General / Getting Started

How do I register to compete for federal government contracts in the System for Award Management (SAM)?

Please review the SAM.gov Quick Start Guide for an overview of how to register your company with the System for Award Management, as linked here: Quick Start Guide for Contract Registrations.

What documents are needed to register with the System for Award Management (SAM)?

Please review the SAM.gov Entity Registration Checklist for information on what documents are acceptable for registration with SAM, as linked here: Entity Registration Checklist.

What is the purpose of the SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS)?

The Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) is the primary database federal buyers use to conduct their market research of small businesses. DSBS is another tool contracting officers use to identify potential small business contractors for upcoming contracting opportunities. Pro tip: Small businesses can also use DSBS to do their own market research and view information about potential teaming partners or competitors, such as details relating to growth, customers, and market penetration.

How do I update my DSBS SBA Profile?

You can edit the information in your business’s DSBS profile by logging into the General Login System (GLS) website then making the necessary changes. Detailed instructions for how to log in to make edits to the DSBS profile can be viewed here.

Do I need a certification to get a contract?

No. Certifications (MBE/WBE/VBE, etc.) are not required to do business with the government but may provide your business with additional opportunities to compete for certain contracts.

What small business certifications do I qualify for?

There are several certifications that small businesses may qualify for at the federal, state, and local levels. Your PTAC Procurement Specialist can assist you in identifying which certifications your business may qualify for and if those certifications may serve to benefit you in government contracting, as well as review the application processes for the eligible certifications.

How do I apply for the State of Indiana Minority or Women-Owned Small Business Certification?

To apply, you will need to complete the Indiana Department of Administration’s M/WBE Application for Certification, which may be found on the Indiana Department of Administration’s website, as linked here: https://www.in.gov/idoa/mwbe/files/IDOA-DSD-Certification-Application1.pdf

How do I apply for the State of Indiana Veteran-Owned Small Business Certification?

To apply, you will need to complete the Indiana Department of Administration’s IVOSB Application for Certification, which may be found on the Indiana Department of Administration’s website, as linked here: https://forms.in.gov/Download.aspx?id=12350

Does the Indiana PTAC program assist businesses with the Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB) or Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) verification process?

Yes. The Indiana PTAC program can provide assistance with these certifications. 

What is needed to complete the federal WOSB Application?

Businesses interested in applying for Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification should first review SBA’s WOSB Preparation Checklist, as linked on the SBA website (https://beta.certify.sba.gov/prepare/). The Checklist outlines the information necessary to complete the application for WOSB certification.

What is the difference between a “WBE” and a “WOSB”?

The federal Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) program is limited to women-owned organizations based upon specific NAICS codes, whereas the State of Indiana’s Women Business Enterprise program usually does not. Additionally, some WBE certified companies have no requirements on size whereas WOSB requires that the company meets the size standard as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

How do I determine if my business is in a Hubzone area?

To determine if your business is “small” by SBA standards: You can refer to the SBA’s Size Standard Tool if you’re not sure. To determine if your business is located in a HUBZone: The SBA website has an interactive map which can aide you in determining if your location qualifies as a HUBZone, as linked here: https://maps.certify.sba.gov/hubzone/map#center=39.828200,-98.579500&zoom=5

To use the HUBZone Map:
1. Type the business address into the search bar and click or tap search.
2. Check to make sure the search found the correct address.
3. Read the qualification status.
4. Open a printable copy of the results

I am unsure where to begin in preparing my business to compete for government contracting. Is there a road-map or checklist for doing business with the government? 

Yes. The Indiana PTAC program can help you create an action plan to get started with government contracting. Prior to deciding to pursue government contracting, you will want to first assess your government contracting readiness: Are you an established business? Do you have a business plan that includes government contracting as a growth strategy or new customer market? Have you done the necessary market research to determine the government’s demand for your product or service? Will your company’s cash flow be compatible with government payment cycles? Does your company have a history of sales or an experienced team in the business’ line of work? It takes time and persistence to do business with the government. When your business is ready, Indiana PTAC can help you get started!

Is there a template or format for developing a one-page business capability statement? 

Yes.  The Indiana PTAC program can provide you with assistance as you begin developing your company’s capability statement for government contracting. In addition, Indiana PTAC can provide you with samples of capability statements that you can refer to when creating your own. Please contact your area PTAC Procurement Specialist for additional assistance.

Does Indiana PTAC have any contracts to award?

No, Indiana PTAC provides assistance to companies preparing to compete for contracting opportunities with federal, state, or local government entities.

Does Indiana PTAC offer funding for small businesses?

No, Indiana PTAC does not assist with funding for small businesses but may be able to recommend resources for funding, such as your area Indiana Small Business Development Center.

Can Indiana PTAC prepare a bid or proposal for me?

No, Indiana PTAC does not prepare bids or proposals on behalf of clients, but can assist you with review of your bid or proposal documents prior to submission to the government.

What is SBIR and where can I find current up to date SBA SBIR news?

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive federal program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) with the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provide the incentive to profit from its commercialization. To receive news on SBIRS news, please subscribe to the SBA SBIR Newsletter by clicking the following link: https://sbir.wufoo.com/forms/r1gkqprt0wf44q6/.

Does my business have to be a small business to qualify for and benefit from Indiana PTAC’s services? 

Indiana PTAC does not require that your business be a small business in order to qualify for services. Businesses of any size may benefit from PTAC’s services.

Should I contact Indiana PTAC before I start my business?

Indiana PTAC assists already established businesses to identify and compete for government contracting opportunities. While not required, businesses operating for 2+ years are best served by Indiana PTAC.

How can Indiana PTAC assist me with marketing my business to the government?

Indiana PTAC can assist businesses with marketing their products and services to the government by assisting with market research, reviewing and assisting with company capability statements and narratives along with other government marketing materials, and reviewing company profiles in SAM and DSBS.

What is the Made In America Office and how can I offer products or services listed on its website? Can PTAC assist me with this?

The Made in America Office (MIAO) and its objective is to highlight products and services that are perceived to be only available from outside the U.S.  When a contracting officer wants a waiver from the Buy American Act, market research must first be conducted before the officer can request a non-availability waiver indicating a domestic source could not be found.  Such waivers are published now at www.madeinamerica.gov under the “Non-Availability” tab. Interested businesses can scroll through the products and services listed and determine their capabilities and interest in providing them. If capable and interested, please reach out to you PTAC Procurement Specialist as PTAC can then assist in getting you connected to the right contracting officer, small business representative, and/or program office.