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Small Business Advice: How to Win Government Contracts

The number of government contracts awarded to small businesses is steadily increasing. And with Congress being clearly on the side of small businesses and the federal government even setting up micro-contracting procedures (to facilitate smaller contracts), the prospects are rather good to win government contracts.

Here are tips to help your small business through the process of winning a government contract:

Check if you qualify as a small business.1.

First off, incorporate your small business. The SBA defines "small business" with respect to the business' average yearly sales and its number of workers. On the other hand, the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) determines these qualifications on an industry-to-industry basis.

Be of good standing.

A small business can only be eligible for a government contract if it is in good standing in the state or states where they do business. This means having updated licenses, franchise taxes, annual reports, and other requirements. If a small business fails to comply with these, it may lose its authority to operate in the state, which in turn makes it less eligible for government contracts.

Register your business

The System for Award Management (SAM) website handles the registration process for all small businesses taking a shot at a government contract. In this website, you can't only enter all the information required by government agents, but also promote your business and make it shine. If you want to do business with the U.S. government, you should also have a DUNS Number, which serves as an identifier for each business location you have. Visit

Expand your network.

As soon as your small business has met all the requirements, you are now ready to become a government vendor. The SBA has a matchmaking web page that connects small businesses with appropriate opportunities. The Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website is also a great place to find business opportunities worth over $25,000, as well as to get information necessary for bidding.

Maximize use of specific programs.

There are programs that are uniquely designed for particular types of businesses, such as those owned by disabled persons or by women. All key information, from regulations to opportunities, can be found in the FBO website.

For many small businesses, government contracts can be such a profitable but still largely untapped source of income. The process is not very simple and may take time, but fortunately, many resources exist to guide those who are interested in becoming government vendors. Of course, the credibility of these resources should be ascertained to avoid confusion.

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