Procurement FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the basic registrations needed to get started as a Federal government contractor?

2. What are Federal Supply Codes (FSC)?

3. What is a NAICS code?

4. How do I determine if my business is a small business?

5. What are small business goals?

6. Do I have to go through a certification process to qualify for these small business programs?

7. How do I find contract opportunities?

1.  What are the basic registrations needed to get started as a Federal government contractor?

DUNS Number is a unique nine-digit identification sequence, which provides unique identifiers of single business entities, while linking corporate family structures together.  The U.S. government requires suppliers and contractors to have a DUNS number.  You must have a DUNS number to register with (CCR) Central Contractor Registration.  To obtain a DUNS go to: http://www.dnb.com/US/duns_update/

Central Contractor Registration (CCR) https://www.bpn.gov/ccr/default.aspx
Your first step in becoming a government contractor is to register in CCR.  The federal government utilizes the information found in the CCR database to find potential vendors.  It also is able to process payments electronically by accessing company banking information in the CCR database.

Marketing Partner Identification Number (MPIN) 
The MPIN, the Government Business Point of Contact (POC), and the Alternate Government Business POC are now mandatory for all CCR registrations.  The MPIN is a personal code that allows you to access other Government applications such as the Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS), FedBizOpps, FedTeDS, ORCA and grants.gov.  The MPIN acts as your password in these other systems, and you should keep it secure.  The MPIN must have 9 digits containing at least one alpha character (can be entered in upper or lower case) and one number (no spaces or special characters permitted).  To learn more, access the CCR Handbook on the https://www.bpn.gov/ccr/default.aspxwebsite.

Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA)
ORCA is an e-Government initiative designed by the Integrated Acquisition Environment (IAE) to replace the paper based Representations and Certifications process. http://orca.bpn.gov/

2. What are Federal Supply Codes (FSC)?
Visit these websites for listing and definition of the Federal Supply Classifications:www.drms.dla.mil/asset/fsclist.html/www.outreachsystems.com/resources/tables/pscs/

3.  What is a NAICS code?
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is used widely in all types of business activity.  The NAICS code identifies a class of service or a product area.  The Federal government links contract awards, business size standards, etc. to the NAICS code.  To find the NAICS code(s) that pertains to your business go on-line at http://www.census.gov/naics.

4.  How do I determine if my business is a small business?
The Small Business Administration has set up a size standard that is used by federal contracting officers and prime contractors to determine whether or not a business is considered as small.  The basis of the size standard is the primary NAICS code of that business. http://www.sba.gov/size

5.  What are small business goals?
All federal agencies and very large federal prime contractors have small business goals to strive to achieve as they purchase products and services. They are:
23 percent of prime contracts for small businesses
5 percent of prime and subcontracts for small disadvantaged businesses
5 percent of prime and subcontracts for women-owned small businesses
3 percent of prime contracts for HUBZone small businesses
3 percent of prime and subcontracts for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses

6.  Do I have to go through a certification process to qualify for these small business programs?
A business can represent itself as a small business based on the SBA size standards.  There is no formal process for woman owned and service disabled veterans owned business.  However, the SBA does certify a business to be a small disadvantaged business and/or HUBZone.

7.  How do I find contract opportunities?
Contact one of the Alabama Procurement Technical Assistance Center counselors to assist you in beginning the government contracting process.  Our bid match program automatically sends you free daily bid leads from federal, state and local websites.  The counselor will work with you to set up this service.  Additional assistance is provided through training conferences/seminars, networking opportunities and library resources.