Before you can bid on or be awarded government contracts, you or your business must be registered as government contractor. Getting registered as a government contractor is a three-step process.
Obtain a D-U-N-S Number
You will first need to obtain a Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S Number, a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business. D-U-N-S Number assignment is free for all businesses required to register with the federal government for contracts or grants. Visit the D-U-N-S Request Service to register.
Register Your Business
Next, your business needs to be registered with the federal government's Central Contractor Registration (CCR), the primary database of vendors doing business with the federal government. All prospective government contractors must register in the CCR before being awarded a contract.
Many federal agencies require that a certain percentage of their contracts be awarded to small businesses. In the CCR, you can self-certify your business as a small business, but your business must meet the federal government's definition of a small business.
Obtain Past Performance Evaluations
If you want to get in on General Services Administration (GSA) contracts - and you should want to - you should get a Past Performance Evaluation from Open Ratings, Inc. Open Ratings conducts an independent audit of customer references and calculates a rating based upon a statistical analysis of various performance data and survey responses. While some GSA solicitations for bids do contain the form to request an Open Ratings Past Performance Evaluation, vendors may submit an online request directly to Open Ratings.