Federal Contracting: Getting the Process Started

March 16, 2016

Breaking new ground: How to crack open the federal contracting world

Source: Construction DIVE, Kim Slowey, February 11, 2016

When you hear about the billions of federal dollars pouring into state coffers for highway and infrastructure projects or read about multimillion-dollar Veterans Affairs hospital jobs, do you ever wonder, “Why not my company?” It’s the government after all, how hard can scoring profitable contracts be? It turns out that making the move from the private sector to the world of government contracts might be harder than you think.

Kicking off the process

First, if you even want to be considered for federal work, you have to take care of a few simple tasks — starting with obtaining a D-U-N-S number, free from Dunn & Bradstreet, and then registering with the System for Award Management database at Sam.gov.  During registration at Sam.gov, you’ll also be able to obtain a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code. Both the D-U-N-S and CAGE codes are used to identify you throughout your activity as a federal contractor.

Many states have a similar mandatory sign-up program for those wishing to bid on state construction contracts. Most highway projects are federally assisted, which means the federal government gives the states the money to complete the needed work. So if infrastructure is where you think your fortunes lie, go to your state’s website, look for the “doing business with us” section, and register.

A word about the Sam.gov registration process — the information you have to provide is not difficult, but there’s a lot of it. Here’s where the most crucial rule of government contracting comes into play: Pay attention to details. Some of the information you enter at Sam.gov will determine the kinds of invitations to bid you might receive. And your vendors will use the information you enter here when they’re making payment to you during the course of a contract.  READ MORE….

Contact your nearest PTAC to learn more about the SBA mentor-protege  program.


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 For help with Government Contracting: contact your nearest Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Funded through Cooperative Agreements between the U.S. Department of Defense and state and local governments/institutions, PTACs provide free and low-cost assistance in virtually all areas of government contracting.