Everything Government Contracting

New Hampshire District Office - December 21, 2020

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If you sell to the government or would like to explore this market, you should become a NH-PTAC Client - if you haven’t already.

Procurement Technical Assistance Center




The New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)

is a cooperative program of the Division of Economic Development and the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Logistics Agency, providing specialized assistance for contracting and subcontracting opportunities with Department of Defense, other federal agencies and state and local governments.

Services and seminars are free to businesses of all sizes that are located in NH to help bid on, and win, government contracts. For more information about the NH Procurement Technical Assistance Center, call 603-271-7581 or by email

For more information 

Selling to the Government Contracting Guide

Every year, the federal government spends over $600 billion on everything from space heaters to space shuttles. Why shouldn't your small business have a chance to get your piece of the government contracting pie? It should, can, and will. The SBA has created government contracting programs that help level the playing field for your small business so you can compete in this lucrative market. Learn how to get started, how to evaluate if your business qualifies, how to bid and earn contracts, set-asides and more. 

Assess Your Business: Does the Government Purchase Your Product or Service?

Evaluate your small business to see if it has what it takes to win a government contract. Is your product or service something the federal government purchases? Use the resources below to see if there’s a market for your product or service, determine how big the market is, and find potential buyers.

Beta SAM.gov

The repository of all federal contracting data for contracts over $25,000. With this system, you can see which agencies have contracts and with who, what agencies buy, and which contractors have contracts.


USASpending.gov tracks government spending through the contracts it awards. This searchable database contains information for each federal contract. You can use this information to help identify government purchasing trends

Federal agency procurement forecasts

Each government agency releases a procurement forecast that includes contracting opportunities for small businesses. You can review these Agency Recurring Procurement Forecasts to find out if there are agencies that are buying what you sell.

Government contracting classroom

What Makes a Successful Contractor?

The government prefers to work with established, reliable businesses. Do you have a track record of delivering quality goods and services on time and within budget? Is your reputation within your industry strong?

Not only can it take a long time to win your first government contract, it can take a significant amount of money. Some businesses spend between $80,000 and $130,000 to earn their first contract.

Also, it could take up to two years to start making a return on your investment. You’ll need to have enough cash flow to sustain your business. Maintaining a diverse list of private-sector clients can help offset any potential initial losses.

Being e-commerce savvy is very important in government contracting. For example, if you want to work with the Department of Defense, you must be able to invoice and receive payments electronically.

What Do You Need to Get Started?

Government Contracting Eligibility

DUNS number

Before you can bid on government proposals, you need to get a Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) number. A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business.

To apply for a DUNS number, visit DUNS Request Service.

NAICS code

You’ll also need to 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. A business will generally have a primary NAICS code, but it can also have multiple NAICS codes if it sells multiple products and services.

To find your NAICS code, view the NAICS code list at the U.S. Census Bureau.

Meet size standards

To be eligible for government contracts reserved for small businesses, your business must meet size requirements set by the SBA. These size standards define the maximum size that a business — and its affiliates — can be to qualify as a small business for a particular contract.

The SBA assigns a size standard to each NAICS code. Most manufacturing companies with 500 employees or fewer, and most non-manufacturing businesses with average annual receipts under $7.5 million, will qualify as a small business.

Register with SAM

To participate in government contracting, you must register your business in the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM). SAM is a database that government agencies search to find contractors.

Using SAM, you’ll able to certify that your business is eligible for contracts that are reserved for small businesses. You’ll also be able to represent if your business is eligible for contracts under an SBA contracting program because it is disadvantagedwomen ownedveteran owned, or located in an underutilized area.

Your small business’ profile in SAM is like a résumé. Creating a profile that’s accurate and appealing is important to winning a government contract. Make sure to use accurate, descriptive terms about your business so that contracting officials will be able to find you in search results.

How to Win Contracts

Government Contracting

To win federal contracts you first have to find them. There are a number of databases you can use to find federal contracts to bid on. Similarly, there are multiple databases that government agencies use to find contractors.

Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS)

The DSBS is a database that government agencies use to find small business contractors for upcoming contracts. Small businesses can also use DSBS to find other small businesses to work with.

The SBA maintains the DSBS database. The information you provide when you register your business in the System for Award Management (SAM) is used to populate DSBS, so you should create a comprehensive business profile.

GSA Schedules

If you want to sell to the government, securing a contract with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) — the government agency that connects government buyers with contractors — is a great way to start. Securing a contract with the GSA is also called “getting onto the GSA Schedule,” which means you’ve been approved to do business with the government.

If you’re interested in getting on the GSA Schedule, you may want to pay for a Past Performance Evaluation report from Open Ratings. The report assesses your performance relative to businesses in the same industry, and is often requested as part of a vendor bid process. Your company must register and provide the names and email addresses of six to 20 of your customers.

Subcontracting opportunities

SubNet is a database of subcontracting opportunities posted by large contractors looking for small businesses to serve as subcontractors. The SBA maintains a directory of federal government prime contractors with subcontracting plans.

The GSA publishes a subcontracting directory for small businesses that are looking for subcontracting opportunities with prime contractors. The directory lists large business prime contractors that are required to establish plans and goals for subcontracting with small businesses.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) maintains a similar directory of large prime contractors that small businesses can use to find subcontracting opportunities.

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Ways to Connect with SBA New Hampshire:

Twitter: @SBA_NH

Phone: 603-225-1400