Getting started is always the hardest part about getting on a GSA schedule. Breaking into the federal contracting community can be overwhelming and feel very foreign for beginners, but with hard work and following these steps, you can be on your way to acquiring your first GSA contract.
Is your business eligible for the MAS program/GSA list?
Not all businesses will qualify for a GSA list.
- Financial stability
- At least 2 years in business
- Satisfactory past performance
- Products commercially available
- Products compliant with the Trade Agreements Act
Tip: Other helpful things to do or have:
- Relationship with federal contracting community or current GSA contractor
- Prior experience with/as a contractor
- Participate in GSA training and workshops
Step-by-Step: Getting on the GSA List
- Get a D-U-N-S number. D-U-N-S stands for Dun & Bradstreet Open Ratings Past Performance Evaluation. It is a unique identifier for companies around the world. The evaluation results take approximately 35 days and costs $185. It is only valid for 12 months, so you should continue with the application process as soon as you receive your number.
- Register on System for Award Management (SAM). SAM is a central database for multiple federal procurement systems.
- Select GSA schedule. It is important that you identify the correct GSA schedule your business. There are more than 40 GSA schedules and millions of products and services, so it might take a little research to see which is most appropriate. Visit the GSA eLibrary for a comprehensive list or products and services.
- Download solicitation for GSA Schedule. Once you select a schedule, download the correct solicitation. Schedule solicitations are posted on FedBizOpps (fbo.gov).
- Prepare a proposal. This will most likely be the hardest, most time-consuming part of the process because it requires you to gather financial information, and past performance and business practices. Proper formatting and completeness matter – don’t make simple mistakes that could get your proposal rejected immediately.
- Proposal review. All proposals are reviewed by a contracting officer. Many times, contracting official asks for more information – this is normal.
- Contract negotiation. Once you get the review back, you enter contract pricing negotiation. It is wise to have a strategy beforehand. Once all parties are in agreement, you prepare and submit a Final Proposal Revision (FPR).
- Contract awarded. Once you receive your contract award, you should be able to begin selling immediately.