Register for Government Contracting

October 16th, 2011 by

Federal, state and local governments offer businesses the opportunity to sell billions of dollars worth of products and services. Many government agencies require that some percentage of their procurements be set aside for small businesses. Once you have classified your company based on the established size standards, you are ready to begin registering to do business with the government. Follow these easy steps to obtain the registrations you need to begin bidding on government proposals.

Steps to Registering as a Federal Contractor

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

You will need to obtain a Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S® Number. This is a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business. The assignment of a D-U-N-S Number is free for all businesses required to register with the federal government for contracts or
grants. Visit the D-U-N-S Request Service to register or read a quick overview here.

2. Register your Business with the CCR

You need to register your business with the federal government’s Central Contractor Registration (CCR), the primary database of vendors doing business with the federal government. Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR) require all prospective vendors to be registered in the CCR prior to the award of a contract, basic agreement, basic ordering agreement, or blanket purchase agreement.

The Dynamic Small Business Search engine of the CCR is also a marketing tool for businesses allowing agencies to search for your company based on your ability, size, location, experience, ownership, and more.  The CCR contains the Small Business Source System (SBSS), an internal database of firms certified by the SBA under the 8(a) Development and HUBZone Programs, and a section that allows you to list a profile of your company.

3. Register in ORCA

You need to complete the solicitation clauses and certifications of the Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA). This requires you to certify that the information provided about your company and its business activities is correct. Information that you will be asked on ORCA is explained in Federal Acquisitions Regulations, Section 52.212-3, Offeror Representations and Certifications – Commercial Items.

4. Find the NAICS Codes for Your Company

You may also find that you need a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for administrative, contracting and tax purposes. The code classifies the economic sector, industry and country of your business. For Federal contracting purposes, you will need to identify in the
CCR all the NAICS codes (industries) applicable to your business. Read Identifying Industry Codes for more information.

5. Obtain Past Performance Evaluations

Businesses interested in getting on the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule for contracts should obtain an Open Ratings, Inc. Past Performance Evaluation.  Open Ratings, a Dun & Bradstreet Company, conducts an independent audit of customer references and calculates a rating based upon a statistical analysis of various performance data and survey responses. While some GSA Schedule solicitations contain the form to request an Open Ratings Past Performance Evaluation, vendors may also submit an online request directly to Open Ratings.

Items Needed for Registration

Below are some of the items that you will need in order to complete registration processes.

More About Government Contracting

Contracting with the Federal Government can open the door to many opportunities for your small business and can aid your business’ growth. Visit the following pages for more information:

Source: U.S. Small Business Adminstration


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