New Business Set-Up
Meridian West’s expertise lies with helping clients through the proposal process and the development of their business, but we have been known to help kickstart small businesses and get them set-up and self-certified. Selfishly of course, because we want to get you eligible for specific set-aside federal contracting opportunities!
While we have extensive experience working with reputable large companies; and most of our current clients are established small businesses, we love the grass roots of our business and yours. Here are a few initial steps and starting points for you newbies to help get you underway.
1. Request a Tax Identification Number (TIN), also called an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
A TIN/EIN is an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws. You can apply for a TIN/EIN by submitting an application on the IRS website. You will obtain and EIN immediately after completing the short application.
2. Apply for a Dun & Bradstreet’s (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number.
A DUNS number is a universal standard for business identification. The nine-digit number is used to create your business credit file and is used by the world’s most influential standard-setting organizations. Most state and federal governments require a company to have a DUNS number prior to bidding on contracts.
3. Certify your set-aside on the System for Award Management (SAM) Website.
You must complete a SAM Registration to work as a federal contractor. SAM registration incorporates all government contractor information into one system. Once registered with SAM you will receive a Commercial and Government Entity Code. This five-digit code is used by the government to support a variety of mechanized systems.
Within SAM you can certify your business a specific set-aside based on your company’s ownership type, structure, or financials. Visit the SAM website to determine if your company qualifies for any of the following set-asides.
8(a) Business Development
Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB)/Economically Disadvantaged WOSB (EDWOSB)
Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone)
Service Disabled Veteran Owned (SDVO)
4. Create a relationship with a bonding agent (insurance broker) to get bonded and start building your bonding capacity.
Bonds guarantee that contracts are fulfilled and are almost always required before work begins on public projects.
5. Connect with your local Small Business Administration (SBA) office.
Your local SBA office can provide benefits like connectivity and networking, including possible subcontracting opportunities to develop your past performance experience.
6. Start tracking opportunities on FBO.gov.
Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) is the main job board where government agencies place their available solicitations for bid. With FBO, you can track solicitations you are currently bidding for changes or amendments. You can also track and be notified of upcoming solicitations that you are interested in bidding.
Or, you can contact Meridian West and we’ll get you set up with our complimentary opportunity tracking services, where you can find out about all upcoming and issued contracts for state and federal government contracts.