How to Register as a Federal Contractor

Step 1: Obtain a D-U-N-S Number

Before you can bid on government proposals, you’ll need to obtain a couple of registrations. First, you will first need to obtain a Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S Number, a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business. D-U-N-S Number assignment is free for all businesses required to register with the federal government for contracts or grants. Visit the D-U-N-S Request Service to register.

Step 2: Register Your Business

Secondly, you’ll need to register with the federal government’s Central Contractor Registration (CCR), the primary database of vendors doing business with the federal government. Federal acquisitions regulations require all prospective vendors to be registered in CCR prior to the award of a contract; basic agreement, basic ordering agreement, or blanket purchase agreement.

Next, you’ll need to fill out the Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), in which you provide additional information about your company and its business activities. The Federal Acquisitions Regulations, Section 52.212-3, Offeror Representations and Certifications – Commercial Items, explains the information that you’ll be asked on ORCA.

You may also find that you need a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for administrative, contracting, and tax purposes.  The code classifies the economic sector, industry, and country of your business. Read the NAICS Codes 101 page for more information.

Step 3: Obtain Past Performance Evaluations

Businesses interested in getting on a GSA schedule contract, should obtain an Open Ratings, Inc. Past Performance Evaluation. Open Ratings, a Dun & Bradstreet Company, conducts an independent audit of customer references and calculates a rating based upon a statistical analysis of various performance data and survey responses. While some Schedule solicitations do contain the form to request an Open Ratings Past Performance Evaluation, vendors may submit an online request directly to Open Ratings.

Business.gov

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