Doing Business with Us

A Step by Step Approach to the DoD Marketplace


There are several basic steps every company should do to increase their ability to contract in the marketplace. Becoming a government contractor can increase your company’s growth in many ways. Follow the links to prepare for doing business with the government.

1.Identify your product or service.

It is essential to know the Federal Supply Class or Service (FSC/SVC) codes, the Product Service Codes (PSCs) and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for your products, services or industry in which your organization normally does business. Many government product/service listings and future procurements are identified according to the PSC. or NAICS Code.

The North American Industry Classification System or NAICS is used by business and government to classify business establishments according to type of economic activity (process of production) in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

2.Obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and register in the System for Award Management (SAM).

You must register your Entity (business, individual, or government agency) to do business with the Federal Government. If you do not have a DUNS Number, contact Dun and Bradstreet to obtain one at After obtaining a DUNS number, you should register in the System for Award Management (SAM) for contracts at A DUNS Number and SAM registration are prerequisites for any contract award. SAM is the Official U.S. Government system that consolidated the capabilities of the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), ORCA, and EPLS. It is a database designed to hold information relevant to procurement and financial transactions. SAM affords you the opportunity for fast electronic payment of your invoices. Entities may register at no cost directly from the Website. User guides and webinars are available under the Help tab.

3.Vendors must obtain a Contractor and Government Entity Code (CAGE) 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 SAM. 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 SAM system for the first time. The CAGE Welcome information page is at A foreign vendor must contact its country representative to receive its NCAGE Code assignment. A list of country representatives can be found at The NCAGE Code request form is at

4. As a small business, explore programs with the Small Business Administration (SBA).

DoD Small Business Specialists are located at each DoD buying activity to provide assistance on how to market to the DoD. See and under the tab “for Small Businesses” click on the link for “Doing Business with DoD,” and to “Locate a Small Business Professional.

The SBA offers assistance and certification in preference programs to small business concerns, go to 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. See The PTACs provide training and counseling on marketing, financial, and contracting issues at minimal or no cost.

The General Services Administration (GSA) helps small businesses stay competitive in the federal market. Online and onsite federal experts offer small businesses the training tools to succeed, visit:

5. Identifying current DoD procurement opportunities.

Businesses should first visit Federal Business Opportunities, or FedBizOpps, and register at the website to be notified of newly posted opportunities in their industries. FedBizOpps is the official Website that allows the private sector to electronically access government-wide procurement opportunities. FedBizOpps provides a comprehensive database of all major government solicitations, contract awards, subcontracting opportunities, surplus property sales, and foreign business opportunities with the federal government and is located at Many agencies, military departments and contracting offices also have procurement Websites. Check the individual sites for other possible sources of information.

6.Familiarize yourself with DoD contracting regulations and procedures.

Familiarize yourself with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS)

7.Investigate Federal Supply Schedule (FSS).

As the centralized procurement arm for the federal government, GSA offers products, services, and facilities needed by federal agencies for serving the public. In turn, GSA offers businesses the opportunity to sell billions of dollars’ worth of products and services to those agencies.

The GSA Schedules (also referred to as Multiple Award Schedules and Federal Supply Schedules) Program, establishes long-term government-wide contracts with commercial firms to provide access to over 11 million commercial supplies (products) and services. These can be ordered directly from GSA Schedule contractors or through the online shopping and ordering system.


While the GSA Schedules Program is only one of GSA’s procurement vehicles, it is one of the largest programs and the most preferred for commercial products and services. Contact the GSA for information on how to obtain a schedule contract, go to

8.Explore FedMall Contracts.

FedMall is an eCommerce ordering system for DOD, Federal, State, and authorized local Agencies to search for and acquire products from government reserves and commercial sources. Buyers have access to over 29 million individual items of supply, including centrally-managed DOD and General Service Administration (GSA) assets as well as commercial off-the-shelf products. Buyers can use MILSTRIP or Government purchase card and have reconciliation power at their fingertips.

The FedMall website provides information on how to become a supplier for FedMall. Suppliers are able sell on FedMall without a contract through FedMall MarketPlace, using a GSA Schedule, and/or a FedMall awarded contract through the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Contract Support Office (DSCO).

FedMall provides the transparency, velocity, and versatility that today's DoD buyers and suppliers demand. Suppliers must have a CAGE code and not debarred or banned from doing business with the Government.

9.Seek additional assistance, as needed, in the DoD marketplace.

There are several important resources that are available to assist you in the DoD marketplace:

The DoD Office of Small Business Programs has a website providing information on doing Business with the DoD at

The Defense Pricing and Contracting (DPC) website DPC is responsible for all Contractingand Procurement policy matters including e-Business in the Department of Defense (DoD). Click on the “eBusiness” tab for more information on a number of systems with which you should be familiar.

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.

10.Look for Subcontracting opportunities.

Regardless of your product or service, it is important to consider our very large secondary market. We encourage you to consider contractor teaming arrangements.

The SBA’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. We encourage you to investigate potential opportunities with these firms many of which also have websites that may be useful.

11.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 DoD Office of Small Business Programs website,

12.Familiarize yourself with the DoD's electronic invoicing capabilities.

Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) e-Business Suite 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. More information on WAWF can be found at

13.Market your product or service 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 to the DoD activities that buy your products or services. at also contains current DoD procurement data. This data can assist your marketing efforts. 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 meet their requirements.




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Frequently Asked Questions

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 Does the Department of the Army offer business loans or grants to start or expand a small business?
The Department of the Army does not offer loans or grants to being or expand a small business. For loans or grants, please contact SBA.

 How can I obtain assistance or training on preparing bids/proposals?
SBA provides valuable information on applicable training resources and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is also a valuable resource. PTAC offices can be located at
 How can I obtain assistance or training on preparing bids/proposals?
SBA provides valuable information on applicable training resources and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is also a valuable resource. PTAC offices can be located at
 How do I certify my company as a small business (small, small disadvantaged, woman-owned, veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, HUBZone)?
The HUBZone, Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB), and 8(a) programs require certification from SBA; you must apply for those directly. Please visit for additional information.
 How do I find out about an upcoming solicitation?

All federal agencies are required to publicize bidding opportunities on FedBizOpps when the purchase is expected to exceed $25,000, so anyone with Internet access can find out about these opportunities. You can register your firm with FedBizOpps. This allows you to set up filters to view and receive the information that is of interest to you. There is a tutorial on the homepage to help you navigate through FedBizOpps.

 How do I find out what types of projects your District will be doing this year?
The Honolulu District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers publishes a fiscal year forecast.  To obtain a listing of upcoming projects click here. We update this forecast twice a year, once in the spring and early fall.  This is a snapshot of forecasted requirements for the current year. These requirements may or may not be executed and are contingent upon funding, real estate, etc. Dates provided are approximates only. You must still monitor FedBizOpps to see if and when these requirements are announced
 How do I get an appointment to provide a capability briefing?

Do your homework! Before we consider setting an appointment for a small business, we ask that you go to the Honolulu Districts Website and familiarize yourself with what we do in our district. You need to be able to communicate how your firm can be a solution provider for our district, and why we should consider you over other similar firms. Depending on the situation and schedules, we may recommend a project manager attend the meeting.

 How do I get registered with the Honolulu District of the Corps?

 The Honolulu District of the US Army Corps of Engineers does not require you to register your company with us. Instead, we recommend you register your firm in System for Award Management (SAM). If you plan to bid on Federal work this registration is REQUIRED in order to receive a DoD Prime contract. It is also a useful marketing tool that gives your company visibility. Large Businesses, Federal and other Agencies search for small business capabilities on CCR as well as Dynamic Small Business Search, which can be accessed from the homepage.

If you have never done work with the federal government, we strongly recommend you contact your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). The PTAC’s role is to work with businesses to help them obtain and perform federal, state and local government contracts by educating the companies on the processes necessary for securing these contracts. They also help by connecting businesses with government agencies seeking competitively priced products and services. For a list of PTAC service centers in Hawaii click here. 

 How is a small business defined or categorized?  
A small business concern is a business, including its affiliates, that is independently owned and operated, not dominant in the field of operation in which it is bidding on contracts and qualified as a small business under the applicable size standards in 13 CFR Part 121 (FAR 19.102). The size standard is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and is currently figured by either dollar revenue or number of employees. Please visit for additional information.
 I’ve done construction work for private industry, how is a federal government construction project any different?
There are a number of differences including quality control plans, safety plans, specific payroll requirements, insurance, background checks, etc. Again, you must pay close attention to the specific requirements outlined in the solicitation. If you have any questions regarding the requirements, please submit them prior to submitting your proposal.
 What is the difference between 8(a) certification and SDB certification?
The 8(a) program is a business development program that offers a broad scope of assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged firms. SDB certification pertains to benefits in Federal procurements. 8(a) firms automatically qualify for SDB certification. Please visit SBA’s website at for additional information.
 What is the difference between Small Business Participation Plan goals and Small Business Subcontracting Plan goals?
Small Business Participation Plan goals are based on the total contract value IAW DFARS 215.304. The Small Business Participation Plan is a rated factor. Small Business Subcontracting Plan goals/targets are based on total subcontracted dollars IAW FAR 19.701. Acceptable goals/targets are subject to negotiations between the Contracting Officer and the contractor.
 Why do I need to respond to Sources Sought (Market Survey) notices?
Sources Sought notices are posted in FedBizOpps in order to determine if there is a reasonable expectation that offers will be obtained from at least two responsible small business concerns. If you don’t respond, we may not have enough small business interest and we will have to issue the acquisition as unrestricted (full and open). It’s important that you pay close attention to the information we request and provide a complete and detailed response as requested.