How to Get Government Contract Work as a Small Business Owner

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By: Bill Henry
PublishedOct 24, 2018
3 minute read

Federal, state, and local governments offer small businesses with contracts to provide billions of dollars of goods and services each year. In fact, the federal government alone buys nearly $100 billion of goods and services annually from small businesses. Many government agencies require that a portion of their purchases come from small businesses. These contracts represent a powerful opportunity to develop and grow your small business. The Robinson & Henry team can assist you and your business in finding, qualifying for, and being better positioned to win lucrative government contracts.

How do I get one of those no bid contracts with the government?

A no bid contract is the popular name for a sole source contract. Sole source refers to the government awarding a contract to a business without the business having to compete against other firms for the contract. A bid or proposal will still be required, but a contract is almost certainly guaranteed.

The government also offers opportunities for small businesses to compete only against similarly situated small businesses.

Opportunities for sole source contracts, or contracts awarded after limited competition among similarly situated businesses, are available to small businesses owned and controlled by certain types of individuals, or located in historically underutilized business zones.

These opportunities include:

  • The 8(a) Business Development Program. This program aims to help small businesses that are majority-owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged businesses to compete in the marketplace. Sole source opportunities for government contracts are available to 8(a) businesses.
  • Socially Disadvantage Individuals. Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice, or cultural bias within American society because of their identities as members of groups and without regard to their individual qualities. The following individuals can be presumed socially disadvantaged: Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Subcontinent Asian-Americans. Members of other groups may be designated on occasion. Individuals who are not members of these groups presumed to be socially disadvantaged must establish individual social disadvantage by a preponderance of evidence. This evidence includes, among other elements, at least one objective distinguishing feature that has contributed to social disadvantage, such as race, ethnic origin, gender or physical handicap. Economically disadvantaged individuals are socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the marketplace is limited due to diminished capital and credit opportunities compared to others in the same or similar lines of business who are not socially disadvantaged.
  • The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Procurement Program. This program is designed to allow government agencies with the authority to set aside a select number of government contracts exclusively for businesses that are at least 51 percent owned and controlled by a service-disabled veteran or veterans.
  • The Woman-Owned Small Businesses Program. This program sets aside certain federal contracts for eligible woman-owned small businesses. Similar to the other programs listed above, a small business eligible under this program must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more women.
  • The HUBZone Program. The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (“HUBZone”) program is designed to help small businesses in certain urban and rural communities to gain preferential access to federal contract opportunities. To qualify for the HUBZone program, your small business must be located in an area that has been designated as a Historically Underutilized Business zone.

The Robinson & Henry team can help you evaluate these and other contracting programs and certifications available to you, evaluate your eligibility for them, understand their regulatory requirements, and prepare your applications for them.

Where do I start?

Make sure you’re a small business. Whether you are a small business is determined by standards set by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The evaluation looks at average number of employees over the previous year, or average annual receipts over the previous three years, based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code(s) for your business.

Have your D-U-N-S number. Dun & Bradstreet (“D-U-N-S”) Number registration is free but requires that your business register for a separate number at each physical location.

Register. The federal government uses a database known as the System of Award Management (SAM) to manage government agencies and potential vendors. In addition to entering core data about your business, this registration process also requires you to complete several certifications as to whether your business is aware of and in compliance with certain environmental, labor and integrity laws, and other regulatory requirements.

The experienced attorneys at Robinson & Henry will be able to walk you through the steps to properly certify your business as a small business, to obtain a D-U-N-S number, to register your business and make the required certifications in SAM, and many other steps.

Then what?

Robinson & Henry can  assist you in:

  • finding contract opportunities for your specific business;
  • outlining steps necessary to succeed in your bid;
  • reviewing your proposal for compliance with terms and conditions; and
  • understanding a solicitation’s provisions and evaluation factors for winning a contract, understanding a contract’s terms and conditions, and understanding relevant government rules and regulations.

We are also ready to assist you with challenges or issues that might arise while performing a government contract.

Call Robinson & Henry to set up an assessment with our government contracts attorneys

The government awards lucrative government contracts to thousands of small businesses every year. Don’t miss out on this chance to grow your small business as a government contractor. The government contracting attorneys at Robinson & Henry have years of experience navigating the various avenues for receiving government contracts. Our team can research and help you find the perfect opportunities, assess your business’ eligibility for them, help you prepare a proposal or bid, and help you comply with the terms of the contract and applicable law after award.

If you are interested in your business taking the next step forward, call 303-688-0944 and set up a initial assessment with one of our highly-skilled attorneys.

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