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SBA 8a Certification: Are You Scared To Apply On Your Own?

Jan 31, 2008
Please answer these questions:
1) Would you pay someone to fill out an application for a credit card?
2) Do you want to make a simple process more complicated?
3) Are you lazy?

If you answered YES, to one or more of the above, then totally reconsider if you want to get SBA 8a certified, because you don't have the right stuff to success in the business world even if you got certified.

Why spend the money to buy software, when you can just download the forms for FREE from the SBA's web site and fill them out for nothing? The SBA provides all of the forms you need to use.

If you need to pay a middle man to provide you with free forms, you must have more money than sense! It is not logical to pay someone hundreds or THOUSANDS of dollars to fill out forms for you. Don't let scare tactics fool you. This is just a series of forms, you can fill them out, it is not rocket science!

Also, why provide all of your sensitive personal and professional data to an outside source, when they take that same information and fill in the blanks on the SBA forms for you? Do you want to give your social security number, your tax return information and all of your personal data to a total stranger?

My Story: In 2004, I decided to apply online for SBA 8a certification. There is plenty of explanation during each step of the process to guide you through the steps. (Note: If you have questions, you can even call the SBA office in Washington DC to get free guidance. They do answer the phone and they are very helpful.)

Before I attempted to apply for SBA 8a certification, I made sure I had all of the required registrations in place. For example, I registered with Dun & Bradstreet to get my DUNS. Again, this is a free service, you don't have to pay someone. In the SBA 8a application, they provide a driect link to D&B.

The beauty of applying online is that you can complete a section, save it and then come back. But once you have completed the entire application, you submit the entire application electronically and it gets reviewed quickly.

There is one document you download to have notarized and send in via snail mail. Once that is received by the SBA, they review your application.

It took only a couple of weeks to hear back on my decision. I received an email requesting two more documents to complete. One was a simple form that required notarization. The other request was to complete a social disadavantage narrative.

Again, I spent some time researching the narrative and prepared one on my own. I submitted it and within a week, my company was certified.

How much money did I pay someone else to fill out SBA 8a forms or write my own social disadvantage life story? Zero, zip, nada.

Bottomline: If you can't fill out a form on your own and you are intimidated to even try, you might want to consider NOT giving up your day job. Owning a business is hard work. Getting your certification is only the beginning. Once you are certified, then the real work begins as you market and move your business to profitability.
About the Author
Design2Train, a SBA 8a certified company, was founded by Karen Miller in 2001, an award-winning instructional designer with 30+ years experience. Need help with writing your SBA 8a social disadvantage narrative? Visit the Design2Train.com
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