What if an 8(a) Business Development Program application is declined?

Each program applicant has the right to request that SBA reconsider a declined application by filing a written request for reconsideration within 45 days after receiving notice that the application was declined. The applicant has the burden of overcoming each reason cited in SBA's decision to decline the application. During the reconsideration process, the applicant must provide any additional information and documentation necessary to overcome the reason(s) for the initial decline. If an application is declined after reconsideration, SBA will not accept a new application until twelve (12) months after the date of the final Agency decision on reconsideration In addition, if an applicant is declined solely on issues of social disadvantage, economic disadvantage, ownership, control, or any combination of these four criteria, the declined applicant may appeal the decline decision to SBA's Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA). This can happen either after receiving the initial decision to decline the application or after receiving a negative decision on reconsideration. OHA examines the decline decision to determine whether it was arbitrary, capricious, or contrary to law. No new or revised information is considered during the appeal process.

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