VetBizLawyer Podcast

Government Contracting 101 for Veteran Owned Businesses

March 20, 2020 Joseph Season 1 Episode 4
VetBizLawyer Podcast
Government Contracting 101 for Veteran Owned Businesses
Chapters
VetBizLawyer Podcast
Government Contracting 101 for Veteran Owned Businesses
Mar 20, 2020 Season 1 Episode 4
Joseph

[Introduction]

Good afternoon, my name is Joe Whitcomb. I am the founder and president of Whitcomb Selinsky PC, a veteran owned, operated, and centric law firm located in Denver, Colorado. Today I'm going to take some time and talk to those of you that are beginning to consider government contracting. We represent a lot of veteran business owners across the country in the space of government contracting and we regularly get the question either by email or by phone call “Hey, I'm interested in government contracting. How do we get started?” So, today's video is going to cover about ten topics on exactly what it takes to get started in government contracting.

[Why do business with the Federal Government?]
The first topic we're going to cover is why do business for the federal government in the first place. Most companies will have defined themselves as either a B to B or B to C enterprise depending on whether their business focuses on other businesses or consumers. That said, many understand that the federal government is a huge consumer of goods and services. In fact, they are the largest consumer of goods and services in the United States with about a 4.5 trillion-dollar budget and about $560 billion of that going to government contractors. So, one reason to be in the government contracting space is that there's a lot of money in it. Also, usually there are contracts involved that give business owners a little bit of a little bit of runway. Meaning, if you win a five-year contract, of course it is not guaranteed, but in most instances the five-year contracts last five years.  Additionally, once a contractor has won a contract, they are now incumbents and have an increased chance of winning on recompete.

If a client were to ask me, I would typically advise them to diversify and do business with consumers, commercial businesses and with federal, state, and local governments. However, those are business decisions that are made by business owners and their consultants. So that’s my answer to the question “Why do business with the federal government in the first place?” 

[Where do I start?]
Once you’ve made the decision to do business with the federal government the question becomes “Where and how do I get started?”

Once you have created articles of organization and filed them with your state’s secretary of state, the next thing you will do is get a federal Dun’s number. On your screen there should not be an image of Dunn & Bradstreet’s “iUpdate.” You can Google that or you can follow the link that is in the blog post that accompanies this video. That link will take you out to a website where you just begin populating it with information; i.e. the names of the owners, business addresses and so forth and eventually what you'll get is a number we typically refer to as a DUNS number. That DUNS number becomes the number by which the federal government will identify your company.  It is important to note that the U.S. government does not use your company’s EIN. There are instances in which you will need to supply the government with your EIN, but most times, the government will use your DUNS number which is free. An important note, your company should not have to pay anybody for a DUNS number. 

It is also important that when you apply for your DUNS number that the information on the Secretary of State's website is accurate, because that is the information that DUNS will use to populate important matters like your company’s address. So, make sure to keep your company’s information up to date on your State’s Secretary of State page. Now that you have your DUNS number, what's next? 

Show Notes

[Introduction]

Good afternoon, my name is Joe Whitcomb. I am the founder and president of Whitcomb Selinsky PC, a veteran owned, operated, and centric law firm located in Denver, Colorado. Today I'm going to take some time and talk to those of you that are beginning to consider government contracting. We represent a lot of veteran business owners across the country in the space of government contracting and we regularly get the question either by email or by phone call “Hey, I'm interested in government contracting. How do we get started?” So, today's video is going to cover about ten topics on exactly what it takes to get started in government contracting.

[Why do business with the Federal Government?]
The first topic we're going to cover is why do business for the federal government in the first place. Most companies will have defined themselves as either a B to B or B to C enterprise depending on whether their business focuses on other businesses or consumers. That said, many understand that the federal government is a huge consumer of goods and services. In fact, they are the largest consumer of goods and services in the United States with about a 4.5 trillion-dollar budget and about $560 billion of that going to government contractors. So, one reason to be in the government contracting space is that there's a lot of money in it. Also, usually there are contracts involved that give business owners a little bit of a little bit of runway. Meaning, if you win a five-year contract, of course it is not guaranteed, but in most instances the five-year contracts last five years.  Additionally, once a contractor has won a contract, they are now incumbents and have an increased chance of winning on recompete.

If a client were to ask me, I would typically advise them to diversify and do business with consumers, commercial businesses and with federal, state, and local governments. However, those are business decisions that are made by business owners and their consultants. So that’s my answer to the question “Why do business with the federal government in the first place?” 

[Where do I start?]
Once you’ve made the decision to do business with the federal government the question becomes “Where and how do I get started?”

Once you have created articles of organization and filed them with your state’s secretary of state, the next thing you will do is get a federal Dun’s number. On your screen there should not be an image of Dunn & Bradstreet’s “iUpdate.” You can Google that or you can follow the link that is in the blog post that accompanies this video. That link will take you out to a website where you just begin populating it with information; i.e. the names of the owners, business addresses and so forth and eventually what you'll get is a number we typically refer to as a DUNS number. That DUNS number becomes the number by which the federal government will identify your company.  It is important to note that the U.S. government does not use your company’s EIN. There are instances in which you will need to supply the government with your EIN, but most times, the government will use your DUNS number which is free. An important note, your company should not have to pay anybody for a DUNS number. 

It is also important that when you apply for your DUNS number that the information on the Secretary of State's website is accurate, because that is the information that DUNS will use to populate important matters like your company’s address. So, make sure to keep your company’s information up to date on your State’s Secretary of State page. Now that you have your DUNS number, what's next?