Decided to sell to government agencies? Once you know your target agencies (federal, state, local, etc.), take the time to complete any registrations required. These registrations serve many purposes, and are important for establishing the groundwork for your government sales effort.
Where do you register? This depends on your targets. Below are some places you might want to start:
- Federal: Register in the System for Award Management (SAM) at www.sam.gov. SAM is the official U.S. Government system for contract databases. Registration is required for federal contractors to compete for contracts, and to get paid once they win. Note: you may have heard this system referred to as the Central Contracting Registry (CCR). The CCR transitioned to SAM in 2013.
- State: Each state has its own registration process – there is no centralized system. Identify the states where you want to do business, search out these individual systems, and work through the registration.
- Local: Many local governmental units, school districts, colleges and universities have joined together to participate in cooperative bidding systems. In some cases, these are the same systems used by state governments.
Why should you register? One of the best reasons is that many agencies require an active registration in order to be awarded contracts or get paid. It is also a marketing tool, as agency buyers might use the database of registered vendors to solicit bids in certain product or service categories.
What information is needed for government registrations? Before starting through the registration process, you should have some basic information about your company handy. This includes tax ID numbers, product/service codes and descriptions for the things you want to sell, points of contact with phone and email information. In many cases, registration includes banking and financial information to allow for payment through EFT. Most registration websites include guidance on what will be required during the process.
Stay organized! As you begin completing government registrations, keep track of such information as the governmental unit you are registering with, the applicable websites, user IDs and passwords created at each site. Once you are registered, you will need to access this information to locate and submit bids, retrieve bid results, and update your profiles. When you start bidding with a governmental agency, you might find there are further registrations needed, i.e., individual state agencies with further registration requirements, or certifications like 8(a) and HUBZone at the federal level.
For more tips on where and how to register to do business with the government, give us a call. Our clients use us for these services, and you can too.