Your small business may be able to get a government contract to provide services or products to many different government agencies. If you are unsure how to get started as a contractor, the Small Business Administration has useful information on the process of becoming a contractor. The SBA also has tips and advice to support you as you work your way through the world of contracting.
SBA Tips for Becoming a Contractor
Getting government contracts is a slightly more involved process than landing a contract with a private company. Government contractors need to register their business and locate several codes and numbers before they get started. For example, you’ll need to obtain a D-U-N-S number from Dun and Bradstreet. This number is free to obtain. You’ll need a separate number for each business location if you have more than one. You can get the number online.
Once you’ve received the D-U-N-S number, you will need to register with the Central Contractors Registration database, then complete the Online Representations and Certifications Application, which asks you to confirm information about your business. When registering, you may need several different codes, such as the North American Industry Classification System code, Standard Industrial Classification codes, and your EIN or TIN.
Once you are registered for contracts, the next step is actually landing those contracts. The Small Business Administration has resources that will help your business get government contracts. Commercial Market Representatives work at area SBA offices. They can help you find contracts or sub-contracts and counsel you on the best ways to bid for contracts. The representatives can also act as a matchmaker, pairing small businesses to larger vendors for subcontracting.
Read previous versions here: Part One