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8(a) Application Mistakes to Avoid

In the following webinar, we explore common mistakes that companies should avoid when preparing their 8(a) applications. We’ve included a transcript of the webinar introduction, followed by the video for anyone looking to take a deeper dive into 8(a) application errors.

Thank you, Jennifer and thank you all for joining us. My name is Chris Shiplett. I am a lawyer and the founder of Randolph Law. We specialize in federal contract law, including in three broad areas: socioeconomic disadvantaged small business programs that the SBA runs such as 8(a), HUBZone, WOSB, and Veteran-owned small business, as well as disputes with the federal government. This time of year, most disputes are bid protests, but we also do contract disputes and just your day-to-day legal needs for government contractors.

Today, I’m going to talk specifically about how to avoid pitfalls in the 8(a) application process. Very briefly, let’s talk about what the 8(a) process is. Now, I’m assuming in this presentation that you have a basic familiarity with what the 8(a) program is, so I’m really just going to hit the highlights that are relevant to avoiding the pitfalls in applying for that program.

The 8(a) program is very important and can be, after you have been accepted into the program, a very lucrative program for minority-owned small businesses. Most importantly, the application process is a creature of regulation. The entire program is a creature of regulation and so the entire process and the key to avoiding the pitfalls that can come up in that process is understanding what the regulations require and what the regulations allow.

When you download or take this presentation home, copy this next part where it says the regulations can be found at 13 CFR Part 124. As you or your company are beginning to prepare an 8(a) application, read those regulations which is something that I will say several times throughout this webinar. Read those regulations.

Let me give you a little bit of an example of some of the pitfalls you might run into. This is not an exhaustive example, but these particular pitfalls, I think, really tell the story of how to avoid pitfalls in general because each of these is tied to a regulatory component.

One pitfalls might be that your company hasn’t been in existence for two years. That is a regulatory requirement. It’s not a past performance requirement or anything like that. It’s simply that the entity in which the application is being submitted must have been formed more than two years before the 8(a) application.

Click below to watch the 8(a) pitfall presentation in full and learn about several more common mistakes that can derail 8(a) applications and contact us directly if you are in need of support for your 8(a) application.