SBA’s restrictions on ownership by immediate family members for the 8(a) Business Development Program

The SBA regulations also have specific restrictions on ownership by immediate family. What this means is, that if an immediate family member was ever in the 8a program, a new application cannot be submitted. Of course, there is always an exception to the rule.
Recently we were hired by a construction company to assist them through the 8a application process. The client informed us that his father was an 8a participant 20 years ago. Despite the fact that his father was a minority stake holder in the firm, the SBA claimed that he had claimed Social Disadvantage, and therefore our client was ineligible.
When we get hired for certifications, there is always an interview between the potential client and us. The client asks us about our processes and we ask them eligibility questions, ensuring that we never accept a client if we cannot get them approved.
The above case scenario was sensitive in nature. It so happened that while still an adolescent, his father left the family. Over the years, their relationship was strained due to obvious reasons, and while the father was an 8a participant, a relationship never existed between father and son, thus making him eligible for 8a approval.
Thinking outside the box when apply for the 8a program is key in getting approves, especially if there is a hint of family affiliation in the scenario.