1. Make sure your business is considered a small business under SBA guidelines.
The SBA defines a small business as one that has 500 or fewer employees. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, so businesses should verify their eligibility using the SBA size standards calculator.
2. Verify that your industry is eligible for assistance from the SBA.
Not all industries are eligible for assistance from the SBA. The agency provides specific guidelines for each industry, so businesses should consult the list of ineligible industries before applying for help.
3. Check that your business is located in an area that is covered by the SBA.
The SBA offers assistance to businesses located in certain geographic areas. Businesses can use the agency's interactive map to determine if they are located in an area that is covered by the SBA.
4. Ensure that you meet the requirements for age and duration of ownership/operation.
The SBA requires businesses to be at least two years old and operated by the same owner for at least one year in order to be eligible for assistance.
5. Confirm that your company meets size standards according to SBA regulations.
Not all small businesses are eligible for assistance from the SBA. The agency has specific size requirements for each type of assistance program, so businesses should verify their eligibility using the SBA size standards calculator.
6. Be sure that your business is for-profit and not already receiving similar assistance from another government program.
The SBA does not offer assistance to businesses that are receiving similar help from other government programs. Businesses should check to see if they are receiving similar assistance from other agencies before applying for help from the SBA.
7. Make sure you are a U.S citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident alien, as well as any partners in your business.
All owners of a small business must be either U.S citizens or lawful permanent resident aliens in order to be eligible for assistance from the SBA. This includes partnerships and LLCs.
8. Complete the self-certification process on the SBA website.
In order to apply for most types of assistance from the SBA, businesses must complete a self-certification form on the agency's website. This form asks a series of questions about a business's size, industry, and location. After answering all questions, businesses will receive a certification letter stating whether they meet the requirements for assistance.
9. Gather all required documentation to submit with your application for assistance. This may include financial statements, tax returns, business licenses, and more.
The SBA requires businesses to submit a variety of documentation with their applications for assistance. The specific documents required vary depending on the type of assistance being sought, but they may include financial statements, tax returns, business licenses, and other forms.
10. Submit your completed application to the SBA for review and approval.
Once a business has gathered all the required documentation, they can submit their application to the SBA for review. The agency will then determine whether the business is eligible for assistance and will provide a decision within 10 days. If approved, businesses will receive a notice of award outlining the terms and conditions of the assistance.