Government Contracting Tips For Veterans

Small Businesses Are Given Special Consideration When It Comes To Government Contracts

In many markets, small businesses are often outcompeted by larger organizations that often have access to almost unlimited resources. This set aside actually might increase a small business’s chances of winning a lucrative bid.

The federal government is required to set aside at least 23 percent of its total spending specifically for small businesses and service-disabled veterans. Several small businesses have made a fortune just on federal government contract awards. However, before companies bid for contracts, it is important to understand the different types of contracts utilized by the government.

What Is Government Contracting?

Government contracting is when specific government agencies contract with private companies for specific goods or services. The agencies usually put out a contract or often a request for proposal (RFP) and various companies can place bids for the project. Once an agency selects a particular business, a contract is signed, and that business is now considered a government contractor.

Why Work For The Government?

There are many compelling reasons to work for the Federal Government.  We will go into in-depth detail about how a small business can benefit greatly from being a government contractor.

Does Your Company Qualify As A Veteran Owned Business?

In order to qualify for these set-asides a business must have the following:

  • Meet small business size standard for primary NAICS code and contract
  • At least 51% unconditionally and directly owned by veterans who are U.S. citizens*
  • The veterans must manage the day-to-day operations
  • The veterans must make long-term decisions for the business
  • A veteran must hold the highest officer position
  • The veterans  must work at the business full-time during normal working hours

How Do You Prove That You Are A Veteran?

You will need to have a Department of Defense Form 214 (DD 214), which is a document that is issued when a military service member retires, separates, or is discharged from the military. 

You will need a letter from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs stating you are service-disabled if you also intend to apply for service-disabled status. The VA benefits office can help you if you need to replace a lost disability status letter.

Registering with the VA

You will want your company to get certified as a veteran-owned business. This means that you should register with the VA because it is the only government agency with a formal verification process.

The VA actually has a number of contracts in which priority is given to service-disabled veterans and then to veterans. This is particularly important for nondisabled veterans, who do not get set-asides with the federal government. In short, registering with the VA increases the chances of a nonservice disabled veteran winning a contract.

How Do You Register?

The first step of getting certified is registering with VetBiz Registry. This is a veteran’s business database. You can also go to the Center for Veterans Enterprise which provides the registry and also includes step-by-step instructions on applying for VA Certification. Remember to have your DD 214 form handy.

You should also have the following:

  • Partnership Agreements
  • Corporate Charters
  • Organizational Charters 
  • Board of Directors
  • Mission Statements
  • Inventory
  • Service Providers
  • Bank Statements
  • Tax Information

Some businesses can also be subject to onsite visits that can sometimes be unannounced.

Special Programs

Help is available from special small business programs that encourage participation by small businesses and help these businesses navigate the government contracting maze This includes small businesses owned by minority and traditionally disadvantaged groups. These programs, which are administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), assist small businesses on how to obtain both large business and government procurements.

Here is a list of websites that are provided by the government to help small businesses obtain contracting information.

What is the SAM Directory?

SAM stands for System Award Management.

In order to do any business with the federal government, you must register your business in the System for Award Management. The government will not hire any type of business that has not registered in the SAM directory.

We have an article on our site, Everything You Need to Know About SAM for Small Businesses, that gives you important information about this process.

Luckily our site takes this headache off your hands. You can leave this important step to the experts at so you can concentrate on more important matters.

The best part is once you register, you will no longer have to keep reentering important information every time you apply for a new government opportunity.

SAM Directory Information For Veterans

It is important that a business understands the government classification system which includes the following codes:

  • PSC
  • FSC

What Is A NAICS number?

NAICS is a six-digit code that stands for the North American Industry Classification System. Many federal agencies post contracting opportunities using the NAICS codes. The NAICS is used as an internal reference that quickly describes what a business does. You want to make sure you have the correct NAICS number to qualify for as many contracting opportunities as possible.

What Is The PSC Number?

PSC stands for Product Service Code and is primarily used by the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) and the General Services Administration (GSA). They are used to describe the types of products, services, and research and development purchased by the federal government.

What Is An FSC Code?

Federal Supply Class (FSC) codes are four-digit codes that are used to group products into logical families for supply management purposes. These codes are also used to classify government standards documents into categories, to help manage them more easily. FSC codes are grouped by Federal Supply Group (FSG) numbers.

What can I do to make registering for the SAM directory as easy as possible?

All this information can seem quite daunting. We understand that as a small business owner, you have a million things to accomplish on any given day and might not have the time needed for this process. However, you also do not want to miss out on the honey hole of opportunities provided by the federal government. It is important that you get registered into the SAM directory as quickly and efficiently as possible.

We Can Handle All The Hard Work

That is why it is a great idea to let us help you register at SAM Directory. We understand the importance of proper SAM registration and take this confusing process off your hands completely. Our website can make sure you are registered in as little as two days.