Gateway Certifications, I LLC.



- 866-494-4929

Minority Business Enterprises Certification.
Women’S Business Enterprise Certification (WBE).
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certification (DBE).
National Minority Suppliers Development Council Certification.
National Women Business Owners Corporation Certification.
SBA 8(A) Certification.
SBA SDB Certification.

Certification Program

SBA 8(A) Certification
The SBA administers two particular business assistance programs for small disadvantaged businesses. These programs are the 8(a) Business Development Program (“8(a)”) and the Small Disadvantaged Business Certification Program (“SDB”). The 8(a) program offers a broad scope of assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged firms whereas the SDB certification strictly pertains to benefits in federal procurement. If a firm becomes 8(a) certified, they are automatically SDB certified as well. In contrast, if a firm becomes SDB certified, they are not 8(a) certified.

A business enterprise meets the basic requirements for admission to the 8(a) Business Development program if it is a small business which is unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who are of good character and citizens of the United States, and which demonstrates potential for success. This certification is geared more for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals as defined in the Small Business Act.

Program participation is divided into two stages: the developmental stage and the transitional stage. The developmental stage is four years and the transitional stage is five years. Participants are reviewed annually for compliance with eligibility requirements.

General requirements for 8(a) Certification include the following:
Bullet Must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual or individuals;
Bullet African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans, and Native Americans are presumed to qualify;

Other individuals can be admitted into the program if they show through a preponderance of the evidence that they are disadvantaged because of race, ethnicity, gender, physical handicap or residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society;

Bullet Individuals must have a net worth of less than $250,000, excluding the equity of the business and primary residence;
Bullet Must meet applicable size standards for small businesses in their industry; and
Bullet Two (2) full years of business operations.

The SBA 8(a) program is a nine year program. A firm may only be certified once under the 8(a) program. During the first 4 years of this program, firms are in a developmental stage or growth stage; for the next 5 years, firms are in a transitional stage. The 8(a) program is SBA’S effort to promote equal access for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals to participate in the business sector of the nation’S economy.

The SBA requires certification of SDBs in order for them to become eligible for special bidding benefits when federal contracts are first put out for bidding. Under the government’S reformed affirmative action rules, SDB certified firms are eligible for price evaluation adjustments of up to 10% when bidding on federal contracts in certain industries. The program also provides evaluation credits for prime contractors who achieve SDB subcontracting targets. The program is intended to help federal agencies achieve the government-wide goal of 5% SDB participation in prime contracting.

The SBA undertakes an extensive effort to provide contracting opportunities for those businesses that become certified under their 8(a) program. The SBA maintains close contact with various federal agencies to keep government personnel informed of the 8(a) program goals and procedures and to request that contract opportunities be reserved for the 8(a) program. In actuality, there are some federal contracts that are set aside so that only 8(a) certified or SDB certified firms can bid on them. There are other cases where federal contracts are awarded to 8(a) firms without being put out for open bidding. These are called sole source contracts.