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Federal Business Opportunities
If you are ready to bid on federal contracts, there are a couple of ways to get started. One is to submit your business profile to a database that federal agencies use to locate contractors. This approach is like sending your resume to a company, hoping to find a job. The other method is to research existing opportunities using resources made available by the federal government.
- To send your business's "resume" to the government, register a business profile with the System for Award Management, or SAM. SAM is a database that federal agencies use to learn about prospective vendors. Agencies can search for your business based on any number of factors, including capabilities, size, location, experience and ownership. It is very important to be registered in SAM and to keep your business profile up-to-date.
- To identify current contracting opportunities, consult the available government resources. For federal business opportunities in particular, you should visit FedBizOpps: Federal Business Opportunities. Federal agencies use this site to communicate their buying requirements to potential suppliers. All federal contract solicitations with a value of at least $25,000 are published on FedBizOpps. Government agencies publish the solicitations on FedBizOpps, and provide detailed information on how and when vendors should respond.
The Department of Defense (DOD) and various areas of the U.S. Armed Forces have specific contracting opportunities set aside for small businesses. DOD typically allots 20% of its procurement contracts and over 30% of its subcontracting opportunities to small businesses each year.
To learn more about the requirements of doing business with the DOD, including information on security clearances and industry-specific regulations, read the Small Business Guide to Doing Business with the DOD and the Defense Contracting Regulations Guide for Small Businesses, Small and Disadvantaged Businesses and Women-Owned Businesses.
Solicitations are posted on FedBizOpps.gov if they are for more than $25,000. If you can’t find an applicable solicitation on FedBizOpps.gov and your business offers a product or service that has potential to benefit the Department of Defense, you can develop and submit an unsolicited proposal to one of the armed services or an agency directly.
If you want to sell to the DOD, you also must register with its online registry, Business On-line Representations and Certifications (ORCA). ORCA is an E-Government initiative that has been developed to replace the paper-based Representations and Certifications (Reps and Certs) process. Previously, vendors and contractors had to submit Reps and Certs for each individual large purchase contract award solicitation response. Now, using ORCA, a contractor can enter their Reps and Certs information one time for use on all federal contracts.
The areas of the U.S. Armed Forces listed below have Small Business Contracting offices and specific programs aimed at purchasing goods and services from small businesses. Visit these resources to learn about opportunities where your business can sell to areas of DOD and the U.S. Armed Forces.
Learn about small business procurement and find opportunities within the U.S. Army and its various divisions.
US Navy/Marines/Air Force
Learn about small business procurement and find opportunities within the U.S. Navy, Marines and Air Force.
Department of Defense
Learn about small business procurement and find opportunities within the Department of Defense.
Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)
DLA provides supplies to the military and supports their acquisition of weapons and other material.
Other Intelligence Agencies
Learn about small business procurement and find opportunities within other DOD Intelligence Agencies.
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
NGA supports the collection, analysis, and distribution of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) in support of national security.
- National Security Agency (NSA)
NSA is responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, which involves encryption analysis.
More Contracting Opportunities
In addition to FedBizOpps.gov and defense contracting resources, you may also visit the following places to find contracting opportunities: