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Getting Started as a Government Contractor

Small Business Eligibility

USDA follows SBA’s definition of a Small Business. The definition of a small business changes by industry. Use the SBA ~ Table of Size Standards page to see if your business is eligible.

Gather info at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or use the Chamber of Commerce Directory to find an office or resources near you.

Advancing Equity

Woman Owned
Minority Owned
Veteran Owned
Underserved Areas
Executive Order on Equity
Small Disadvantaged

  • 8(a) Business Development Program
  • HUBZone Program
  • Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program
  • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program

Get Started with Trainings

Online Training

General Information

Become a Certified Government Contractor

Check out SBA's site for information on Becoming a Federal Contractor. In short, for your small business to serve as a prime contractor or subcontractor, you’ll need to legally qualify as a small business and register as a government contractor. Then you can start looking for both prime or subcontracting opportunities with the federal government.

Become a Certified Small Business

  1. Assess the size of your business with the SBA Table of Size Standards for eligibility.
  2. Review Advancing Equity pages above for additional assistance.
  3. Get an SBA mentor to help with the process.

Register Your Business

  1. NAICS - Match your products and services to a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. NAICS codes classify businesses based on the particular product or service they supply. Find your NAICS code at the U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. SAM - System for Award Management (SAM) Registration. Business entities must be registered with
  3. DUNS Number - Dun and Bradstreet’s Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number. Business entities must have a DUNS Number which can be obtained at no cost via the toll-free request line at (866) 705–5711 or online at DUNS Number.

Become an SBA Certified Contractor

  1. Government agencies reserve contracts for small businesses that are certified in SBA’s contracting programs.
  2. Simply answer a few questions at to discover if your company should pursue participation in SBA’s contracting programs with the Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program, HUBZone Program, or 8(a) Business Development Program.

Compete for Contracts

  1. Get information on Contracting with USDA.
  2. Learn how to find and win contracts with SBA Federal Contracting resources.

Procurement Opportunities

  1. to search Contract Opportunities. Create an optional SAM user account to save searches, follow changes to opportunities, and join interested vendor lists.
  2. Contracts over $25,000 - FedBizOpps (FBO)
  3. Subcontracting opportunities –

Maintain Compliance

  1. Comply with all laws and regulations. The federal government's purchasing process is governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Regulations covering government contracting programs for small businesses are listed in 13 CFR 125.
  2. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service of the U.S. Department of the Treasury manages the Do Not Pay (DNP) system. USDA Agencies use this secure online interface to check various data sources to verify eligibility of a vendor, grantee, loan recipient, or beneficiary to receive federal payments.

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