To start selling to the government, you need to become an approved GSA vendor first. This requires filling a number of forms before you can compete for a GSA Schedule Contract. So, what forms are you required filling out? Let’s see.
How to start working with GSA
The bare minimum of form you need to complete to become a GSA vendor, place bid, and be awarded a GSA Schedule is shown below. Basically, all you need is to officially register your business, then tell the government you want to work with it, and then submit the documents it requires from vendors.
The first form you will fill out is at Dun & Bradstreet. Registering there is required to receive the so called “DUNS number” – a unique identification code assigned to every business. Using this number anyone including the government can quickly check that your company is what it tells it is: the company name, address, phone etc. Think of it as a profile of your organization.
This form is easy enough:
If you already have a D.U.N.S. number, the system will automatically find that one for you.
Note that D.U.N.S. is free and is required to proceed with your further registration at GSA website.
Register at System for Award Management (SAM)
Once you have D.U.N.S. and know your NAICS code (no forms to fill there), you can start registering with SAM. Although, you may need to get your Taxpayer Identification Number first if you haven’t done this already.
To do this, open the IRS website and apply for a EIN. Note that operation hours of IRS are Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Having your TIN prepared, you can register at SAM. The registration is free. The process typically takes 3 to 10 days.
Get your digital certificate
Today, all data exchange between GSA, vendors working with GSA, and the government is done electronically. To verify validity of document a digital certificate is used. This means in order to become a GSA vendor you need to register for a digital certificate.
There are a number of private companies eligible to issue digital certificates to businesses. You can find such digital certificate providers at the eOffer GSA website.
You will need to select a type of the certificate and its validity period. Then you will need to type your company’s legal name and address. If your business is not officially registered, you cannot get a digital certificate.
Note that you must update your digital certificate every two years. An expired certificate means you cannot do business with GSA.
Register with GSA
Now you can register at General Services Administration. This will need to fill a number of forms too.Agent authorization letter. If you hired a company to help you communicate with GSA and work with documents on your behalf, you should provide a letter authorizing that third-party company to do this.
Letter of supply. If your company is a vendor, not a manufacturer, you need to provide a letter of supply to guarantee uninterrupted supply from the manufacturer to the government.
Price proposal. This form is mandatory for every vendor. This is your price proposal to the government: how much your products cost. Fill out the template for products with discount and products with markup.
- Technical proposal. This is a document where you explain your expertise, past experience and categories your products or services belong to.
These, of course, are not all the form you may need to fill out. Depending on the SIN, category and types of products and services you offer you may need to fill out other forms too. Please make sure to pass the GSA training that explains every detail of this process.
Where to find GSA forms you need to fill?
Sometimes you may want to quickly find the actual template of a form to complete. Where can you do this? Visit the GSA Forms Library then. There you can make a search and locate forms with a specific keyword, or browse forms by category. Then, you simple download any given form as PDF