What are steps 3 & 4 for doing business with the Federal Government in Washington D.C.?
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) – (http://www.sba.gov/content/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– (http://www.sba.gov/content/contracting-opportunities-women-owned-small-businesses) 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 (http://www.sba.gov/content/table-small-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.