The government spends billions of dollars each year on goods and services, making it a prime market for businesses large and small. They need goods like office supplies and food, services like waste removal and child care, and construction work and IT support.
If your company is interested in bidding on government contracts, there are a few things you need to do to get started.
Register in the System for Award Management
The first step is to register your company with the federal government. You can do this through the System for Award Management (SAM). You’ll need to provide some basic information about your company, including your tax ID number and commercial and government entity codes.
You’ll also need to register with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to sell goods to the government. The DLA is responsible for managing the supply chain for the Department of Defense.
Get a DUNS Number
You’ll need a DUNS number to register your company or business with the government. This number is a unique nine-digit identifier for your business. You can apply for a DUNS number through the Dun & Bradstreet website.
Get a NAICS Code
Your business will also need a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. The government uses this code to classify companies according to their type of products or services. You can find your NAICS code on the Census Bureau website.
Submit a Capability Statement
Once you have your DUNS number and NAICS code, you must submit a capability statement. This document describes your company’s capabilities, and the government uses it to determine if your company is qualified to bid on a particular contract.
Your capability statement should include information about your company’s history, size, facilities, equipment, and workforce. You should also have an affirmative action plan and a quality control plan.
Join a Trade Association
Many trade associations represent businesses in specific industries. These associations can provide you with valuable information about government contracting and can help you connect with other companies in your industry.
Some of the most popular trade associations for government contractors include the National Contract Management Association, the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council, and the Professional Services Council.
To bid on some government contracts, you may need to get bonded. This type of insurance protects the government from financial loss if you fail to perform on the contract.
You can get bonded through a surety company or an insurance company. The amount of bond you’ll need will depend on the size and type of contract you’re bidding on.
Several programs certify businesses that certain groups own, such as minorities, women, or veterans. These programs can give you an advantage when bidding on government contracts.
The most popular certification programs are:
- The Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program
- The Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program
- The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) program
After completing these steps, you will be ready to become a government contractor in the United States. Just remember to stay up to date on the latest news and changes in government contracting so that you can bid on contracts that are a good fit for your company.
You can now start marketing and seeking out contracting opportunities with the government. This process may seem daunting, but you will be well on your way to becoming a government contractor if you follow these steps.
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