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8(a) Application Checklist

You can apply online for admission into the 8(a) Business Development program or you may apply via hard copy application.  

After completing all forms, you must then sign the forms and mail them — along with the supporting documents — to SBA.

Whether applying online or via hard copy, you must:

1. Fill out and sign several SBA forms (in related forms below) either online or hard copy

2. Mail the signed form and all supporting documents to the SBA Office listed on the application form.  Otherwise, SBA will consider your application package to be incomplete.  Only two SBA offices receive and process applications for the 8(a) Business Development program (California and Pennsylvania). Follow the instructions on the application carefully. For questions on where to send the application, contact

After SBA receives your application, SBA will inform you within 15 days whether your application package is complete or incomplete. "Complete" means that your application is ready to be processed. It does not mean you are approved for the program. 

Documents You Need Before Applying 

  • Your firm's signed and dated federal tax returns over the past three years (must include all schedules and attachments)
  • Your personal signed and dated federal tax returns for the past three years (must include all schedules and attachments)
  • Your firm's financial statements for the past three years
  • Your firm's balance sheet and profit and loss statements for the past three years (include  most recent, current within 90 days of your application
  • List of all federal, non-federal and private sector contracts for the past two years
  • Lease agreements
  • Proof of signature authority on firm bank account(s) (signature card(s) for firm bank account(s) and/or letter from the bank)
  • Documented proof of contributions used to acquire ownership (for each owner)
  • Documented proof of any transfer of assets to/from the firm
  • Documented proof of any transfer of assets to/from any of its owners over the past two years
  • State filings (signed, dated and stamped by the state where the firm does business)
  • Governing documents, signed by the principals
    • Bylaws, operating agreements, partnership agreements
    • Meeting minutes
    • Stock certificates and ledgers
  • For majority owners and firm managers:
  • Background information and personal information for all principals:
  • Financial information for all principals:
    • Signed and dated personal tax returns for the last three years (must include all schedules and attachments)
    • Completed personal financial statement form (from individual and spouse)
    • List of all assets, liabilities, real estate and other personal property, including transferred assets
    • Information on delinquent federal obligations, past due taxes or liens, bankruptcy filings and pending civil lawsuits
    • List of SBA loans for firm and other businesses owned by the principal(s)
  • Principals include:
    • owner(s) of more than 10% 
    • officers
    • directors
    • members
    • partners
    • key employees 
  • Be sure to understand the requirements to determine which principals need to submit background, personal, or financial information. 

Please note this is not a comprehensive list of supporting documents but it will help you gather the documents you need before you apply. Once you start your application, the online application system will alert you to which documents to complete. For hard copy applications, follow the instructions carefully on the application form. For questions on which documents to submit with the application, contact

Find a local SBA office or SBA resource partner near you for for free monthly workshops on the 8(a) Business Development program. Some offices provide one-on-one assistance in preparing your application package.

More Information

Before starting the application process please consult these online resources:

Are you ready to apply to the 8(a) Business Development program? Follow these steps to complete the process.  

Contact Information

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