FAQ: OSBU Programs and Services
OSBU has collected the more frequently asked questions and have created these web pages to ask and answer them. They have been organized into four categories:
- Questions about the Organization
- Questions about OSBU Programs and Services
- Questions about Contracts and Other Business Opportunities
- Questions about Training
Q: How do I find out more about the Mentor Protégé Program?
A: The website www.gsa.gov/mentorprotege was updated to provide you information on program participation and the application process as well as the point of contact for further assistance.
Q: What is the AbilityOne Program and how does it work with the Authorized Distributor Program?
A: The AbilityOne Program is a federal procurement program which generates jobs for individuals who are blind or otherwise severely disabled through the manufacturing of products or the provision of services required by federal personnel. For more information please visit www.abilityone.gov. One of the main requirements of becoming authorized is demonstrating how your order entry system will automatically block the sale of commercial “essentially the same” (ETS) items to federal customers and substitute the appropriate AbilityOne product. To learn more about this part of the program, please visit www.abilityone.gov/distributor.
Q: How can I do business with the Federal Government?
A: Depending on the agency different requirements will apply. To learn more, visit Choose How to Sell to GSA.
Q: How can I do business with GSA?
A: We update the “Doing Business with GSA Guidebook” every year to give you the most current information to access and partner with our agency. You can find this publication and more at Assistance for Small Business.
Q: To do business with GSA, do you have to apply thru SAM.gov?
A: Yes. To do business with all Federal agencies you must be registered with the System for Awards Management (SAM.gov). Registrants must update or renew their registration at least once per year to maintain an active status. For more information, visit or call Federal Service Desk at 866-606-8220 or 334-206-7828. For DSN: 809-463-3376 (then dial toll free number).
Q: How Do I obtain a D-U-N-S Number?
A: Please visit the Dun & Bradstreet website (http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform) for information on obtaining a D-U-N-S Number.
Q: How do I get on the Vendor’s Mailing List?
A: We no longer provide a mailing list of our buyers. However, you can develop a list thru www.FedBizOpps.gov, by capturing the contact information on procurement that matches the products or services you provide. Each contact usually has a background purchasing those same things over and over so they are a good source to identify your company with.
Q: How can I get more information about Building Real Estate, Architecture, Interior Design?
A: To get more information about Building Real Estate, Architecture, Interior Design, visit www.gsa.gov/pbs. Also, you may contact the regional Office of Small Business Utilization (OSBU) that serves your area for a listing of projects. You can find the regional office at www.gsa.gov/smallbizsupport.
Q: Does GSA give grants or loans, and if not, where can I go?
A: GSA does not provide loans or grants to small business. However, the following information should help you in your research:
- Grants: Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, and Grants.gov (www.grants.gov)
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) (www.sba.gov) is authorized to give assistance to small businesses in obtaining financial aid or loans.
Please visit the following SBA web sites for further information:
Updated SBA's ARC Loan Program, and
SBA's Starting and Managing.
- You may also wish to reference website www.govloans.gov. GovLoans.gov is a gateway to government loan information. It directs you to the loan information that best meets your needs.
- You could also contact your local bank and request a small business loan.
Q: How do I start a business?
A: GSA does not work with start-up companies (no revenue or experience). However, the SBA does help entrepreneurs get started. Visit the following Small Business Administration (SBA) website for information on starting a business:
SBA's Starting and Managing a Business.
In addition, the SBA online assessment tool is designed to help you better understand your readiness for starting a small business. The tool can be accessed at: Top Tools and Resources for Small Business Owners.
Small Disadvantaged Veteran Owned, Women Owned, and Other Set Aside Owned Small Businesses
Q: I would like to obtain information regarding the SDVOSB.
A: GSA's assistance and guidance for service disabled veteran-owned small businesses is explained in this section of the GSA site. (www.gsa.gov/sdvosb).
In addition, you may wish to visit the Small Business Administration (SBA) website for Veterans Business Development at www.sba.gov/VETS.
Also, VETBIZ.gov (www.va.gov/OSDBU/) is the federal web portal for veterans in business. The Vendor Information Pages at www.vip.vetbiz.gov/ allows you to register your company as a veteran-owned business. If you need further assistance, you may contact us at 1-866-OSBUGUSA.
Q: How can I get certified as a small disadvantaged business by the Federal Government?