What groups qualify for an 8a certification?

People who have been subjected to prejudices and bias based on their racial, ethnic, and cultural characteristics.

The prejudices must be from American society and based on being a member of a group and not their own individual characteristics. Being disadvantaged must also come from circumstances out of their control.

What groups are presumed to be socially disadvantaged?

These groups include but are not limited to:

  • Black Americans
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Native Americans (Alaskan, Hawaiian and Indian Tribe)
  • Asian Pacific Americans (China, Japan, Loas, Guam, etc.)
  • Subcontinent Asian Americans (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, etc.)

How do you get into the 8a certification program if you aren’t in one of the designated socially disadvantaged groups?

People who are socially disadvantaged that are not part of the specific groups can still apply for certification. However, these people must submit evidence to support their claim of social disadvantage. There must be at least one distinguishing characteristic that deems a business owner to be socially disadvantaged. These characteristics include (but are not limited to) ethnic origin, physical handicap, gender, and race. The debilitating prejudice must be from American society and been a long-term issue with substantial evidence to support the claim. All their evidence must support their claim in the sense of proving negative impact on education, employment, and business history.

Who is economically disadvantaged?

People who are deemed to be economically disadvantaged present an inability to advance in the business world due to diminished capital and no available credit opportunities. This is all in comparison to other similar businesses who are not socially disadvantaged. The SBA will expect to go through your financial information and look for specific factors to prove the disadvantage. Qualifying factors are transfers of assets within the past 2 years, total net worth, 3 years of personal income, and fair market value of assets (both company and personal).