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Federal Tips & Resources

Types of Opportunities

The federal government purchases many different goods and services. How they purchase what they need often depends on the dollar amount they plan to spend. For small dollar purchases federal government agencies can buy direct without competition. This “micro-purchase” is updated from time to time in the Federal Acquisition Regulation at 48 CFR Subpart 2.1 (Definitions). For any purchase over $25,000 agencies will post on so searching that system is a great place to start some basic market research.

Steps to Contract with Federal Government

  1. Get a computer (or access to one) & get on the Internet! More and more government business is conducted online. Even if you do not have your own website, you must at least have an email address.
  2. Conduct market research to find out which government agencies buy what you sell. Search the following sites , , or to see what the government is buying now and what they’ve bought in the past.
  3. Find or request your DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number. The D&B D-U-N-S Number provides unique identifiers of single business entities, while linking corporate family structures together. You can request a free DUNS number online by clicking here.
  4. Find out your NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) codes. These are codes that describe what your business does. Be sure to keep these codes handy, as you will need them when filling out Government registrations or searching for bids.
  5. Register with the System for Award Management (SAM). Companies who want to do business with the Federal Government are required to be registered in SAM. Registering in SAM is free. Do not pay to register to sell to the federal government.

Assistance with Federal Contracting

PTAC - The Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is a statewide program headquartered in the Thurston EDC. PTAC offers no cost, confidential, one-on-one technical assistance in all aspects of selling to federal, state and local governments. If you are outside Washington State, find the PTAC serving your area at – Help with government contracting including common terms, contacts in federal agencies, contract opportunity finder.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Portland

Small Business Administration (SBA) Seattle

Government Contracting Guide – designed for defense contractors, helpful for everyone.

Tips to Remember

Many federal government agencies have an Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization. To learn more about doing business with a particular agency, we recommend searching online for "OSDBU" and the agency name.

  • Always keep copies of applications you have completed. Be sure you write down the dates you submitted the applications on the copies.
  • Always write down and keep any passwords, registration numbers, and PINS. These can be very hard to replace if you lose them!
  • Don’t hesitate to call the help lines on websites if you have questions. Once again, keep track of who and when you called.
  • If you call a help line and aren’t satisfied with the person you are talking to, document the call, hang up, call back and talk to someone else.
  • Keep documentation of everything! You may need it in the future.
  • Contact a PTAC counselor at any time!


MBDA Business Center - Tacoma

The MBDA Business Center located in Tacoma, Washington is operated by the City of Tacoma. The center is part of a national network of funded centers located in major cities throughout the United States. The center works with minority business enterprises to generate increased financing and contract opportunities and to create and retain jobs.

The program's objective is to provide ongoing, quality assistance to minority businesses with rapid growth potential so that they can achieve greater participation in the development of the nation's commerce. The center provides technical assistance and strategic business consulting to minority business enterprises to generate increased financing and contracting opportunities.

MBDA is a leader in strengthening the economy and improving the lives of all Americans. We support job growth and economic expansion through a network of MBDA business centers, collaboration with federal, state and local government agencies, and strategic partnerships. We support job growth and economic expansion through a network of MBDA business centers, collaboration with federal, state and local government agencies, and strategic partnerships.

This Web site includes links to North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) and economic census information. OMWBE uses the NAICS business descriptions to categorize the primary activity of a firm for small business size determination.

The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) administers the Department of Labor's responsibility to ensure procurement opportunities for small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses, HUBZone businesses, and businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. OSDBU serves as the Department's Ombudsman for small businesses under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA).

This Web site includes links to federal business opportunities, PRO-Net, and the U.S. Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program regulations (49 CFR 26).

This Web site includes links to business information; contracting opportunities, including work at Hanford; technical assistance; sources of money; and EPA industry topics.

DOT's DBE Program seeks to ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts in the Department's highway, transit, and airport financial assistance programs and to create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for DOT-assisted contracts.

Created by Congress in 1976, the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government.

Providing technical assistance to Washington State businesses, the Washington State Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) works to give businesses the opportunity to thrive in the government-contracting marketplace. Washington PTAC's mission is to increase the number of government contracts awarded to Washington firms so that those firms can grow. We provide no cost, confidential, one-on-one technical assistance in all aspects of selling to federal, state, and local governments. PTAC advises businesses on bid reviews, marketing assistance, contract performance, small business designations, and more. PTAC hosts procurement training classes and seminars, and helps businesses register with the correct databases in order to compete for government contracts.

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With over 40 years of assisting American Indian Tribes and their enterprises with business and economic development - we have evolved into the largest national Indian specific business organization in the nation.

This site is designated as the single source for federal government procurement opportunities that exceed $25,000. If you are interested in bidding on government contracts, you can sign up to automatically receive procurement information. You can also search procurements by solicitation number, date, classification code, and agency for both active and archived solicitations.

This unique program seeks to encourage major DoD prime contractors (mentors) to develop the technical and business capabilities of small disadvantaged businesses and other eligible proteges.

This federal government site guides you through the maze of government rules and regulations and provides access to services and resources to help you start, grow, and succeed in business. Topics include government contracting, business laws, financing, special entrepreneurs (women, minorities, veterans, etc.), and more.

The System for Award Management (SAM) is the Official U.S. Government system that consolidated the capabilities of CCR/FedReg, ORCA, and EPLS. There is NO fee to register for this site.