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How to Become a Government Contractor

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

Are you interested in becoming a government contractor? If so, you may have already discovered that the process can be tricky and confusing. However, with the right guidance and information, you can become a successful government contractor and land lucrative contracts.

To begin with, let's define what it means to be a government contractor. A government contractor is a company or individual who provides goods or services to a government agency in exchange for payment. Becoming a government contractor typically involves bidding on contracts or responding to Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from government agencies.

So, how do you get into government contracting? Here are some steps to follow:

1. Research the industry

Before you start bidding on contracts or responding to RFPs, it's important to understand the regulations and requirements of the government contracting industry. This includes familiarizing yourself with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and other relevant laws and regulations.

Additionally, you should research the specific agencies and departments that you are interested in working with. This will help you understand their needs and priorities, as well as their budget cycles and procurement processes.

2. Register your business

To become a federal contractor, you'll need to register your business with the System for Award Management (SAM). This is a federal database that is used by government agencies to search for and select contractors. Registration is free, but it can take several weeks to complete.

In addition to registering with SAM, you may also need to obtain a DUNS number and other certifications and licenses depending on the type of work you plan to do.

3. Search for opportunities

Once you're registered with SAM, you can start searching for opportunities to bid on contracts or respond to RFPs. There are several websites that list government contracting opportunities, including and

It's important to note that competition for government contracts can be fierce, so it's important to carefully review the requirements of each opportunity and make sure that your company can meet them before submitting a bid or proposal.

4. Create a strong proposal

When responding to an RFP, it's important to create a strong proposal that highlights your company's strengths and capabilities. This includes demonstrating your experience in the industry, outlining your approach to the project, and providing a detailed budget and timeline.

It's also important to pay attention to the evaluation criteria in the RFP and address each requirement in your proposal. Keep in mind that government agencies are often looking for specific qualifications, such as security clearances or experience working with a particular technology.

5. Build relationships with government agencies

Finally, building relationships with government agencies can be an important part of becoming a successful government contractor. This includes attending industry events and conferences, networking with government officials, and maintaining a positive reputation in the industry.

By following these steps and staying informed about the government contracting industry, you can become a successful government contractor and land lucrative contracts.

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