9 steps

Federal mentor/protégé programs are designed to encourage approved mentors to provide various forms of business development assistance to approved protégé firms. A mentor firm may be either a large or small business, eligible for award of a Government contract that can provide developmental assistance to enhance the capabilities of protégés to perform as subcontractors. A protégé firm must be: A SB, WOSB, SDB, HUBZone, VOSB, or SDVOSB, Small in the NAICS code for the services or supplies to be provided by the protégé under its subcontract to the mentor; and Eligible for receipt of government contracts.

The purpose of the mentor/protégé relationship is to enhance the capabilities of the protégé and to improve its ability to successfully compete for contracts. There are 13 federal agencies with over 1100 active mentor protégé agreements.


In March 2011, the GAO ( reported the following number of federal agency mentor protégé programs:

Agency Approved   Agreements Agency Approved   Agreements Agency Approved   Agreements
NASA  202-358-2088   12 FAA   202-267-7454  10 DOE   202   586-3835 120
GSA  202-208-0257   65 VA  24 Treasury   202   622-8213   58
SBA   District Office 482 US   AID 202 567-4606    6 State   703-875-6881   86
EPA    202-447-5280    4 DHS   202-447-5280 220 DOD   800-540-8857 101
HHS   301-443-1715    9 DOT N/A Navy   202-685-6489 N/A
Army   703-693-6113   Air Force  703-696-1103      


Participation in a federal mentor protégé program has the potential to create a win-win for participants to get larger contracts and access to small business set aside market in the federal government. The win-win is created when the protégé’s capability and capacity to perform on federal contracts is enhanced by the affiliation rules, limitations on subcontracting and the mentor’s delivery of developmental assistance. There is no affiliation in the major federal agency mentor protégé programs including FAA, U.S. Treasury, Department of Homeland Security, and the Health and Human Services. The FAA states “A protégé firm may not be considered an affiliate of a mentor firm solely on the basis that the protégé firm is receiving developmental assistance referred to in Section 1.12 under the program. However, affiliation may be found for other reasons in accordance with the SBA general principles of affiliation. The U. S. Treasury says “a protégé firm is not considered an affiliate of a mentor firm solely on the basis that the protégé firm is receiving developmental assistance from such mentor firm under the program”.

The Department of Homeland Security says “A protégé will not be considered an affiliate of a mentor solely on the basis that the protégé has or will receive developmental assistance from the mentor under this program” and The Health and Human Services says “A protégé firm may not be considered an affiliate of a mentor firm solely on the basis that the protégé firm has or will receive developmental assistance from the mentor firm under this program”.

The Limitations on Subcontracting clause places restrictions on the percentage of cost that can be subcontracted in order to be awarded a full or partial small business set-aside contract, an 8(a) contract, WOSB, EDWOSB, SDVOSBC or HUBZone SBC prime contractor. In most cases the restrictions include:

1) In the case of a contract for services (except construction), the concern will perform at least 50 percent of the cost of the contract incurred for personnel with its own employees. (2) In the case of a contract for supplies or products (other than procurement from a non-manufacturer in such supplies or products), the concern will perform at least 50 percent of the cost of manufacturing the supplies or products (not including the costs of materials). (3) In the case of a contract for general construction, the concern will perform at least 15 percent of the cost of the contract with its own employees (not including the costs of materials). (4) In the case of a contract for construction by special trade contractors, the concern will perform at least 25 percent of the cost of the contract with its own employees (not including the cost of materials).

The development assistance includes but is not limited to: 1) Assistance by the mentor’s personnel in (i) General business management, including organizational management, financial management, personnel management, marketing, business development, and overall business planning; (ii) Engineering, environmental and technical matters; and (iii) Any other assistance designed to develop the capabilities of the protégé under the developmental program.(2) Award of subcontracts or other contracts on a noncompetitive basis. (3) Advance payments under such subcontracts in accordance with FAR Subpart 32.4, Advance Payments for Non-Commercial Items. (4) Loans. (5) Investment(s) in the protégé in exchange for an ownership interest in the protégé, not to exceed 10 percent of the total ownership interest. Investments may include, but are not limited to, cash, stock, and contributions in kind. (6) Assistance that the mentor obtains for the protégé from one or more of the following: (i) Small Business Development Centers established pursuant to Section 21 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 648).(ii) Entities providing procurement technical assistance pursuant to 10 U.S.C. Chapter 142 (Procurement Technical Assistance Centers).(iii) Historically Black Colleges and Universities.(iv) Minority institutions of higher education.

American Express Open found in their survey of 1,508 small businesses that the most significant economic benefits may come from participation in a formal mentor-protégé program. While few active small business contractors have pursued entering such programs, those who have are investing more time and money seeking Federal contracts and are reaping the reward in greater efficiency and higher sales, profitability and employment – reinforcing the adage that it takes money to make money.


Participation in a federal mentor protégé program can increase the mentor and protégé’s contract sales and company profitability. The absence of no affiliation, limits on subcontracting and the developmental assistance including contract financing create the win win environment. The mentor helps the protégé get contracts and the protégé can sub some of the contract to the mentor.

Explore teaming arrangements.

Teaming arrangements are a great way for an experienced business to help an non-experience business learn how to perform successfully on a federal contract. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) FAR 9.601defines contractor team arrangements as follows: “Two or more companies form a partnership or joint venture to act as a potential prime contractor;” or “A potential prime contractor agrees with one or more other companies to have them act as its subcontractors under a specified contract or acquisition program.”  The Department of Defense (DOD catagorizes teaming agreements as a prime contractor and subcontractor relationship; subcontracting; partnerships; joint ventures; cooperative research and development agreements; public-private partnership and mentor protégé agreements. Potential teaming partners must understand and create teaming documents that address contract privity, limitations on subcontracting and the SBA rules on affiliation

The most prevailing teaming business model in federal contracting is the prime contractor and subcontractor relationship. In this relationship, a group of companies form a team to work together to pursue a prime contract with the promise to work together  to negotiate a subcontract with the team members if the team is successful in winning a contract award. When the team members are successful in their procurement pursuit and the proposed prime contractor is awarded a contract, the team members must then negotiate in good faith to enter into a subcontract. The subcontract serves to formalize the legal relationship between the team members and the prime contractor.

A partnership is a business enterprise consisting of two or more individuals or concerns who come together to co-own a single business for profit. Partnerships fall into two basic types: general and limited. In a general partnership, each partner invests in a business with an agreed-upon percentage of ownership and acceptance of all the debts, regardless of which partner incurred the debt. In a general partnership, the action of any partner can bind the entire partnership on contracts

A limited partnership is a special type of partnership consisting of general partners and limited partners. The general partners manage the business enterprise and are liable for the legal debts and obligations of the partnership. The limited partners invest funds into the partnership in exchange for receiving a predetermined share of the profit. The limited partners are prohibited from participating in the management of the partnership; otherwise, they will lose their limited partner status. They have no authority to control day-to-day operations. Limited partners are liable only to the extent of their investments.

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 13 CFR 121.103(h) defines a joint venture as an association of two or more individuals or concerns formed to undertake a particular business transaction or project, rather than one in tended to continue indefinitely. The members of the joint venture share in the profits and risk of loss. The joint venture entity, and its members are in privity of contract with the government. Like the SBA regulations, the FAR FAR 19.101(7)(i),   defines a joint venture as having a limited life, rather than being permanent. Unlike the SBA regulations, which permit a joint venture to submit up to three proposals for different procurements over a 2-year period, the FAR defines a joint venture as collaborating on a single specific business venture. Small disadvantaged business (SDB) see 13 CFR 124.1002(f) and (2)), Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concerns (SDVOSBs) 13 CFR 125.15(b) and SBA 8a mentor protégé participants may enter into joint venture agreements with limitations.

The SBA Mentor-Protégé Program enables concerns certified as SDBs under Section 8(a) to form a joint venture with a mentor firm to pursue large, consolidated or bundled procurements. The 8(a) firm may form a joint venture with a large or small business under an SBA-approved 8(a) joint venture agreement. The joint venture is deemed small as long as the 8(a) protégé qualifies as small for the procurement (regardless of the size of the mentor. An 8(a) protégé firm may form a joint venture with its SBA-approved mentor to pursue any type of federal contract procurement, not solely 8(a) procurements. As a result, the Limitations on Subcontracting, performance-of-work requirements of FAR 52.219-14, FAR 52-219-3, and FAR 52.219-27 would not apply. In other words, an SBA-approved 8(a) joint venture pursuing a large, bundled procurement need not worry about the percentage of work to be performed by the individual members of the joint venture.

A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is a written agreement between a government agency and a private company to work together on a project. Under a CRADA, the government agency and private entity form teams to solve technological and industrial problems.

A Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is a contractual risk-sharing agreement between a public agency and a private-sector entity. Through this agreement, the public and private-sector entities share skills and assets to deliver a service or facility for the use of the general public. PPPs are typically used to provide needed public facilities and infrastructure.

In its post-Adarand guidance following the Supreme Court’s 1995 decision, the Department Of Justice (DOJ) recognized partnering as an effective strategy, and recommended that agencies actively pursue race-neutral mentor-protégé programs that do not guarantee contract awards on a noncompetitive basis Mentor-protégé programs may or may not be race-neutral depending on whether they are open to all firms based on objective economic or social data. Mentor-protégé efforts should attempt to make small and disadvantaged firms more competitive, without altering standards for competition or establishing award preferences. The GAO ( reported that as of March 2011, that  NASA  had 12 agreements, GSA 65, SBA  482, FAA 10, Department  of Veterans Affairs 24, US AID 6, Department of Energy 120, Department of Treasury 58, Department of State 86, Environmental Protection Agency 4, Homeland Security 9, Department of Defense 101, and Department Homeland Security 220 active agreements.


Federal Mentor Protégé programs require the mentor to provide developmental assistance which may include 1. General business management, including organizational management, financial management, and personnel management, marketing, business development, and overall business planning; (ii) Engineering and technical matters such as production inventory control and quality assurance; and(iii) Any other assistance designed to develop the capabilities of the protégé firm under the developmental program. 2) Award of subcontracts under DoD contracts or other contracts on a noncompetitive basis.(3) Payment of progress payments for the performance of subcontracts by a protégé firm in amounts as provided for in the subcontract; . (4) Advance payments under such subcontracts. (5) Loans. (6) Investment(s) in the protégé firm not to exceed 10 percent. (7) Assistance that the mentor firm obtains for the protégé firm from one or more of the following: (i) Small Business Development Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers).(iii) Historically black colleges and universities.(iv) Minority institutions of higher education.

The SBA’s Small Business Teaming Pilot ( was created to help companies form teaming agreements. On September 23rd, 2011, the SBA announced the awardees of the SBTPP grants. Eleven grantees were selected from hundreds of applications submitted. Grantees were awarded between $200,000 and $500,000 in funding, for a total of approximately $5 million in Fiscal Year 2011.


Grantees are expected to help small businesses find other firms interested in teaming, assist SBs with the formation and execution of teaming arrangements, aid teams of SBs in identifying appropriate larger contracting opportunities, and assist teams of SBs with the preparation and submission of bids and offers. Grantees will leverage their existing resources and collaborate with SBA District Offices, resource partners, and other federal, state, local and tribal government small business development programs.

Please contact the awardee in your area to get help forming a teaming agreement. Teaming arrangements are a great way for a small business to eventually become a prime contractor. As discussed earlier, teaming arrangements take the form of prime contractor and subcontractor relationship; subcontracting; partnerships; joint ventures; cooperative research and development agreements; Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and mentor protégé agreements. These arrangements can help the small business learn the ins and outs of contract compliance, quality control, finance, past performance, audits and other issues around government contracting.

Step 7 involves considering obtaining an interagency contract vehicles. The most popular contract vehicle is the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS). The major benefit for getting an FSS schedule or any other contract vehicles is that it streamlines the procurement process and the in the case of the FSS, contracting officers only needs telephone quotes to award a federal contract. The companies with contracting vehicles are pre qualified to do business with the government. The company that has an FSS or other interagency contract vehicles has pre-negotiated for their prices, terms and conditions. These contract vehicles are a license to hunt and require a marketing plan to target the agency contracting offices (Download: See Sample Target Agency Contracting Office Report #2) who buy the company’s products and services. A federal marketing plan will ensure the opportunity to get a government contract. (Download: Sample FMP #1).

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) defines an interagency or multi-agency contract as a task order or delivery-order contract by one agency for use by other agencies to obtain supplies and services, consistent with the Economic Act of 1932. These types of contracts are classified as indefinite order-indefinite delivery contracts. In FY 2004, the Federal Procurement Data Center (FPDS) reported that interagency contract spend was $142 Billion and non-interagency contract spend was $210 Billion. The Congressional Research Service in their report title Interagency Contracting: An overview of Federal Procurement and Appropriations Law states “Interagency contracting can occur under several different statutory authorities, including (1) the Economy Act of 1932; (2) the Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996, also known as the Clinger-Cohen Act, authorizing government-wide acquisition contracts (GWACs); (3) the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act of 1974, underlying the Federal Supply Schedules (FSS), also known as the General Services Administration (GSA) Schedules or Multiple Award Schedules (MAS); and (4) the Government Management Reform Act and other authorities creating franchise funds and interagency assisting entities. Unlike multi-agency contracts, GWACs and the FSS, franchise funds and interagency assisting entities are not themselves contracting vehicles, but they play a prominent role in interagency contracting”.

Multi-Agency Contracts, Government Acquisition Contracts (GWACs), GSA schedule, and Enterprise-wide Contract Vehicles are discussed in this document.

Multi-Agency contracts that are governed by the Economy Act require a written Determination and Finding (D&F) document approved by its contracting officer or by an authorized official. The established ordering procedures includes include: a) customer agency submits a requirements package, including necessary funding and fees, to the host agency contracting officer; b) the host agency contracting officer requests price/cost and technical proposals from contractors in the program; c) customer and contracting officer evaluate proposals and make a best value determination; d) the host agency contracting officer awards a task/delivery order to the winning vendor; and e) the order is jointly administered by the host agency contracting officer and the customer agency’s technical managers. The solicitation and evaluation of proposals for task/delivery orders must be consistent with the fair opportunity requirement of FAR 16.505(b)(1).

Government wide Acquisition Contracts (“GWACs”) are a subset of multi-agency contracts. However, unlike non-GWAC multi-agency contracts, they are not subject to the requirements and limitations of the Economy Act. The FAR defines a GWAC as–A task-order or delivery-order contract for information technology established by one agency for Government wide use that is operated— (1) By an executive agent designated by the Office of Management and Budget (2) Under a delegation of procurement authority issued by the General Services Administration (GSA). The total volume of assisted acquisitions by GWAC in FY 2009 was $2.9 Billion.

The General Services Administration (GSA) manages Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts, also known as Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts. Under MAS/FSS including Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs), contracts are awarded to multiple companies supplying comparable products and services at pre-negotiated prices, terms and conditions. Federal contracting officers and other authorized users order directly from the company. Contracting officers may conduct set-asides using MAS/FSS contracts.

The ordering procedures for FSS purchases include: a.) Order is within the micro-purchase threshold ($3000) – There is no need to solicit offers from a specific number of Schedule contractors for supplies & services not priced at hourly rates. Agencies are encouraged to distribute orders among eligible contractors. For services priced at hourly rates, there is no need to solicit offers from a specific number of Schedule contractors, but agencies should attempt to distribute orders among eligible contractors; b.) For orders above the mirco-purchase, but threshold but below maximum order threshold-purchase threshold – The order must be placed with the contractor that can provide the best value. Before placing the order, the ordering agency must consider reasonably available information about the goods or services by surveying at least three Schedule contractors. When the order includes brand name specifications, the ordering agency must post a Request for Quotations (RFQ), along with the justification required under 48 C.F.R. § 8.405-6. For services priced at hourly rates – The ordering agency must develop a statement of work (SOW) and provide a Request for Quotations (RFQ), including this SOW and evaluation criteria, to at least three Schedule contractors offering services meeting the agency’s needs, requesting that these contractors submit firm fixed prices to perform the services in the SOW;

For orders above maximum order threshold – The ordering agency must seek a further price reduction from the vendor. Before doing this, agency must review price lists from additional Schedule contractors; seek price reductions from those considered best value; and place the order with the contractor that provides best value. The agency must also document: the contracts considered; the contractor from whom the purchase was made; the goods or services purchased; and the amount paid. For services priced at hourly rates-The ordering agency must provide the RFQ to an “appropriate number” of additional Schedule contractors offering services that could meet the agency needs, with the “appropriate number” being determined by the complexity, scope and value of the requirement, as well as findings from market research. The agency must then seek price reductions from these contractors. . The GSA has prepared a matrix (download: PSC Matrix for Active GSA Schedules and GSA GWACs) containing corresponding NAICS and PSC codes with GSA schedules in order to help companies select the right schedule.

The application process for the MAS/FSS schedule includes an evaluation process completed by Open Ratings for Dunn and Bradstreet. Open Ratings conducts survey of your designated customers. Results (see sample report) from the Open Ratings survey indicate where the company’s performance ratings falls in comparison to rated companies in your SIC/NAICS group. The Open Rating report is a good marketing tool. Many federal purchases are, in fact, orders made against MAS/FSS contracts. As of October 2006, of the 17,862 Schedule contracts, about 81 percent were awarded to small businesses. Small business received 37.6 percent or $13.2 billion of the $35.1 billion As of FY 2010 Active MAS contracts were 19,612 of which 79.75 % were small business. Congress has expanded the use of FSS by authorizing state and local governments to purchase goods and services from it in certain circumstances. Some state governments have created their own version of the FSS. Many companies can prequalify for the state FSS if they have a GSA MAS/FSS.

Enterprise-wide contract vehicles are intra-agency Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quaintly (IDIQ) established specifically for use by an agency’s departments. The SeaPort-e program administered by Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) is an example of this type of contract vehicle. SeaPort-e is the Navy’s electronic platform for acquiring support services in 22 functional areas including Engineering, Financial Management, and Program Management.  The Seaport-e contract vehicle has over 1300 companies. The Navy estimates that over $5 Billion worth of contracts will be placed on Seaport-e in FY13.

The benefits of obtaining a contract vehicle are 1) Government contractor is prequalified to do business with government agency; 2) Purchasing process is streamline and 3) In most cases contracting officer only needs three quotes to comply with ordering procedures. A marketing plan that includes list of target agency contracting offices and a call log will position the company to get government contracts without competing in the open market.

Steps 1 & 2 discussed how important it is to know key government websites and register the company in the CCR and ORCA. Steps 3 & 4 discussed the socio economic programs and the importance of NAICS and PSC classifications. In steps 5 & 6, we will discuss how to identify procurement opportunities and understanding the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) used by contracting officers to buy goods and services for the government.

Step 5: Identify current federal procurement opportunities. The following are the key bid notifications websites for government solicitation, request for bids and proposals. The websites are grouped into free and subscription required. The real secret in getting government contracts is to develop relationships with contracting officers and program managers. The first step is to respond to their public bid opportunities. Unsuccessful bidders have three days after the solicitation closes to request a debrief from the contracting officers. It is during the debriefing period that the company starts to develop the relationship for future contract award.

Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOps): the designated government-wide point of entry – is the exclusive official source for public access to notices of federal contracting actions over $25,000.

Federal Agency Procurement: Each agency has a list of its solicitation on their websites. It is recommended to look at each one or the target agency.

Subscription fee required:
Bid Match Service: The system will search new opportunities each day, for solicitations that correspond to your profile.  The search includes most federal, state, and many local government websites for open procurement opportunities.

epipeline is the leading online source for federal government contracts opportunity research and government business intelligence.; Onvia tracks, analyzes and reports the spending of more than 89,000 federal, state and local government agencies, giving companies a single source for conducting open, intelligent and efficient business with government.

GOVWin is the single largest source for government contracting information and analysis in the world.

BidNet is a premier provider of government business intelligence, delivering content-rich actionable data to clients across the nation. Tracking government buying and planning at the local, state, and federal level.

Find RFP connects government contractors and government agency buyers. Find RFP is a pioneer in online government purchasing and e-government.

Reed Construction Data can deliver the commercial construction project information you need to get work in these tough times.

Gov Directions can help. This site publishes approximately 96,000 new government bids and request for proposals each month. Test us by registering for a Free Daily Alert.

Government Bid customers obtain direct and instant access to contract awards and advance information about upcoming opportunities at the local, state, and federal levels, aggregated daily from thousands of sites, numerous government publications and public meeting reports, and supplemented and monitored by our team of research experts.

Bid RFP searches all government agencies including states, cities and counties. Our database is updated on a daily basis to include new government procurement sites as soon as they are published.

Bid Data Line searches bid opportunity web sites of Federal, State, County, City governments along with Port Authorities, Universities and other public buying authorities.

Step 6: Familiarize yourself with the government’s contracting procedures. The Federal Acquisition Regulation and Supplemental Procurement Regulation for each agency.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is the principal set of rules in the Federal Acquisition Regulation System. This system consists of sets of regulations issued by agencies of the federal government of the United States to govern what is called the “acquisition process”; this is the process through which the government purchases (“acquires”) goods and services. That process consists of three phases: (1) need recognition and acquisition planning, (2) contract formation, and (3) contract administration. The FAR System regulates the activities of government personnel in carrying out that process. It does not regulate the purchasing activities of private sector firms, except to the extent those parts of it are incorporated into government solicitations and contracts by reference.

Steps 1 & 2 discussed how important it is to know key government websites and register the company in the CCR and ORCA. Steps 3 and 4 include determining the company’s eligibility for the socio economic programs and the importance of the Federal Supply Classification Codes (FSC) and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes. Understanding the certifications and classifications programs enhance a company’s ability to get government jobs through federal contracts. FCIS has developed marketing reports that help companies identify contracting officers that utilizes the socio economic programs for contracting and identify agency contracting offices by classification systems.

Step 3.  Determine if the company qualifies for one or more of the SBA and Veteran Administration Certification Programs.  The SBA currently has three socio economic certification programs: 8(a), HUBZone and Women-Owned Small Business Programs. The 8(a) Business Development program assists eligible small businesses to compete by providing them with business developmental assistance. The owner of a small business must be socio or economic disadvantaged. Economic disadvantage is based on personal income ($250,000 for initial eligibility, $350,000 for continued eligibility) and total assets ($4 million for initial eligibility, $6 million continued eligibility). Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as members of a group. Social disadvantage must stem from circumstances beyond their control. Companies with the 8(a) certification are eligible for set aside contract opportunities.

The Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program entitles qualified firms to special bidding benefits in the federal contracting arena. To qualify for the program, a business (except tribally-owned concerns) must be a small business by SBA standards, must be owned and controlled at least 51% by U.S. citizens, or a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe, the company principal office must be located within a “Historically Underutilized Business Zone,” which includes lands considered “Indian Country” and military facilities closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Act and At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone map area.

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concerns (SDVOSBC) – ( The Veterans Benefits Act of 2003  established a procurement program for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses that allows contracting officers to restrict competition to SDVOSBCs and award a sole source or set-aside contract where certain criteria are met. In addition, the rule allows SDVOSB concerns to self-certify however the eligible veteran should get certified by VetBiz in order to withstand any certification challenges. In order to be eligible for the SDVOSBC, the Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Defense must certify service disabled veteran has a service-connected disability, the Company must be small under the NAICS code assigned to the procurement, the Service disabled veteran must own 51% of the company unconditionally and control the management of daily operations and must hold the highest officer position in the company.

Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB)/Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) Program– ( The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts based on approved NAICS for eligible Women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) or Economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs).  Those firms can self-certify their status. An SBA approved 3rd Party Certifier is recommended in order to withstand any challenges.

Step  4. The company must be able to match its products or services with the Federal Supply Classification Codes (FSC) and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes. The NAICS and FSC codes should be included in the CCR and ORCA registration. NAICS and FSC codes are used by the government to establish business size standards (, identify potential vendors for government jobs, accumulate economic statistics and classify government contracts for the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS).

The FY 2012 USG Procurement by NAICS_PSC report provides a breakdown of procurement by NAICS and PSC. The report indicates that four hundred and forty (440) Agency Contracting Offices completed 588,946 transactions with 69,014 vendors in the amount of $49 billion. These transactions were classified using 922 NAICS and 9,733 PSC. See report FY 2012 USG Procurement by NAICS_PSC Understanding the NAICS and PSC codes will lead to more government contracts. Small business can use these classifications to determine how much the USG buys and which agency contracting offices make the purchase. The FPDS is a good data set to build a federal marketing plan.

Thousands of government jobs are available to companies wanting to do business with government. The contract jobs are in Information Technology, Security, and all industries. Dealing with Federal Government can be frustrating. However, your efforts can be rewarded if you plan your work and work your plan. FCIS specializes helping companies market their products and services to get the government jobs by providing target markets reports and developing a Federal Marketing Plan.

Click here to download a free copy of a sample federal marketing plan.

See steps 1-2 below. Steps 3-9 will follow.

Step 1. Become familiar with the following websites for Government Contracting:

SBA Office of Government Contracting (GC): Title 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Part 125):Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): Contracting News; and Information for Contractors.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is dedicated to providing a wide range of programs and assistance to small businesses wanting to do business with the government.  From the Contracting Section under Contracting Opportunities: ( contain you web links to additional procurement-related programs and assistance such as; Subcontracting, Federal Business Opportunities, GSA Schedules, Green Contracting Opportunities, Federal Procurement Database Systems – Next Generation, USA Spends, Contracting of Manufacturing, Contracting Opportunities for Energy Efficient Businesses. Government Agency Acquisition Forecasts contain upcoming government contract opportunities:

Step 2. Obtain a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number, register in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) (System and Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA). Contact Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) at  to obtain a number if you do not have one. The DUNS number is free. All companies must be registered in CCR to be awarded a federal contract and to receive payment by the Government. Once you have obtained your DUNS number, your next step is to register in the Central Contractors Registration (CCR) database. The CCR requires the company to match its goods and or services with the  the Federal Supply Classification Codes (FSC) and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Be sure to select a primary NAICS and PSC codes. You can add supplementary classification codes but limit them to three each. Many contracting officers look at the CCR and its important noe to confuse them on what the company does.

Once the registration in the CCR is complete, click on  “SBA Register or Update your SBA Profile”. The next registration sysytem is the Small Business Administration?s Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS). The company should complete information which is accessible by contracting staff under the SBA – Dynamic Small Business Search

The remaining steps 3-9 will be discussed in later posts.

Federal Contract Intelligence Service is a data mining company that specializes in tracking current and historical United States Government (USG) procurement statistics. We provide up-to-the-date marketing list/reports to companies that want to do business with the federal government. Our clients use these list/reports to position itself in front of decision makers before a requirement becomes an open bid solicitation.

Our marketing list/reports are tailored for the company’s products/services and matched with the decision makers within specific targeted agency contracting offices. We use state of the art data mining software and have access to data from fee-based subscription services as well as current data sets from, Federal Procurement Data System, USA Spending and other data provided and updated by the USG. Please see the samples of our reports.