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Government contracts are a great, lucrative, and often unknown source of revenue streams. Small businesses especially can benefit from government contracts. The fact is the government contracts with all kinds of businesses to provide for the needs of all aspects of the government. It may be in your interest to learn how to get government contracts.

The government works with private businesses for just about anything it may need. Everything from vehicles to office supplies is provided through government contracts. When you come to understand that the government is a massive organizational structure, you can begin to see that it makes sense to find out how to get government contracts to build your business.

There are some nuances and procedures when it comes to how to get government contracts. Because all governmental agencies are regulated in terms of how they can do business with the private sector, how to get government contracts can be a complicated process. Once you learn the ins and outs of how to get government contracts, you can benefit from a huge revenue stream that is extremely reliable.

What do you need to know about how to get government contracts? What is a government contract?

And what is the process of getting government contracts? This guide will give you basic information on how to get government contracts.

What is a government contract?

A government contract is simply a legal agreement with the federal government to provide goods and/or services. The United States Government contracts with large and small businesses to provide nearly all of its needs. Large items like vehicles and weapons for the military and even things like paper clips and post-it notes for government offices are made available through government contracts.

Any business that sells its products or services to other businesses can compete for government contracts. This means that even if yours is a small business, you can still get into the business of providing goods and services to the government through government contracts.

You can begin looking t what is available in government contracts in publications like Commerce Business Daily. Sources like this will let you know the kinds of things the government is looking for and how your business may be able to provide these items through a government contract.

Benefits of government contracting

The reason so many businesses take on government contracts is that there are tremendous benefits to this end of the business. The benefits of government contracting include:

Great for small businesses

One of the great things about government contracting is that it does not discriminate against small businesses. There are strict laws, regulations, and guidelines for how government contracts are awarded, and these regulations tend to benefit small businesses. Government contracts tend to favor things like

  • Historically Underutilized Business Zones
  • Women-owned small businesses
  • Service-disabled veterans
  • 8(a) minority companies. (Businesses owned and operated by African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asia Americans, and Native Americans).

Government 2-billion-dollar budget

The government allots billions of tax dollars for projects and ongoing needs. If your business can meet any of these needs, you are qualified to bid on a government contract. The government’s budget is enormous, and this money must be spent on private businesses that fulfill the needs of the government. In essence, the money is there to be made. It is just a matter of learning the right tools to begin tapping into this revenue stream.


Most government contracts are for one to three years. Once you obtain a government contract, you can completely rely on this contract for part of your profits. Government contracts can be stable and reliable sources of income.

Can rely on your employer 

One of the biggest differences between a private company and the government is that the government is not about to run out of business. Private businesses fold all the time. This is simply a fact of the business world. When they do, your end of the business is simply gone.

With government contracts, the source of your income will remain in place.

Additional support

Government agencies need small businesses to bid on and run these contracts. For this reason, the government provides plenty of help for businesses that would like to get involved in government contracting. They will even walk you through the process of obtaining a government contract.

Promotional opportunity

One of the collateral benefits of getting government contracts is the ability to advertise the fact that you have a government contract. This kind of work establishes credibility for your business, and you are free to add this fact to your advertising on your website and other marketing materials. Many people immediately associate a government contractor with a business that has established itself as honest and reliable. Government contracting provides you with great promotional and marketing opportunities.

Reliable and steady income

The government pays its contractors according to a rigorous schedule. There are never problems with the kinds of delayed payments you can encounter in private business. In fact, the government is required by law and by federal regulations to disperse payments according to a precise schedule. Some contracts are paid every thirty days, others every ten days. In either case, you can absolutely rely on steady payment with a government contract.

Business Security

While uncertainty always remains an issue in private business, it is less of an issue with government contracts. Things like severe economic downturns and even something like the Covid-19 pandemic can all lead to serious market instability. The government will go on throughout all of these kinds of issues. Even if business elsewhere drops off, a government contract will remain steady and reliable.

Long-term business

Businesses that have gotten into government contracting can frequently continue to run contracts for long periods of time. While government contracts are most often anywhere from one to three years, successful operation of the government contract can often lead to getting the same contract again for the long haul. It is quite possible to establish yourself as a long-term government contractor and enjoy a stable income over many years.

Government contract bidding process

The actual process of bidding on government contracts is quite involved. Each step involves several small steps. This is due to the fact that government contracting is heavily regulated. Keep in mind that these same regulations frequently work to your advantage once you get the hang of how to bid on government contracts. Some of the key steps in the process of bidding on government contracts include:

Becoming aware of the main sources of government contracts.

These include This stands for System of Award Management it is a government-wide database for vendors who are looking for government contracts, and it is your main source for how to begin the process of bidding.
Identify the type of solicitation you will need
There are three main types of solicitation to government agencies.
Different agencies will require their own solicitation process. These three types of solicitation are:
Request for Proposal (RFP) – Typically used for larger acquisitions, RFPs allow for agencies and prospective vendors to negotiate the terms of contracts. 
Request for Quotation (RFQ) – A simplified acquisition procedure, RFQs are often used for contracts under $150,000. 
Invitation for Bid (IFB) – With IFBs, there is no negotiation between agencies and vendors.

Format according to their instructions

The type of solicitation is crucial, and equally important are the contents of the solicitation. The various governmental agencies expect you to follow specific formats for their solicitations. The federal government offers the SBA Government Contracting 101 Workbook to help you with this stage.

Pros and cons of being a government contractor

We listed the benefits of government contracting above, but the pros and cons of government contracting include:


  • Great for small and minority-owned businesses
  • Stable and reliable
  • Steady income stream
  • Additional support
  • Potential long-term stability
  • Promotional opportunities


  • The long learning curve for gaining contracts
  • Government needs can be too broad for some businesses
  • Significant investment time
  • Heavily regulated

Where to find government contracts opportunities

As noted above, the government must award these contracts, and they work hard to provide abundant information on where and how to find government contracts. One of the first steps in your search should be the Introduction to Government Contracting. This provides all the basic information to get started.
The next step in your search should be the System of Award Management ( this provides databases of all available government contracts across all governmental agencies.
The Small Business Association Contracting Guide (SBA) also offers a guidebook and list of sites that provide information on government contracts.

How to bid on government contracts

  • The main things to understand when bidding on a government contract are the steps listed above for the contract bidding process. Other things you will need to do to bid on a government contract include:
  • Obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). A UEI is a 12-character identification number that effectively registers you as a bidder within the government system. You will get your UEI when you register with the System of Award Management (
  • NAICS code: You need to make sure your products and services match the classification system found in the North American Industry Classification System( NAICS). This aligns your products and services with those approved for contractors by the government.
  • Make sure your business meets the size requirements: To be eligible for most government contracts, your business must meet the strict requirements of what constitutes a small business. The SBA assigns a size standard to each NAICS code. Most manufacturing companies with 500 employees or fewer, and most non-manufacturing businesses with average annual receipts under $7.5 million, will qualify as small businesses.
  • Register with SAMS.

Government contracts FAQS

What is a government contract?

A government contract is simply a legal agreement with the federal government to provide goods and/or services. The United States Government contracts with large and small businesses to provide nearly all of its needs. Large items like vehicles and weapons for the military and even things like paper clips and post-it notes for government offices are made available through government contracts.

What are some of the benefits of government contracting?

Getting a government contract is great for small and minority-owned businesses. It is a stable source of revenue. And government contracting can lead to long-term income and stability.

What are some of the disadvantages of government contracting?

Government contracting has a long learning curve for gaining contracts, the government needs can be too broad for some businesses, there is a significant investment time, and the process is heavily regulated.

What is the primary source to find government contracts? This stands for System of Award Management it is a government-wide database for vendors who are looking for government contracts, and it is your main source for how to begin the process of bidding.

How can Federal Gov Advisors help you?

The fact is, bidding on government contracts is a complex and lengthy process. In fact, the process itself depends on a long series of smaller processes. To get a jump on government contracting, it is best to let professionals in this field handle the complexities of winning government contracts for your business.
Federal Government Advisors (FGA) is a Tampa-based consultancy that specializes in contract consulting.  The goal of our efforts is to put our clients on a path to win government contracts.  We are not yet another “federal award registration” firm.  We have in-house experts who can make capturing, bidding, and winning on federal, state, and local work radically smoother than it would be for a novice to navigate the federal contract system themselves.

The process we implement doesn’t add deadhead to your company’s operation — it makes your existing processes and endeavors more abundant.  We are not in business to change the fundamental underpinnings of your operation — only to enhance them. 

Federal Government Advisors exists to make opportunities available to companies that otherwise would not have had them.  Whether it be a simplified acquisition contract or a protracted formal bidding process — our resources go a long way to level the playing field for small and medium-sized businesses.  Many of our clients have made lucrative mutually beneficial arrangements with other clients of ours as a result of our robust system and protocols for bringing buyers and sellers together.