8(a) Program, the SBA may very well deny your 8(a) Application.

Why?

As stated above, you must devote full-time during the normal hours of operation of the business. If you have ownership or are an officer, director or partner in another business the SBA will likely conclude that you are not devoting full-time to the applicant business even if you do not devote any hours to the operation of this other business.

How to overcome this potential show-stopper?

a. You can dissolve this other business and provide evidence of dissolution to the SBA during the application review process.

b. You can formally resign your officer, director or partner position in this other business and provide evidence of resignation.

b. You can sell your ownership in this other business. The sale must take place at fair market value and you must be able to provide proof of the sale and a copy of any proceeds you might receive. Be sure to factor in any funds you receive as a result of this sale. You must also resign all positions you held in this other business and provide proof of this resignation.

What if the other business is just a business for holding real estate?

If the other business is just for holding real estate and you can prove this to the SBA, you can most likely keep your ownership in this other business since this other business is solely for the purpose of holding and/or protecting you ownership interest in the properties that it holds.

Need assistance with your 8(a) Application? With 15 years and over 2,000 successful applications under our belt, we can assure you that no matter which option you choose, Cloveer will work harder and faster to get your business SBA 8a certified.  Contact us today at 813-333-5800 or visiting our website at www.cloveer.com to discover what Cloveer can do for you. We also offer these options for further assistance in completing your 8(a) Application.

Option 18(a) Application Review

  • For those who wish to complete the application on their own we offer an 8(a) Application Review service.  Here, one of our 8a program experts will review your entire application, checking it for missing documents and potential eligibility issues.  We will then advise you as to how best to modify your application to ensure it will be approved an SBA reviewer.

Option 28a Application Completion Service

  • The majority of our clients however, prefer a little more of a hands-on approach.  They recognize the expertise we have accumulated in the over 15 years we’ve been assisting clients obtain 8(a) certification, and want us to put it to use for them.  If you opt for our 8(a) Application Completion Service, we will work one-on-one with you to ensure that your 8(a) Application is 100% complete and compliant so the SBA can review and accept it the first time.

Financial Statements – 35 Items the SBA reviews when applying for 8(a) Certification

When applying for the 8(a) Program you are required to submit the following financial statements for the business:

  1. Year to date Balance sheet and income statements, no older than 90 days, including a detailed A/P and A/R aging statement if you are operating on an accrual basis.

2. The last three years of Balance sheet and income statements (e.g. 2016, 2015, & 2014)

You should ensure that all financials provided are prepared on generally accepted accounting principles or an accepted cash basis.

What does the SBA reviewer look for when they review these:
*Note* The following items are taken from the current SBA SOP.

1. Are the current year to date financials no older than 90 days from date of receipt by the SBA?

2. Are the aging schedules for A/P and A/R consistent with with the year to date balance sheet?

3. Are any A/P or A/R more than 90 days old?

4. Do the balance sheets balance?

5. Are current assets recorded properly?

6. If the business is a dealer, wholesaler, or supplier, does the firm maintain any inventory?

7. Does the firm have fixed assets? If so, are these fixed assets recorded properly?

8. Are the fixed assets reported with depreciation or at actual value?

9. Do the firm’s fixed assets correspond with its type of business? For example, if the firm performs construction work does it have construction equipment?

10. If there is a partner shareholder or officer loan, is there a copy of the loan document? Is this loan reflected on the individual’s SBA Form 413, Personal Financial Statement?

11. Are there loans or notes receivable from a shareholder, officer or partner?

12. Has a copy of the loan or note been provided?

13. Does the loan reflect generally accepted repayment terms? If not, is this item over-inflating the firm’s assets?

14. Does the firm have the ability to service debts?

15. Are there any loans that are questionable or that may raise concerns regarding control?

16. Do retained earnings reconcile with previous financial statements?

17. Does the listed business equity match that reported on the Personal Financial Statements of the owners?

18. Is the profit and loss statement correctly calculated?

19. Does the profit and loss statement show revenues in the appropriate business activity?

20. Is “Cost of Goods Sold” included?

21. Are the line items properly recorded?

22. If there is an expense for salaries for employees, are employees listed on SBA Form 1010?

23. If there is an expense for worker’s compensation, are employees listed on SBA Form 1010?

24. Is the disadvantaged individual the firm’s highest compensated officer or employee? If not, has an explanation of the salary structure been provided?

25. Are there any large subcontracting expenses that appear questionable?

26. Does the firm appear to be in compliance with the percentage of work requirements for its primary business?

27. Does the firm appear to have the necessary equipment, financial resources, working capital, etc., to perform 8(a) contracts it may be awarded?

28. Are there questionable items listed on the statements, or have things changed significantly from the previous year end statement?

29. Are there indications that excessive withdrawals have occurred?

30. Does the firm have financing by non-disadvantaged individual(s) that would be considered critical financing? Also, is the loan payable upon demand?

31. Are there any significant changes in any categories that create a concern? For example, have loans disappeared?

32. What pattern are the revenues, profits, and losses showing? Is there a need to ask for clarification, such as an explanation of the reason for a downward trend or sudden revenue drop?

33. Are there any discrepancies between the firm’s tax returns and the statements? Are these discrepancies based on cash versus accrual? If not, is reconciliation required? Does taking into consideration cash versus accrual reconcile the accounts?

34. Do the balance sheets correspond with the tax return schedules? For example, are there shareholder loans on the tax return schedules that are not reflected on the financial statements?

35. Do the statements and corresponding tax returns reflect any conversions from accrual to cash accounting?

Need assistance with your 8(a) Application? Call us at 813-333-5800 or visit www.cloveer.com for more information.

Do you qualify for the SBA 8(a) Program?

There are many eligibility criteria that a small business must meet to qualify for the SBA 8(a) Program. We have developed a free online 8(a) eligibility questionnaire that anyone can use to see if their business meets the 8(a) eligibility criteria.

http://www.cloveer.com/8aquestionnaire.html Screenshot

Cloveer.com 8a Program Eligibility Questionnaire

This free online 8(a) Certification Eligibility Questionnaire should generally be completed by the individual who primary 8(a) Program Eligibility will be based upon.

The questionnaire will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and as you answer most of the questions, it will automatically inform you if you have a potential eligibility issue.

If you find that you do qualify, we have three 8(a) Application Completion options:

Option 18(a) Application Review

  • For those who wish to complete the application on their own we offer an 8(a) Application Review service.  Here, one of our 8a program experts will review your entire application, checking it for missing documents and potential eligibility issues.  We will then advise you as to how best to modify your application to ensure it will be approved an SBA reviewer.

Option 28a Application Completion Service

  • The majority of our clients however, prefer a little more of a hands-on approach.  They recognize the expertise we have accumulated in the over 14 years we’ve been assisting clients obtain 8(a) certification, and want us to put it to use for them.  If you opt for our 8(a) Application Completion Service, we will work one-on-one with you to ensure that your 8(a) Application is 100% complete and compliant so the SBA can review and accept it the first time.

With 14 years and over 2,000 successful applications under our belt, we can assure you that no matter which option you choose, Cloveer will work harder and faster to get your business SBA 8a certified.  Contact us today to discover what Cloveer can do for you.