Important Update Regarding 8(a) Applications

October 3, 2017

By Meghan F. Leemon

Seemingly without notice, this past weekend, SBA updated its General Login System (“GLS”) to no longer allow new 8(a) applicants to create a profile in GLS. This is so that SBA can launch their streamlined and modernized 8(a) application process through certify.sba.gov. The certify.sba.gov platform is SBA’s initiative to harmonize the certification process for all of its small business contracting programs – such as 8(a), woman-owned small business, all small mentor/protégé program, and HUBZone – into one online platform. However, this transition from BDMIS to certify.sba.gov for the 8(a) program affects both new and current applicants.
 
New applicants: Without the ability to create a new GLS account, new 8(a) applicants can no longer access an 8(a) application in the BDMIS system, and therefore cannot currently apply to the 8(a) program. Small businesses considering applying for the 8(a) program must wait until November 15, 2017 to initiate their application using the new platform. Although this is undoubtedly an inconvenience, companies considering applying to the 8(a) program can utilize this time to put together their application. 
 
Current applicants: Small businesses that have an existing GLS login for BDMIS and have already started (but not submitted) their 8(a) application should complete and submit the application by October 15, 2017, if possible. If you are unable to complete the application by October 15, you will be forced to restart the 8(a) application process no earlier than November 15 through the certify.sba.gov platform.
 
Awaiting determination: Companies that have submitted their 8(a) application, but are awaiting a determination, will still be able to access their GLS and BDMIS accounts for updates.
 
Current 8(a) participants: Current 8(a) participants will also still be able to access GLS and BDMIS for annual updates submission and other compliance activities. SBA will notify you once the new platform is available and ready for use. 
 
SBA has promised that the new system will offer the capabilities to reuse documents from other certification programs and will also provide streamlined application forms. Certify.sba.gov is currently optimized for the woman-owned small business and all small mentor/protégé programs. Once the 8(a) program transition is complete, it is anticipated that the platform will also incorporate HUBZone program certifications, beginning Summer 2018.
 
If you are considering applying to any of SBA’s government contracting programs, PilieroMazza’s professionals can assist you in navigating this ever-changing landscape. 

About the Author: Meghan Leemon is an associate with PilieroMazza in the Government Contracts Group at our Boulder, Colorado office. She may be reached at mleemon@pilieromazza.com.
 
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