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Are You a Participant of the 8(A) Program?

To qualify for the program, a small business must be owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual. Under the Small Business Act, certain presumed groups include African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Native Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans. Other individuals can be admitted to 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. In order to meet the economic disadvantage test, all individuals must have a net worth of less than $250,000, excluding the value of the business and personnel residence.

Successful applicants must also meet applicable size standards for small business concerns; be in business for at least two years; display reasonable success potential; and display good character. Although the two-year requirement may be waived, firms must continue to comply with various requirements while in the program.

Learn about the application process for the 8(a) Business Development program.

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