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Update 9/29/2023: SBA re-opens 8(a) Application Process

UPDATE: As of September 29, 2023, SBA has reopened the 8(a) application for new applicants. SBA has updated the application by adding a plain language fillable questionnaire for applicants to identify social disadvantage. Firms can also prepare a social disadvantage narrative and upload it directly to

SBA has posted a guide and tips for writing a social disadvantage narrative here.

8(a) applicants and 8(a) participants will only need to establish social disadvantage once for their program term, unless they have an ownership/control or other change which affects eligibility.

Entity-owned firms, such as firms owned by Indian tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, or Native Hawaiian Organizations, are not impacted by the Court’s decision. 8(a) businesses originally admitted to the program because the qualifying owner established social disadvantage by a preponderance of the evidence at time of the application are also not impacted. Firms will also receive an email confirming this status.

SBA's page with resources and help for completing your 8(a) application is found here.

Background: To comply with the July 19, 2023, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee recent order, SBA is requiring all 8(a) participants whose program eligibility is based upon one or more individuals who relied upon the presumption of social disadvantage to establish their individual social disadvantage by completing a social disadvantage narrative. Guidance regarding their status and need for a social disadvantage narrative was sent to each currently certified 8(a) contractor via email on Monday, August 21st, 2023.

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