Ways you can sell to government
Contracts, contract vehicles, commercial platforms and small business set-asides are how the government obtains many of the products and services it needs. When existing options don't meet the needs of federal agencies, we'll award a new contract or contract vehicle through our Multiple Award Schedule or a solicitation on SAM.gov.
A contract is how the U.S. Government purchases or procures products or services that are for the direct benefit and use of a government agency. A contract is a legally binding agreement that is governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) contains the policies and procedures that must be followed by all executive federal agencies when acquiring products or services.
There are two types of contract awards:
- A single award contract is a contract awarded to a single vendor. Any task orders issued against the single award contract go to the single vendor to be completed.
- A multiple award contract is a contract awarded to multiple vendors. Any task orders issued against a multiple award contract are competed for amongst the pool of vendors awarded the contract.
The contract arrangement details how your business will be paid. The two most common types of arrangements are:
Different arrangements place more or less of the financial risk of the contract on the contractor. You’ll need to decide what level of risk, and what type of arrangements, you’re willing to accept.
Learn more about contract arrangements in Section 16 of the FAR.
A contract vehicle is a contract, or group of contracts, that provides a streamlined process for government agencies to place multiple orders for certain products and services with a pre-selected vendor or group of vendors. Government agencies will look to satisfy their requirements for supplies through existing contract vehicles before looking elsewhere.
As a contract holder on one of our contract vehicles, you're eligible to sell your products and services to government and are competing against a smaller pool of competitors for those sales.
Types of contract vehicles
- The Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) is our premier contract vehicle, providing streamlined purchasing for millions of products and services. It is the most common procurement method used by federal agencies and supports sales to state, local, non-profit and other eligible entities.
- Through the Schedule agencies can award smaller contract vehicles, called blanket purchase agreement (BPAs), to fulfill their recurring needs for Schedule services or supplies.
- Our other major contract vehicles include multi-agency contracts (MACs) and governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs). These large-scale contracts are used by federal agencies to place orders for products, services and solutions to fulfill specific categories of requirements, such as professional services or information technology.
Learn how to access MAS, MACs, GWACs and other contract opportunities.
A commercial platform is an online solution used by government agencies but managed by a non-government entity. We have partnered with three companies to provide commercial platforms to support the purchase of routine commercial items by the federal government. Several federal agencies use these platforms to purchase products at or below the micro-purchase threshold, which is generally set at $10,000 (see the full MPT definition in Section 2 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation).
Learn more about selling to government through these commercial platforms:
Unsure if you qualify as a small business or for an SBA assistance program? Use SBA's Size Standards Tool to find out.
A small business set-aside is a contract that limits competition to only small businesses. We limit competition for set-asides to only small businesses to achieve the federal government’s small business procurement goals. Every federal government purchase between $10,000 and $250,000 is automatically set aside for small businesses, as long as there are at least two companies that can provide the product or service at a fair and reasonable price.
You must be certified as a small business to be eligible to compete for set-aside contracts.
Some of our set-asides are open to any small business, while others are open only to small businesses who participate in one of the following U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) contracting assistance programs:
- Women-owned small business federal contracting program
- 8(a) small disadvantaged business development program
- Historically underutilized business zones (HUBZone) program
- Small disadvantaged business
- Veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned assistance programs
Learn how to certify as a small business.