What is www.certify.sba.gov?

WWW.certify.sba.gov is the new online platform SBA introduced a few years ago to streamline all of SBA’s certifications. Although the old system, the General Login System (GLS) is still required for the Hubzone certification as of 2017, the WOSB and 8(a) application are to be completed via this site.

The 8(a) annual review will also transition to the new website in early 2018. It is yet to be determined when the Hubzone application will make the same transition.

My recent discussion with the SBA representatives at the local District Office informed me that the migration to the new site will streamline the process for both applicants and SBA staff, increasing processing time. It also allows users to upload documents securely instead of printing them out and mailing them.

Questions to ask when hiring a company for the 8(a) Certification program?

When you do finally decide that applying for the 8(a) certification is something your company can benefit from, there are some important questions to ask the company you plan on hiring. Below are a few things to consider and questions to ask.

1. What is the process your firm uses to help us become certified?
2. What accolade or accomplishments have you achieved?
3. What is the value you offer above other agencies?
4. What references can you call for verification?
5. Make sure they understand the program themselves by doing your own research on the 8(a) process.
6. Are they within a close proximity from you? (It’s important to hire someone close to you, so you can meet in person if need be).

Being approved for the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program may be the most significant achievement of any firm. It allows the company to be part of an elite group of businesses that are eligible to apply for set-aside contracts that only 8a firms can bid on. To show you how powerful it is, let’s take account SBA’s Los Angeles District Office, whose territories include Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. That is over 20 million people within those three counties. Currently, there are a mere 188 approved 8(a) firms within this region. When taking in to account that over $16 Billion are set aside for 8(a) firms across the country, that is a staggering number.