If you want to contract for the government, there are a few things that you will need. As with any business, there are many processes you will need to go through to make it official. The government has some different steps you will need to qualify to contract.
Contracting for the government requires the proper clearance. These clearances have to do with security, because the security of the government and governmental agencies is of the utmost importance. This is especially important when dealing with the Department of Defense or Homeland Security. There are various levels of security clearances that you would need depending on risk to national security should this security be breached. The process of gaining security clearance can be costly and either your company or a sponsor will fund the process.
Government contracting requires you to keep a variety of accurate, traceable records for everything your business does. In the process of becoming a contractor, you need to prove that you are a reputable business. The process for becoming a contractor requires many steps, so organization will help your business to take the necessary steps to be approved. You will need to budget accordingly for the expenses it takes to gain the proper clearance for the contract. You must also be convincing to the government that you can be an asset to the program for which you would like to contract.
Register with SAM
Another step that must be taken to pursue a government contract is to register in the vendor database of the federal government, called the System for Award Management (SAM). To register on this database is free and the purpose of it is for the government to identify vendors. You will need to begin this process by obtaining a TIN/EIN from the IRS. You will need to know the PSC/FSC and NAICS codes and obtain a DUNS number. You need to know whether your business qualifies as a small one. You will also want to write a statement of what your business does as well as key words associated with it.
Contracting for the government is a process. There are many departments you could contract for, so the processes may be more complex for higher security clearances. You will want to ensure that you take your time and gather all the information you need to work your way to a contract.
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