Business Steps

Business Steps

Step 1: Identify Your Product or Service

Identify your product or service by its Procurement Classification Code (that is, the Federal Supply Code or Federal Service Code) or by its 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 System of Award Management (SAM): You must be registered in SAM to be awarded a contract from the DoD. During SAM registration you will be given a Contractor and Government Entity (CAGE) Code.


Step 3: If you are a small business, explore programs with the Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA offers assistance and certification in preference programs to small business concerns. We encourage you to determine whether your firm qualifies for section 8(a), small disadvantaged business, HUBZone, or service-disabled veteran-owned small business certification while visiting the SBA website at This site also provides information about other SBA resources, such as Small Business Development Centers, Service Corps of Retired Executives, Women’s Business Development Centers, and Veterans Business Development. Information on all these programs is available on the DoD Office of Small Business Programs website.


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). See Government Customers page.


Step 5: Identify Current DoD Procurement Opportunities

Identify current procurement opportunities in your product or service area by checking the Business Opportunities webpage where you will see a list of government procurement websites.


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:

  • DoD Small Business Specialists are located at each DoD buying activity to provide assistance on how to market to the DoD.
  • Procurement Technical Assistance Centers are located in most states and partially funded by DoD to provide small business concerns with information on how to do business with the DoD.  They provide training and counseling on marketing, financial, and contracting issues at minimal or no cost.


Step 9: Explore Sub-contracting Opportunities

Regardless of your product or service, it is important to consider a secondary market. For example, refer to “Subcontracting Opportunities with DoD Prime Contractors“.  This website lists all major DoD prime contractors by state and provides a point of contact (Small Business Liaison Officer) within each firm. You are encouraged you to investigate potential opportunities with these firms. Many firms also have websites that may be useful, and we encourage you to consider contractor teaming arrangements.

The Small Business Administration’s SUB-Net is a valuable source for obtaining information on subcontracting opportunities. Solicitations or notices are posted not only by prime contractors, but the SUB-Net is also used by other government, commercial, and educational entities.


Step 10: Investigate other DoD programs

There are several other programs that may be of interest to you, such as the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program, the Small Business Innovation Research Program, and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions Program. Information on these and other programs is available on the website of the DoD Office of Small Business Programs.


Step 11: Familiarize yourself with the DoD’s electronic invoicing capabilities

We encourage you to register with Wide Area Workflow (WAWF). This tool is DoD’s primary system for the electronic processing of invoices and receiving reports. By submitting your invoices and receiving reports through the Web, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), or File Transfer Protocol (FTP), they will be routed electronically, resulting in more efficient payments to you.


Step 12: 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. The Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG) at is the official web site for all federal procurement data and reports. This site requires registration for a user account and is free to the public. at also contains current DoD procurement data. This data can assist your marketing efforts. Present your capabilities directly to the DoD activities that buy your products or services. Realize that, like you, their time is valuable, but if the match is a good one, you can provide them with a cost-effective, quality solution to their requirements.

Good Luck!