The federal government is among the world’s largest purchasers of goods and services. Expanding your business into the federal marketplace can be lucrative, and provide numerous networking and growth opportunities. To get started, here are two commonly asked questions:

How do I...?

Do business with the federal government?

All potential vendors must be registered in the Central Contractor Registration system (www.ccr.gov), and must provide representations and certifications via the Online Representations and Certifications Application (www.bpn.gov/orca).  They can then bid on opportunities found at FedBizOpps (www.fbo.gov).  The federal government has several resources to help you do business with them.  SBA offers assistance with selling goods and services to the government.  SBA also sponsors the Small Business Development Centers and DoD sponsors the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.  To find the offices closest to you, visit one of the following websites:  www.ccr.gov, www.sba.gov/businessop/index.html, www.sba.gov/sbdc/, or  www.dla.mil/db/procurem.htm,  

Find government opportunities to bid on

Go to the FedBizOpps website (www.fbo.gov)
and click on “Find Opportunities.” For more information on small business opportunities, visit the Federal OSDBU Director Interagency Council (www.osdbu.gov/offices.html).

Winning a federal contract also means complying with laws and regulations unique to those doing business with the government. Many new contractors, especially small businesses, are unprepared for the rules and regulations they must follow, which can lead to costly errors and potential legal problems.

Procurement Regulations

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is a substantial and complex set of rules governing the federal government's purchasing process. Its purpose is to ensure purchasing procedures are standard and consistent, and conducted in a fair and impartial manner. There are many costly pitfalls if you don't take the time to understand the provisions in your contract, which often reference areas of the FAR.

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