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What is the 8(a) Business Development Program?

SBA 8(a) is an ownership/diversity certification sponsored by the Small Business Association (SBA) of the United States government.  This certification is intended for organizations that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.  The program is divided into two phases: A four-year developmental stage and a five-year transition stage, for a total of nine years in the program.


Individual contractors, when accepted into the 8(a) Business Development Program are assigned NAICS codes based on the qualifications and experiences of their company and their company's key personnel. 8(a) contracts are then limited to those NAICS codes. As a company gains experience and expertise, it may request additional codes from the SBA based on their documentation of new experience.

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