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What is the First Step?

The first step is to get in touch with your local PTAC and take advantage of their free services and knowledge of the government sector.

Where do I go to Find Opportunities?

There are a variety of sites the government uses to post opportunities including FedBizOppsFed ConnectNorth Dakota State Procurement Office and more. 

Where does the state post opportunities?

You can find the state of North Dakota's procurement opportunities here

Do I have to register with the state to bid on and win contracts?

Yes you must register with the state procurement office of any state that you with to do business with. To register with the state of North Dakota go here

Do states have preference programs and contracting goals?

It depends on the state. Some states give no preference while others give preference to in state businesses, women owned businesses, veteran or service disabled veteran owned businesses, while others claim no preference unless the state you reside in has a preference and then they will apply those rules to your bid to match your state's preference.

What is the Vet’s first contracting program?

The Vet's First Contracting Program is a program run through the VA for any veteran or service disabled veteran that wants to do business with the VA. The VA gives preference whenever possible to veterans and this program helps to protect against fraud or those who want to try to take advantage of the system. is a great resource as well as your local PTAC. A list of certified Veteran's counselors can be found here

What certifications do I need before I can bid on government contracts?

The basic requirements for bidding on a contract include obtaining a DUNS number, identifying your NAICS codes, and completing your SAM profile. Aside from these it is also wise to sign up on sites like FBO, register with the states you do business in, complete your SBA profile and get signed up as a client with your local PTAC.

Are there web sites where I can see what the government is buying?

There are a lot of great resources out there to research what the government has bought and is planning to buy. Some of these sites include FPDSUSA SpendingFBO, and Acquisition

What is a SAM?

SAM is the System for Award Management and it is the primary registration required for doing business with the federal government. You cannot legally win an award or get paid for a contract unless you are registered and active in SAM.

What is and where do I get a duns number?

A DUNS number is a 9 digit code that is assigned to you by Dun and Bradstreet. This is how the government will identify you. Go to here to get information regarding your free DUNS numbers.

What is a NAICS and how is it different from a SIC code?

 The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) are six digit classification codes for products and services used by Federal statistical agencies as the standard in classifying business establishments

Where can I find more info about SAM?

 You can find out more about SAM by going to their website at and click on their "help" tab to watch their demonstration videos.

How to I register in SAM?

 The registration process with Sam can be frustrating to those new to the government contracting community. Fortunately the PTAC staff can help you through the process.

Do I have to be registered in Sam to to get a government award?

In accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) subpart 4.22 "Prospective contractors shall be registered in the SAM database prior to award of a contract or agreement...

What is the 8(a) Business Development Program?

The 8(a) Business Development Program is the SBA's certification for socially and economically disadvantaged businesses. It lasts 9 years from the point of acceptance and makes a business eligible for the set asides. For help with your 8(a) application please contact your local PTAC for technical assistance

What is the HUBZone Program?

HUBZone stand for Historically Underutilized Business Zone. This program is for businesses whose principle office is located in a HUBZone who has 35% of their employees living within a HUBZone. To check and see if your business is located in one of these zones, consult the map.

What is a Small disadvantaged business?

A small disadvantaged business is any business 51% owned by a socially or economically disadvantaged individual and is small by the SBA standards. Click here for more information.

What constitutes a ‘small’ business?

SBA sets the standards for small business and it is based on either dollar amounts or employees. To see the NAICS based sized standards table go here