Answers to a few frequently asked questions about contracting with the government and working with Montana PTAC

Do you want to sell your products or services to the government? Are you wondering whether your business is suited for government contracting? Do you need help figuring out where to go, how to start? Are you perplexed by registrations, regulations, certifications, bids and solicitations?

Montana PTAC offers you personal, timely advice on government contracting. Our experienced government contracting advisors can help you answer the above questions and many more. We encourage you to contact the Montana PTAC nearest you to visit with one of our highly qualified staff members.

What is PTAC?

PTAC stands for Procurement Technical Assistance Centers. But to make the term easier for you to remember, at Montana PTAC, we like to use the letters to explain what we do: offer Personal, Timely, Advice on Contracting with the government. However you choose to remember our name, just remember that PTAC is here to help you with your questions and concerns about selling to the government.

How much do you charge for PTAC services?

The majority of Montana PTAC’s services are free. Occasionally, we may charge a small fee to cover costs for special or large-scale training and events. Montana PTAC can provide free or low-cost services because our program is nonprofit. PTACs are funded by the federal government and cooperating state/local entities.

Some companies sell services related to government contracting. Their Web sites often resemble official government sites. Before you pay for assistance with registrations, certifications or other government contracting services, we encourage you to call a PTAC.

Does the government buy what I sell?

The federal government buys almost every type of product or service imaginable from businesses of all sizes. A PTAC government contracting advisor can help you research opportunities and awards to see what agencies would most likely buy from you.

How can PTAC help me?

Montana PTAC offers a wide range of government contracting assistance including, but not limited to: market research; bid and proposal assistance; bid matching; solicitation review; registration assistance with government databases; government codes, regulations and requirements; small business programs and certifications. We offer many other services related to government contracting as well. Call the PTAC closest to you to learn how we can help you prepare for, then proceed and prosper in, the government marketplace.

Does PTAC help with loans and grants?

Montana PTAC helps individuals and nonprofit organizations with the basic processes or database registrations that are required to do business with the federal government. However, we do not provide grant or loan assistance. The mission of Montana PTAC is to assist businesses interested in selling their products or services to government agencies.

Where is the nearest PTAC?

To find the Montana PTAC nearest you, click here: Locations. Remember that we serve businesses throughout the state. If you are unable to meet with us personally, we will arrange to consult with you over the phone. If your business is not located in Montana, click here: Resources. Under the Resources tab, you will find a link to our national professional association with information on PTACs throughout the country.

How do I get started in government contracting?

The processes and requirements vary for state and local government contracting. But to sell your products or services to the federal government, you must first take several required steps:

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), then:

  1. Obtain a DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet.
  2. Find your NAICS codes.
  3. Register in SAM (System for Award Management) database.

You can access more information on these steps by clicking this link: Helpful Web Sites; however, we advise you to call a Montana PTAC government contracting advisor for free assistance with the above steps.

After I get registered, how long will it take to secure a government contract?

Winning that first government contract can take time – one study estimated an average of 18 to 24 months. It also takes patience, perseverance and, above all, commitment.

You must be committed to learning how the government works, finding the right people, perfecting your sales pitch, researching opportunities, and submitting bids. And after you receive that first contract, you must then meet the challenge to perform.

Fortunately, Montana PTAC can help. We are dedicated to providing you with personal, timely advice on contracting with the government and supporting you in your efforts to learn, grow and succeed.