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4 Requirements to get government contracts

1. Time and resources

Independents need to be aware of the number of hours and resources required to pursue and manage a government contract. For example, part of the process to apply for federal contracts involves completing Representations and Certifications. These provisions require you to represent and certify a variety of statements ranging from environmental rules and compliance to entity size. Representations and Certifications are designed to ensure that you are in compliance with laws and regulations and are an extremely detailed part of the process.

In addition to taking a great deal of time to complete paperwork, there are legal implications as well. If you’re going through this process for the first time or on your own, it’s advisable to obtain a legal review.

2. Liability Insurance

In addition to the time, resources, and credentials needed to obtain a government contract, there may be additional requirements. Government contracts, similar to many large commercial contracts, may require additional liability insurance.

3. Special invoicing and payment terms

Invoicing and payment terms may differ from standard business contracts. It’s common for government contracts to be monthly, net-60, which means you may not receive payment for 90 days. Any mistakes can lead to a delay in payment for several months.

There may also be special invoicing requirements. Government contracting requires you to keep track of your funding and notify the government when you’ve reached 75% of your funding. Failure to do so may carry a penalty. It’s therefore important to read contracts very carefully to ensure that you understand your responsibilities as a contractor.

4. Relationships

Relationships will help you stand out among many available vendors/contractors. Continue to apply the same practices of networking and relationship building to government contracts as you do to other business opportunities.

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