What meeting minutes must be submitted with your 8a Application and who is required to submit them?

What meeting minutes are required?

At a minimum, you must submit a copy of the business concerns initial or organizational meeting minutes and at least the last two immediate years of annual meeting minutes.

Typically the initial or organizational meeting minutes are prepared at the time you formally organize your business concern. The initial meeting minutes will usually contain the following information:

  • A listing of all business concern shareholders, owners or members
  • Elections of the initial Board of Directors, Managing Member or General/Limited Partners
  • Election of all business concern officers such as the President/CEO, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer
  • Resolutions acknowledging the  filing of the Articles of Incorporation, Organization or Partnership filing
  • Resolutions accepting the original Bylaws, Operating Agreement or Partnership Agreement
  • Any other general business topics discussed such as opening business bank accounts, officer salaries, etc.

Your Bylaws, Operating Agreement or Partnership Agreement will generally outline the requirements for holding meetings.  Typically each year a meeting is held with the purpose of electing or re-electing the Board of Directors, Managing Members or General/Limited Partners and all officers.

Who is required to submit them?

All business concerns that are formed as a Corporation, Limited Liability Company or Partnership must submit the meeting minutes as part of their 8a Application. If you operate as a Sole Proprietorship, you are not required to be submit meeting minutes.


What financial statements are required to be submitted for an 8a application?

All firms applying for 8a Certification must submit the following financial statements:

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.

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.

Your current year to date financials must exhibit the following:

  • Positive net income
  • Positive working capital
  • Positive equity

Where can I get a Certificate of Good Standing and Who is Required to Submit it?

Where can I get it?

You can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State office where you registered your business concern. Sometimes a Certificate of Good Standing is also referred to as a “Certificate of Fact or Existence”. The title for this document varies from State to State. In order for this document to be accepted by the SBA it cannot be any older than 90 days at time you submit your 8a Application.

Who is Required to Submit it?

All business concerns that are formed as a Corporation, Limited Liability Company or Partnership must obtain and submit this document as part of their 8a Application. If you operate as a Sole Proprietorship, this document is not required to be submitted.

Other Tips:

If you formed your business concern within a different State than the State in which the business concerns operates you must also obtain and submit a Certificate of Good Standing from each State in which you have filed a foreign entity filing.


Is Business Insurance Required to Get 8a Certified?

All business concerns who apply to become SBA 8a Certified must have general liability insurance at a minimum. If the business concern is required by its State law to carry workers compensation insurance it must carry this on its policy too.

For general liability insurance, there is no set minimum or maximum amount or limit of insurance required by the SBA to become 8a certified. We suggest that you consult with your insurance agent for advice on the proper levels and amounts of insurance for your business concern.

For more tips on 8a Certification requirements, please visit cloveer.com.

Small Business Government Contracts – for Women, Minorities, Veterans and Disadvantaged Business Owners

Each year, hundreds of thousands of small business owners around the country apply for SBA loans and SBA grants. The application processes are long, complicated, and highly selective, leaving most applicants without funding.

Unlike government grants and loans however, small business government contracts, the provisions for which are made under section 8a of the Small Business Act can give women, minorities, handicapped, service disabled veterans, and disadvantaged small business owners repeat business at no cost to them. 8a government contracts for minorities, women, handicapped, service disabled veterans, and other disadvantaged individuals are highly sought after for this reason, but complex to obtain. There are however, strategies to overcome this opposition.

Finding Contract Opportunities

There are a few key techniques for finding government contract opportunities, many of which involving simply surfing the Internet:

  • Visit the Federal Business Opportunities website at http://www.fbo.gov. There you can search specifically for 8a contract opportunities, and have targeted opportunities sent to you via e-mail.
  • Research each federal agency’s long-range acquisition estimates (LRAE). Each major federal agency maintains a LRAE which identifies anticipated procurements upcoming that are over $100,000.
  • Contact each federal agency’s Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) office. OSDBU offices ensure that small and disadvantaged businesses are provided maximum practicable opportunity to participate in the agency’s contracting process.
  • Visit the Federal Procurement Data System website. It contains information about every federal procurement that has ever taken place. The website can be found at https://www.fpds.gov
  • Simply arrange a meeting with the contracting officer(s) of whichever federal agency with which you would like to do business. At such a meeting, you can give an informative presentation and market your product(s)/service(s).

Unfortunately, it proves difficult to be awarded a government contract unless you’re SBA 8a certified. This is where we come in.

Getting Certified with Cloveer

The SBA 8a application process is tough, and we know it. That’s why we’re in business; we want to help women, minorities, handicapped, service disabled veterans, and disadvantaged small business owners secure 8a certification, so they are given a fair opportunity to acquire government contracts. After all, Cloveer is a minority owned business.

We having been assisting clients to obtain 8a certification and maintain their 8a program eligibility for over 14 years. As such, we know the SBA 8a program regulatory requirements, 8a standard operating procedures and Office of Hearings and Appeal cases that affect the 8a program better than 99.9% of anyone else out there. We put this experience to work each day through each of our services:

  • 8a Application Review: For those of our clients who have already prepared an application, the 8a application review service ensures that not only is your application complete, but that it is in fact 8a eligible.
  • 8a Application Completion: Many of our clients recognize the experience we have in preparing SBA 8a applications. With over 14 years and 2,000 successful application under our belts, we have quite a bit! For these customers, we offer a complete 8a application service. We will prepare everything for you, so you can concentrate on running your business.

No matter which option you choose, Cloveer guarantees that no other company will work harder or faster to assist you in getting your business SBA 8a certified. Contact us today to discover which option works best for you.

5 Ways to Find 8a Contract Opportunities

1. Visit the Federal Business Opportunities web site. It contains thousands of active federal procurements. The web site can be found by visiting http://www.fbo.gov.

You can narrow down your search for 8a set-aside contract opportunities or set-up an account to automatically receive targeted opportunities via email. We suggest that you specifically look for 8a opportunities that are in the pre-solicitation or sources sought phase as most of the other phases are too far along in the procurement process already.

2. View each Federal agency’s long range acquisition forecast (LRAE). For example http://www.selltoairforce.org/opportunities/index.php. Each major federal agency maintains a LRAE which identifies anticipated procurements upcoming that are over $100,000.

3. Contact each Federal agency’s OSDBU (Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization) office. The OSDBU’s ensure that small and disadvantaged businesses are provided maximum practicable opportunity to participate in the agency’s contracting process. The primary responsibility of the OSDBU is to ensure that small businesses are treated fairly and have an opportunity to compete and be selected for a fair amount of the agency’s contracting and subcontracting dollars. You can find the contact information for each OSDBU office by visiting each Federal agency’s web site.

4. Visit the Federal Procurement Data System web site. It contains every federal procurement that has ever taken place. The web site can be found by visiting https://www.fpds.gov

You can search and find out which agency is buying your products or services, the names of your competitors who were awarded past contracts, their dollar value, location, NAICS code and more.

5. Finally, narrow down the Federal agencies who you want to do business with, find out who the contracting officers are, setup a face to face meeting, and market your products and services to them.

What are the benefits of 8a Certification?

1. You will have access to sole source/non-competitive contracts with a value of:

– $4M and under for all services related contracts
– $6.5M and under for manufacturing related contracts

2. You will have access to competitive set-aside contracts with a value of:

– $4M and over for all services related contracts
– $6.5M and over for manufacturing related contracts

3. You will severely limit your potential competition.

– There are less than 10,000 active 8a participants in the entire 8a Program
– The big-guys (Lockheed Martin, CSC, EDS, Halliburton, etc.) cannot compete for these contracts

4. It is easier for your federal prospects to buy from you.

– 8a contracts require much less paperwork, time and bureaucracy than most other procurement methods
8a contracts cannot be protested

5. It is a much faster contract award process.

– 8a contracts take about 1/10 the amount of time to be awarded compared to most other procurement methods

If you are looking for a company to assist in the process of getting your business 8a Certified, contact Cloveer.com today.

Do I qualify for 8a Certification?

Failure to spend the time to find out whether you fully qualify can:

1. Result in a formal denial of your 8a application by the SBA. If this happens, you cannot re-apply for 12 months from the date you are denied.

2. Result in a seemingly endless 8a application review process at the SBA and cost your business concern the ability to bid on and win federal set-aside 8a contracts.

3. Cause you to spend 40+ hours putting together a bunch of paperwork that will result in nothing more than a paper weight.

Below are just 16 of the 8a Application “Killers”. These will immediately tell you whether you have an issue that may prevent you from qualifying for 8a Certification.

1. The applicant (51% of more owner) must be a US Citizen when they apply.

2. The applicant must devote full time to the business concern that is applying for 8a Certification when they apply. This means that they must work at least 40 hours per week in the business concern without any outside employment.

3. The applicant must hold the highest management position within the business concern. Generally this is the CEO, President or Managing Member.

4. The applicant must be able to demonstrate that they are the highest compensated. Generally the SBA will deny your 8a application if you cannot demonstrate the applicant currently is the highest compensated or there is a very good reason why they have elected not to be.

5 The applicant must have an adjusted net worth of less than $250,000 at the time they apply. Adjusted net worth = Assets – liabilities – (Equity in primary residence + value of ownership interest in business concern). To determine what your adjusted net worth is click here.

6. The applicant’s AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) cannot be more than $200,000 averaged over the last two tax years. If you suspect that your AGI is over the limit click here.

7. The applicant must generally hold all licenses or professional certifications required to operate the business concern.

8. If the applicant has ownership in another business concern other than the business concern that is applying for 8a Certification the SBA will most likely determine that you do not devote full time and therefore deny your 8a application. There are ways to solve this issue and they vary depending on your unique condition.

9. The applicant cannot be on probation or parole. If the applicant has been arrested in the past it does not automatically deny them unless they were convicted of a specific crime. Having an arrest, regardless of how long ago, will severely delay the review of your 8a Application.

10. The business concern must have been in business for 2 full years. In addition, the last two years of its filed tax returns must show a reasonable amount of total sales. If it has not, you must seek a waiver and meet the 5 conditions set by the SBA to overcome this condition. Click here for detailed information on each of the 5 conditions.

11. The business concern and the applicant cannot have any delinquent tax filings or have any unpaid Federal, State or local obligations at the time of application. This condition can be overcome by filing the proper extension for delinquent taxes or by providing evidence of a current re-payment arrangement for unpaid Federal, State or local obligations.

12. The business concern must be at least 51% directly owned by the applicant. The business concern must be a for-profit business and cannot be classified as a broker or be a subsidiary of another business concern.

13. The business concern’s current financial statements must exhibit positive net income, positive net equity and positive working capital at the time of application submission. The SBA requires that the business concern meets “Potential for Success”.

14. The business concern must not have earned more than 70% of its total revenue within the last 12 months with one single client. This does not apply to a business concern if its direct billing client is a Federal or State Government.

15. The applicant or business concern cannot have previously participated as an 8a participant. The applicant cannot have any immediate family members who are current participants in the 8(a) Program.

16. The business concern must be defined as a “Small Business” by the Federal Government. Your primary NAICS code, gross sales and sometimes the number of employees define your size standard that the SBA will base its determination on.

These are just 16 of the “Killers” that can potentially prevent your 8a Certification application from being successful. There are additional “Killers” and other areas that you should be concerned with prior to making the decision on whether you fully qualify for 8a Certification. If you have additional questions or would like to discuss your specific business situation, please call us at 813-333-5800. You can also take our Free 8a Eligibility Questionnaire.

Spending the time upfront to ensure that your firm meets all of the eligibility requirements for 8a Certification can save you countless hours of frustration, the expense of putting the application together and the difference between obtaining formal 8a Certification or not.

8a Certification – A Powerful Tool You Should Have In Your Toolbox

There is a lot of opportunity within the federal government for minority, women, handicapped and service disabled owned businesses. The federal government has a very large budget, a lot of customers and a seemingly endless list of requirements that must be met.

In order to work with the federal government you need patience, a clear cut strategy and funding.

But most importantly you need a tool that the federal government can use to get to your products and services.

One powerful tool is SBA 8a Certification.

Getting 8(a) Certified

Navigating through the complex 8a Application process can be daunting.

Many companies find the need to outsource the 8a Application process to a company that specializes in getting companies 8a Certified. Why? The process is very time intensive and most business owners need this time to focus on their core competencies and realize that completing the complex SBA 8a Application is not a skill set of theirs. Using a company that specializes in getting companies 8a Certified can provide a good return on investment (ROI), is a very good use of resources available and can be much faster than doing it themselves.

8a Certification is like getting a license to hunt for business. It does not automatically bring in new business but it gives your more opportunities if you are already out there. 8a Certification is just one tool in your important toolbox that can be used to open doors and give your business a “leg-up” in the federal contracting arena.

Developing a Clear Cut Strategy Once You’ve Become 8a Certified

Every agency has an Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU). You as the business owner need to be out there formulating relationships with the key contacts within the OSDBU’s. They may use your 8(a) Certification to procure your products and services but ultimately they buy from people and it is about the relationships you establish.

We suggest you start with a narrow focus. Focus on one agency that is closely aligned to your core competencies.

Find an agency that is small business friendly. Some are more small business friendly than others.

Work to develop your relationships within that agency both directly, with your key contacts and indirectly, with prime vendors through subcontracting relationships.

The Importance of Funding for Your Business Once You’ve Become 8a Certified.

It is important to also have a strong financial infrastructure for your business. Two things that can put a company out of business are unmanaged growth and under capitalization. Many young 8a Certified companies company are at risk for one or both of these.

Unmanaged growth can occur when you land a large federal 8a set-aside contract and you are unable to meet the manpower, facility or other contract needs in a timely and cost effective manner.

Under capitalization can occur when you have to scale quickly and hire people but can’t pay those people. This can literally put you out of business. It is important for your business to have a strong financial backbone.

The best time to look for a bank that believes in your business plan, mission and vision and that can help you grow strategically is when things are going well. The time to go evaluate potential banks for funding is when you have profits. Setting up these funding relationships before you need them, not when you are in panic mode is important so you can think strategically.

If you are looking for a company to assist in the process of getting your business 8a Certified, contact us today to discover what Cloveer can do for you.