Doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD) can be difficult if you don’t understand the basic requirements that are needed. Below is a list of eleven (11) steps that detail the basics of what a company needs to do in order to start doing business with the DoD. Make sure you follow each of these steps and document the results of each one. To understand what opportunities are available from the DoD and Government, visit Federal Opportunities.
Step 1: Identify Your Product or Service:
It is essential to know the Federal Supply Class or Service (FSC/SVC) codes and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for your products or services.
Step 2: Register Your Business
- Obtain a DUNS Number: The Data Universal Number System (DUNS) Number is a unique nine character identification. If you do not have a DUNS Number, contact Dun and Bradstreet to obtain one.
- Register with Central Contractor Registration (CCR/PRO-Net): You must be registered in Central Contractor Registration (CCR) to be awarded a contract from the DoD.
- Register with System for Award Management (SAMS): You must be registered in SAMS.
Step 3: Obtain a Contractor and Government Entity (CAGE) Code or NATO Contractor and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code
The CAGE Code (for U.S. vendors) and NCAGE Code (for foreign vendors) is a required piece of data for registering in the CCR System. If you are a vendor located in the U.S. and do not have a CAGE Code, a CAGE Code will be assigned to you when you register in the CCR System for the first time. A foreign vendor must contact its country representative to receive its NCAGE Code assignment. A list of country representatives can be found at:
- To look up already in use CAGE Codes, and
- Fill out CAGE Code DD Form 2051 to register.
Step 4: Identify Your Target Market within DoD
Research DoD Personnel & Procurement Statistics . Of particular interest to small businesses is the Standard Tabulation (ST) 28 report of products and services purchased each fiscal year by the DoD. Data on the ST28 are sorted by FSC/SVC code and provide name and location of DoD contracting offices. This report is found at the bottom of the Procurement Statistics page and can be cross-referenced with the list of Small Business Specialists within the ARMY , NAVY , AIR FORCE and other Defense Agencies (ODAs).
Step 5: Identify Current DoD Procurement Opportunities
Identify current procurement opportunities in your product or service area by checking the electronic version of the Federal Business Opportunities website, which can assist you in identifying DoD, as well as other Federal procurement opportunities.
Step 6: Familiarize Yourself with DoD Contracting Procedures
Be familiar with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS)
Step 7: Investigate Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Contracts
Many DoD purchases are, in fact, orders on Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts. Contact the General Services Administration (GSA) for information on how to obtain a FSS contract.
Step 8: Seek Additional Assistance as Needed
There are several important resources that are available to assist you in the DoD marketplace:
Step 9: Explore Sub-contracting Opportunities
Regardless of your product or service it is important that you do not neglect our very large secondary market, Our guide Subcontracting Opportunities with DoD Prime Contractors. This directory provides, by state, the names and addresses of DoD prime contractors, the names and telephone numbers of Small Business Liaison Officers (SBLOs), and the products and services supplied to the DoD. The report is generated from data mined through DoD Prime Contractor’s contracts and subcontracting plans.
Step 10: Investigate DoD Small-Business Programs
There are several programs that may be of interest to you such as: Veteran-Owned, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned, HUBZone, Small Disadvantaged, Woman-Owned, Small Business Innovation Research, Small Business Technology Transfer, Mentor-Protégé, and Indian Incentive. Information on all these programs is available on the DoD Office of Small Business Programs website.
Step 11: Market Your Firm Well
After you have identified your customers, researched their requirements, and familiarized yourself with DoD procurement regulations and strategies, it is time to market your product or service. Present your capabilities directly to the DoD activities that buy your products or services.