The Department of Defense contracts for hundreds of billions of dollars in goods and services each year with private companies. Contracting officers are required by law to set aside a portion of federal contracts for disadvantaged businesses, including small businesses, women and minority-owned businesses, veteran-owned businesses, disabled veteran-owned businesses and businesses located in designated Historically Underutilized Business Zones, or HUBZones. Each primary contractor, in turn, is required by law to subcontract a portion of its business to disadvantaged businesses.
Obtain a DUNS number. You can do this through Dun and Bradstreet, using the website given in the "Resources" section on this page.
Determine your NAICS code. NAICS stands for North American Industry Classification System. Each industry has a number assigned to it, which the government uses to simplify and systematize its acquisition process. You can find your NAICS code using the link in the Resources section.
Register your business. You will need to register your business with the Central Contractor Registry and ORCA, the Online Representations and Certifications Application.
Contact the appropriate officer who handles government contracting in your area or industry. Depending on your product or service, this could be through a contracting specialist at the Pentagon or through a supply NCO at a local military installation. You can find information on finding local purchasing officers and getting assistance in navigating contracting systems from the Department of Defense.
Get a merchant services account number. Generally, you must be able to accept credit cards in order to take payment from the federal government.