The Federal Government is the largest contractor in the world, with many opportunities for independents. Each year billions of dollars in contracts are set aside for small businesses, women , minority, and veterans, Many independents look to government contracts as another option for growing their business. Follow these steps to understand the process, requirements, and resources needed to engage with the government.
- Obtain a D-U-N-S Number
To be eligible to win government contracts, you will need to obtain a D-U-N-S Number– a unique 9-digit number.
2. Determine your NAICS code.
NAICS- the North American Industry Classification System- classifies businesses to collect data related to the U.S economy. A Certified Registration Specialist (CRS) can search for these codes for you.
3. Register in the System for Award Management
Next, you need to get a System for Award Management (SAM) registration. With that registration you will get an active CAGE Code assigned to you. This registration is an annual process and does need to be renewed every year or it will expire and you will not be able to receive any funds owed to you or apply for contracts/grants. A CRS can help with this process and maintaining your SAM registration for the year so you do not miss out on any government opportunities.
4. Explore Active Opportunities
Now you’re ready to explore active federal government contracting opportunities. There are a few different ways you can go about this:
-You can register with Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) to search and bid on open opportunities.
-Search the Government Services Administration (GSA) Schedules Program. GSA schedules spends approximately $50 billion per year in federal procurement, much of which goes to small businesses.
-Check out SUB-Net, where you can find subcontracting opportunities.
Keep in mind, however, government contracting is a tough area to navigate alone. You can navigate the above process alone but it is recommended to get a Certified Registration Specialist (CRS) to help you with this process.