Getting Started In Government Contracting


The United States Government is the world’s largest purchaser of goods and services. Every year, the federal government awards more than $500 billion in contracts, and a significant share of those contracts are specifically allotted to small businesses.

The Small Business Administration works with agencies to award at least 23 percent of all prime government contracts to small businesses, with specific statutory goals for small business, small disadvantage businesses (SDB), businesses that are women-owned (WOSB) or service-disabled veteran-owned (SDVOSB), and businesses that are located in historically underutilized business zones (HUBZone firms).

Steps to Procurring a Government Contract
1. Identify your DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) Number

To register your business, obtain a DUNS number used to identify and track millions of businesses. You can obtain your free DUNS number when registering with the System for Award Management. Log on to for more information or by contacting Dun & Bradstreet at

2. Identify you EIN (Employer Identification Number)

An EIN, otherwise known as a federal tax identification number, is generally required of all business. For more information, go to

3. Identify your NAICS (North American Industry Classification)codes

The NAICS codes are used to classify the industry a particular business occupies. You will need at least one NAICS code to complete your registration, but be sure to list as many as apply. You may also add or change NAICS codes at any time. Visit to find NAICS codes.

4. Identify your SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) codes

The SIC codes are four-digit numbers that are used to classify the industry a particular business occupies. While NAICS codes have largely replaced SIC codes, you will still need to provide your SIC code. SIC codes can be found at

5. Register with the System for Award Management (SAM), formerly the Central Contractor Registration (CCR)

The SAM is an online federal government maintained database of companies wanting to do business with the federal government. Agencies search the database for prospective vendor.  Register at

After completing registration, you will be asked to enter your small business profile information through the SBA Supplemental Page. The information will be displayed in the Dynamic Small Business Search.

Creating a profile in SAM and keeping it current ensures your firm has access to federal contracting opportunities. Entering your small business profile, including your business information and key words description, allows contracting officers, prime contractors, and buyers from state and local governments to learn about your company.

6. Register with the GSA Schedule

The GSA (General Services Administration) Multiple Award Schedule (aka Federal Supply Schedule) is used by GSA to establish long-term, government-wide contracts with commercial firms. Once these contracts are established, government agencies can order the supplies and services they need directly from the firms through the use of an online shopping tool. Becoming a GSA schedule contractor increases your opportunity for contracts across all levels of government. Businesses interested in becoming GSA schedule contractors should review the information available at

7. Make Sure Your Business is Financially Sound

This critical step is absolutely necessary to make sure that your business is financially prepared for the journey ahead. Even if you are able to obtain a government contract, you will not be receiving all of the money at once. It helps to have a clear plan of how your business will stage the benefits of the contract.

8. Search Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) for Contracting Opportunities

FedBizOpps, is an online service operated by the federal government that announces available business opportunities. FedBizOpps helps identify the needs of federal agencies and available contracting opportunities. To begin searching for contracting opportunities, go to

9. Marketing Your Business

Registering your business is not enough to obtain a federal contract; you will need to market your business to attract federal agencies. Tips for good marketing are:

  • Determine which federal agencies buy your product or service, and get to know them;
  • Identify the contracting procedures of those agencies;
  • Focus on opportunities in your niche and prioritize them.
  • Although not required, you want to obtain a PSC (Product Services Code) and/or a FSC (Federal Supply Classification). These codes provide additional information about the services and products your business offers.

Women't Government Contracting Forum
For additional information visit:


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