13 CFR § 124.107 - What is potential for success?

§ 124.107 What is potential for success?

SBA must determine that with contract, financial, technical, and management support from the 8(a) BD program, the applicant concern is able to perform 8(a) contracts and possess reasonable prospects for success in competing in the private sector. To do so, the applicant concern must show that it has operated and received contracts (either in the private sector, at the state or local government level, or with the Federal Government) in its primary industry classification for at least two full years immediately prior to the date of its 8(a) BD application, unless a waiver for this requirement is granted pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section.

(a) Income tax returns for each of the two previous tax years must show operating revenues in the primary industry in which the applicant is seeking 8(a) BD certification.


(1) SBA may waive the two years in business requirement if each of the following five conditions are met:

(i) The individual or individuals upon whom eligibility is based have substantial business management experience;

(ii) The applicant has demonstrated technical experience to carry out its business plan with a substantial likelihood for success if admitted to the 8(a) BD program;

(iii) The applicant has adequate capital to sustain its operations and carry out its business plan as a Participant;

(iv) The applicant has a record of successful performance on contracts from governmental or nongovernmental sources in its primary industry category; and

(v) The applicant has, or can demonstrate its ability to timely obtain, the personnel, facilities, equipment, and any other requirements needed to perform contracts as a Participant.

(2) The concern seeking a waiver under paragraph (b) must provide information on governmental and nongovernmental contracts in progress and completed (including letters of reference) in order to establish successful contract performance, and must demonstrate how it otherwise meets the five conditions for waiver. SBA considers an applicant's performance on both government and private sector contracts in determining whether the firm has an overall successful performance record. If, however, the applicant has performed only government contracts or only private sector contracts, SBA will review its performance on those contracts alone to determine whether the applicant possesses a record of successful performance.

(c) In assessing potential for success, SBA considers the concern's access to credit and capital, including, but not limited to, access to long-term financing, access to working capital financing, equipment trade credit, access to raw materials and supplier trade credit, and bonding capability.

(d) In assessing potential for success, SBA will also consider the technical and managerial experience of the applicant concern's managers, the operating history of the concern, the concern's record of performance on previous Federal and private sector contracts in the primary industry in which the concern is seeking 8(a) BD certification, and its financial capacity. The applicant concern as a whole must demonstrate both technical knowledge in its primary industry category and management experience sufficient to run its day-to-day operations.

(e) The Participant or individuals employed by the Participant must hold all requisite licenses if the concern is engaged in an industry requiring professional licensing (e.g., public accountancy, law, professional engineering).

(f) An applicant will not be denied admission into the 8(a) BD program due solely to a determination that potential 8(a) contract opportunities are unavailable to assist in the development of the concern unless:

(1) The Government has not previously procured and is unlikely to procure the types of products or services offered by the concern; or

(2) The purchase of such products or services by the Federal Government will not be in quantities sufficient to support the developmental needs of the applicant and other Participants providing the same or similar items or services.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 88 FR 26204, Apr. 27, 2023]