10 Steps to Government Contracting
1. REGISTER AS A CLIENT WITH ALABAMA-PTAC.
Why go it alone when you can speak with a certified contracting specialist for free?
Register on Alabama PTAC website – Click here to start the Client Registration Form
Receive email announcements from AL-PTAC about Online Bid Opportunities.
2. GET YOUR DUNS NUMBER FROM DUN & BRADSTREET
Obtain your Data Universal Numbering Systems (DUNS) number. Call Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) at (866) 705-5711 or register online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform
There is NO CHARGE for acquiring a DUNS number if you plan to pursue government contracts.
3. PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS INFORMATION TO REGISTER ON THE SAM SYSTEM
The System for Award Management (SAM) is the primary registrant database for the U.S. Federal Government. It replaces CCR, the Central Contractor Registration System, an older system for processing registrations. SAM collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of agency acquisition missions, including Federal agency contract and assistance awards. http://www.sam.gov
- Now would be a good time to review the free guide to government contracting in Alabama: http://al-ptac.org/guide/
- Review the SAM User Guide and view Screenshots of the New User Registration Process at https://www.sam.gov/sam/SAM_Guide/SAM_User_Guide.htm
- TIN/EIN – Taxpayer Identification Number, Employer Identification Number
- Ensure your organization has a Taxpayer Identification Number or Employer Identification Number (TIN/EIN), and know the organization’s taxpayer name associated with that TIN. To obtain an EIN visit http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=102767,00.html
4. IDENTIFY YOUR BUSINESS SERVICE AND PRODUCT CODES
There are various industry and government code systems used to categorize and identify products and services. In each system, find and copy the category codes and descriptions that match the products or services your business offers.
- NAICS CODE North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) at http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/
- PSC – Product Service Code Download: http://www.fpdsng.com/downloads/service_product_codes.pdf (PDF) or http://www.fpdsng.com/downloads/psc_data_12242008.xls (MS Excel) Browse online: http://www.outreachsystems.com/resources/tables/pscs/
- FSC – Federal Supply Classification See http://www.dispositionservices.dla.mil/asset/fsclist.html or http://www.dlis.dla.mil/h2/
- SIC – Standard Industrial Classification
See http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/sicsearch.html and http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/sic.html
5. CHECK THE US SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA)
Determine if your firm qualifies for 8(a) business development or HUBZone certification. These certifications are detailed at the SBA website at http://www.sba.gov/
6. BEGIN TO SEARCH FOR CURRENT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Find open bidding opportunities and contract awards advertised on “Federal Business Opportunities” at http://www.fbo.gov
Why spend countless hours each day searching and sorting through all of the procurement bids online? Ask your counselor about Alabama’s free BidMatch system, which delivers relevant bid opportunities to your email account.
7. VISIT DIBBS – Defense Logistics Agency Internet Bid Board System
8. FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH BOTH THE FEDERAL AND DOD CONTRACTING LEGAL PROCEDURES
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at http://www.arnet.gov/far/
Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) at http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/
9. EXPLORE SUBCONTRACTING OPPORTUNITIES (LESS RISK)
Go to http://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/
10. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND MARKET YOUR FIRM TO THE RIGHT CONTACTS
Focus on marketing your firm to the federal agencies that would demand your product or service. Have you participated in one of our matchmaker events yet?