About 8(a) Certification

The 8(a) Business Development Program

Through the 8(a) Business Development Program, the federal government aims to award at least 5% of all federal contracting dollars to small, disadvantaged businesses each year.

Benefits of the 8(a) Program

Disadvantaged businesses in the 8(a) program have less competition for certain types of contracts, can take part in mentorship opportunities, and receive technical assistance for their business and federal contracting needs. Learn more about the 8(a) program.

8(a) Certification

To participate in the 8(a) Business Development Program, you must become 8(a) certified. Certification lasts up to 9 years and requires annual reviews. Steps to becoming certified include:

  1. Determine whether you meet the 8(a) program requirements.
  2. Create a profile on SAM.gov.
  3. Then complete the certification process through certify.SBA.gov.
  4. If you are accepted into the program, update your profile on SAM.gov to include your 8(a) certification.