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february 17, 2013 • 04:38 PM

How to Set Your Business Up to Bid on Federal Government Contracts

 

To supercharge your revenue, consider doing business with the largest U.S. buyer of everything from oatmeal cookies to new tires, the federal government. Navigating the many layers of bureaucracy can be challenging. Here are essential steps to getting set up to search for and win work from Uncle Sam, courtesy a new e-guide from Microsoft.

1. Obtain a D-U-N-S number.

To do business with the federal government, you will need what’s called a Data Universal Numbering System identification number. It’s free, and you can do it online at this Dun & Bradstreet website or calling by (866) 705-5711.

2. Figure out your industry identification number so you can search for available work.

These product and service codes are called Federal Supply Codes and Product Service Codes (FSC/PSC) in the Department of Defense, and can be found here, and more generally, your North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, which can be found here.

3. Learn if you qualify for preferential business status.

You will have to register with the System for Award Management to determine if your business is considered “small” for your industry or whether you qualify for any preferential status, such as woman-owned, HUBZone certified, or veteran-owned, to name a few.