Doing Business with Government Agencies
The government space is very large. You have state and federal governments as well as local governments such as cites and counties. Understanding how these different entities operate is the first step to learning how you can sell your products or services to them.
Below are some common questions that you might have. Your PTAC advisor is available to help you along the way.
- Which government agencies buy what I have to offer?
- Do they buy from companies like me?
- Can I show past performance?
- Where are you in your business development?
The federal government purchases from business of all sizes, located throughout the country, for all types of services – from dry-cleaning services to disaster recovery. Look for opportunities that you are interested in and see what company was awarded the last contract and the terms – you can search www.usaspending.gov or www.SAM.gov for recent awards.
You will be registering in federal databases, locating an opportunity to bid on, then submitting and winning a contract. The basic steps are:
- Obtain a UEI – unique entity identifier. Currently that is obtained through Dun and Bradstreet, known as a DUNS number
- Find your NAICS codes
- Register with the System for Award Management (SAM)
- Search solicitations
- Submit a bid
The D&B D-U-N-S Number is a unique nine-digit identification sequence which provides unique identifiers of single business entities, while linking corporate family structures together.
As of April 4, 2022, DUNS is no longer the authoritative identifier for doing business with the federal government.
Unique Entity Identifier is now created in www.sam.gov
Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)
Beginning April 4, 2022, the Unique Entity ID from SAM.gov is now the authoritative identifier for those doing business with the federal government. The DUNS Number is no longer valid for federal award identification.
All of the Integrated Award Environment (IAE) systems—SAM.gov, eSRS, FSRS, FPDS, FAPIIS, and CPARS—as well as all other GSA systems, are now only using the Unique Entity ID to identify entities.
The Unique Entity ID is generated in SAM.gov. If you are registered in SAM.gov (active or not prior to April 4, 2022), you already have a Unique Entity ID. It is viewable at SAM.gov. If you are new to SAM.gov and will be registering for the first time, you will get your Unique Entity ID (SAM) during registration.
Companies who want to do business with the Federal Government are required to be registered in the Systems Award Management database. (SAM). SAM is free. Do not pay to get into www.SAM.gov.
North American Industry Classification System codes (NAICS) are industry codes used by federal and state governments. You are required to assign your business services or products a NAICS code when registering in SAM. You can find your code HERE.
Defense contractors are now required to comply with cyber security requirements outlined in NIST 800-171. In 2020, Defense contractors at all level of the supply chain will need to be CMMC certified: Cyber-security Maturity Model Certification.
The Defense Internet Bid Board System (DIBBS) is a portal where suppliers can search for, view and submit quotes for the Defense Logistics Agency
You can learn about selling to the state on the Department of Enterprise Services website.
The Washington Electronic Business Solutions (WEBS) is the state procurement portal
The Washington State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises administers the state certification program. The purpose of this program is to maximize the opportunities for the minority and women business enterprises (MWBEs) to participate in public works projects and to provide goods and services to state agencies and educational institutions. Bona fide minority and women owned business can participate in the state program by becoming certified by OMWBE. OMWBE also processes applications for certification for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program.
Many local governments use rosters for smaller jobs (under $350,000, public works jobs mainly). The MRSC Roster is one of the largest used rosters in the state.
There are too many cities and local governments to list them all here. You can find your local city procurement policies on their city website.
Here are a few examples:
City of Everett
City of Kirkland
City of Tacoma
City of Seattle
City of Spokane
City of Vancouver
Port of Seattle
Port of Tacoma
Port of Vancouver
Create marketing materials geared toward government agencies such as a Capability Statement.
Find out if the agency has a Small Business Liaison (SBLO) who you can reach out to.
Meet with PTAC to determine best strategy.
DLA created videos to teach businesses how to apply for basic JCP certification. Suppliers interested in doing business with DLA must also have a DLA Enhanced JCP (EJCP).
Basic JCP Certification:
United States Joint Certification: How to fill out the DD Form 2345 (USA version) (open caption) https://www.dvidshub.net/video/826732/united-states-joint-certification-fill-out-dd-form-2345-usa-version-open-caption
United States Joint Certification: How to fill out the DD Form 2345 (USA version) (open caption) https://youtu.be/tgT5vGUmE18
Welcome to the United States Joint Certification Office video where you will learn the steps on how to properly fill out the DD Form 2345. This form is the military critical technical data agreement for U.S. vendors who want joint certification. For more information please visit: https://www.dla.mil/HQ/LogisticsOperations/Services/JCP/
Enhanced JCP (EJCP) Needed to sell to DLA: https://www.dla.mil/HQ/LogisticsOperations/EnhancedValidation/
General Service Administration,
- GSA provides workplaces by constructing, managing, and preserving government buildings and by leasing and managing commercial real estate
- GSA’s acquisition solutions offer private sector professional services, equipment, supplies, and IT to government organizations and the military
- GSA also promotes management best practices and efficient government operations through the development of governmentwide policies.
- https://buy.gsa.gov/-all GSA resources in one site
- https://www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov/ – contract award information
- Public Buildings Service
There are many free local resources that can help you get your business ready before you get into government contracting. Below is a list of additional assistance you will want to be aware of
SCORE volunteers are available to help you set up your business.
SCORE is a Resource Partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration, and provides free and confidential small business advice for entrepreneurs.
The Office of Women’s Business Ownership is an integral component of Entrepreneurial Development’s network of training and counseling services. It oversees a network of Women’s Business Centers. The centers are designed to assist women achieve their dreams and improve their communities by helping them start and run successful businesses, regardless of social or financial disadvantage, race, ethnicity or business background
The Washington Small Business Development Centers (WSBDC) provides one-on-one, confidential assistance at no charge for businesses. They provide counseling for management and technical business affairs such as:
- starting, purchasing or selling a business
- choosing and incorporating new technology
- financial management
- business plan development
- market plan development
- business research
Washington Labor and Industries can assist business owners in understand employee / employer related questions.
DBE Support Services is a federally-funded program designed to help those DBEs wishing to work on WSDOT highway projects. Support services are available only to DBEs who are certified in the highway construction industry to include construction companies, consultants and regular dealers.
Read the program flyer for more information. You can also email [email protected] or call toll free (888) 259-9143.
The DBE Support Services Program administrator for 2020-2022 is the Washington MBDA Business Center.
Tabor 100 was awarded a $1.1 million state funded contract to administer the newly created Minority and Women Business Enterprise Support Services Program. Administered by the Washington State Department of Transportation, the new program will connect women and minority owned firms with supportive services and training in an effort to increase diversity in highway construction and consulting. Apply for services