13 CFR § 124.102 - What size business is eligible to participate in the 8(a) BD program?
(1) An applicant concern must qualify as a small business concern as defined in part 121 of this title. The applicable size standard is the one for its primary industry classification. The rules for calculating the size of a tribally-owned concern, a concern owned by an Alaska Native Corporation, a concern owned by a Native Hawaiian Organization, or a concern owned by a Community Development Corporation are additionally affected by §§ 124.109, 124.110, and 124.111, respectively.
(2) In order to remain eligible to participate in the 8(a) BD program after certification, a firm must generally remain small for its primary industry classification, as adjusted during the program. SBA may graduate a Participant prior to the expiration of its program term where the firm exceeds the size standard corresponding to its primary NAICS code, as adjusted, for three successive program years, unless the firm demonstrates that through its growth and development its primary industry is changing, pursuant to the criteria described in 13 CFR 121.107, to a related secondary NAICS code that is contained in its most recently approved business plan. The firm's business plan must contain specific targets, objectives, and goals for its continued growth and development under its new primary industry.
(b) If 8(a) BD program officials determine that a concern may not qualify as small, they may deny an application for 8(a) BD program admission or may request a formal size determination under part 121 of this title.
(c) A concern whose application is denied due to size by SBA may request a formal size determination with the SBA Government Contracting Area Office serving the geographic area in which the principal office of the business is located under part 121 of this chapter. Where the SBA Government Contracting Area Office determines that an applicant qualifies as a small business concern for the size standard corresponding to its primary NAICS code:
(1) The AA/BD will certify the concern as eligible to participate in the 8(a) BD program if size was the only reason for decline; or
(2) The concern may reapply for participation in the 8(a) BD program at any point after 90 days from the AA/BD's decline if size was not the only reason for decline. In such a case, the AA/BD will accept the size determination as conclusive of the concern's small business status, provided the applicant concern has not completed an additional fiscal year in the intervening period and SBA believes that the additional fiscal year changes the applicant's size.