How Can a SME Start Out Bidding For Projects in the United States?

Are you a company based outside the United States that wants to do business with the federal government but needs to know where to begin? The United States of America has the highest annual expenditure on purchasing goods and services of any country on the planet. Their government invests trillions of dollars in the exchange. 

Indian bidders looking for US bidding opportunities should be aware that such opportunities to place bids with public agencies can be found at all levels of government, including the federal, state, local, municipal, and special district levels. The majority of government agencies encourage any company to submit a bid.

Facts About Procurement in the United States

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the United States provides additional opportunities for businesses in other countries to compete for federal government contracts. These opportunities are primarily aimed at the 57 countries with which the United States has signed free trade agreements. 

According to the GAO, the United States spent $837 billion on GPA-covered procurement in 2010, more than doubling the amount spent by the following five largest GPA parties combined (the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Norway, and Canada spent a total of $381 billion)—the headquarters of approximately 35 of the top 100 companies awarded contracts by the United States government.

What Should You Know Before Bidding on Opportunities Offered by the US Government?

The contracting process in the private sector differs from that in the public sector. Companies interested in bidding on government contracts in the United States must follow US and Canadian laws at all stages of the contracting process. This holds for any company based in the United States or elsewhere.

  • A foreign company must obtain a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code to participate in the contract process. This code is part of the NATO codification system and requires foreign company registration with the System for Award Management (SAM). Registration with SAM is required for businesses that want to compete for federal government contracts in the United States. 
  • A DUNS number is required before a company can register with SAM. This requirement must be met for the company to be eligible to bid on any type of federal bidding in the United States.
  • To be eligible for an NCAGE code, your organization must first register with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency. This is something that can be done online. To register your company, go to the NATO Codification Tool website. You will be asked to create a sign-in on the website before being directed to request an NCAGE code by clicking the “Request New” button. 
  • After you have completed the steps required to request an NCAGE, the system will confirm the code and send you an email asking you to confirm both your details and the code. This procedure can take up to ten days to complete during regular business hours.
  • Once the code has been validated, you can register with SAM; however, please remember that the validation process may take an additional ten days. 
  • Once you have obtained your codes and registered your company through the appropriate channels, you can begin bidding and receiving contract opportunities from the United States government.

How Do I Begin Using Global Tenders?

Because of their increasing prevalence, global tenders have become necessary since the second half of 2020. As a result, it is only natural for any entrepreneur to want to seize the best opportunity available. But how exactly do you intend to achieve this goal? In this regard, BidAssist is a one-stop shop for finding all types of tenders worldwide, from which you can begin bidding for US markets.

Tips to Consider Before Entering Into International Contracts

Get to know your customers: Your country may have its regulations and laws that apply to businesses that provide goods and services to a foreign government; however, keep in mind that when selling to the United States, you must also comply with the laws of that country. Learning the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is the most effective way to gather information about the policies and procedures that must be followed to work with the US government.

Go after subcontracting opportunities: If you are new to the bidding process in Canada or other sectors, it is recommended that you start as a subcontractor. Subcontracting allows you to test the waters by competing for work with the US government without taking on most of the risk yourself. Subcontracting allows you to gain practical experience and industry insight before striking out on your own and becoming a prime vendor.

Establish a presence in the United States: While companies will not be excluded from the bidding process simply because they do not have a component of their operations in the United States, having a presence in the United States can undoubtedly be advantageous. This presence can be a separate branch of the company or an employee overseeing operations in the United States. If your company is awarded a contract in the United States, having someone “on the ground” there will be advantageous.


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