May 21, 2018 - The SBA 8(a) Certification is a valuable marketing tool. It is a set-aside designation for Small Businesses that are BOTH economically AND socially disadvantaged. The 8(a) Certification is only good for a 9 year period. After that, you are TOAST. "Once and D.O.N.E." Should you decide to set up a new company, in a different state, with a different name, different NAICS you WILL NOT be able to re-apply for the 8(a) program! Do not waste the first few years of your 8(a) Certification learning how it works, or even beginning a foray into federal contracting. The optimal time to pull the trigger on this coveted certification (to receive the best ROI) is after your firm (1) has a strong understanding of federal contracting; (2) has a few government contracts / sub-contracts; (3) has relationships with 8(a) companies (similar NAICS) who are 2-3 years from graduation; and also (4) has relationships with government buyers (ie. you have pipeline and capture plan). Our last check on SBA's DSBS (Dynamic Small Business Search) page yielded 6,613 results for 8(a) firms. Use data and intelligence to make strategic/informed decisions about where and when and how to invest your time in this competitive market!