Where to Find More Information
Numerous free resources are available to businesses interested in selling their products or services to the government. No fees are associated with required steps such as obtaining an EIN or DUNS number, registering in SAM or researching for opportunities and previous contract awards. This page contains links to Web sites where you may be required to register or where you can find more information on doing business with the government. These Web sites are but a few of the free resources and tools available to you.
When researching government contracting topics, we urge you to be cautious and, if a fee is charged for a service that interests you, make certain that you fully understand what you are purchasing. If you have questions, call a PTAC to determine whether similar services are available to you at no charge.
At Montana PTAC, we know that government contracting is complex. We also understand that the related information can be overwhelming.
We would be pleased to introduce you to the resources below, to guide you through the various registration processes, and to help you locate the information most pertinent to you. For personal, timely advice on government contracting, contact the PTAC nearest you.
Get down to business. The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a wide array of services to help Americans start, build and grow businesses. Find comprehensive information on topics such as business planning, size standards and small business classifications at http://www.sba.gov
Establish your identity. Apply for your free Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS): http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Employer-ID-Numbers-EINs
Obtain your DUNS. Register with Dun & Bradstreet for a free DUNS number. A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit number that identifies your business’s physical location. A DUNS number is required for any federal contractor or grantee: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform
Crack the Codes. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code indicates a company’s line of business. You will need to enter your company’s NAICS code(s) in the System for Award Management (SAM) database. Find your NAICS code(s) at https://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics
Register with SAM. Registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) database is a requirement for anyone doing business with the federal government: https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/#1 For more information about SAM and help with completing your registration, click on the Help tab on the menu bar near the top of SAM’s home page. On the left-side of the page, you will find Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Users’ Guides and Demonstration Videos. You can also receive page-by-page guidance on registering in SAM by clicking on this link at the very top of the home page: View assistance for SAM.gov
Follow the Money. To learn more about how and where the federal government spends money, check out http://usaspending.gov/ To find out how much money is spent in Montana, for example, type “Montana” into the search box at the top of the page and click “search.” On the next page, on the right-hand side you can choose from a number of filters, including: Type of Spending (grants, contract awards, loans, etc.), By Agency (who spent the money); By Recipient (who received the grant, award, etc.); By Product Service Code and By Principal NAICS Description (the type of products/services purchased). This is a great way to find out if the federal government buys what you have to sell.
Find Federal Business Opportunities on FBO. On FBO, also known as FedBizOpps, you can search for current opportunities, research previous awards, and register to have opportunities emailed to you. FBO is a government-sponsored Web site where agencies can publicly post opportunities over $25,000: https://www.fbo.gov/
Explore Montana. On Montana’s official Web site, http://montana.gov/, visit the OneStop Vendor Information under the Business tab on the home page. At http://vendor.mt.gov/default.mcpx you can learn how to do business with the state, explore current and recently closed opportunities, and register to be have state opportunities emailed to you.