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Doing Business with WHS

A picture of a woman resting her chin on her fist with a man standing in the background looking at a laptop computer screenPrior to arranging a meeting with WHS to attempt to sell to the Government, any business should do the following:

1. Determine your company's NAICS code(s)

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes are numbers that specify a company’s primary lines of business. There are online search tools to enable people to determine what NAICS codes apply to their business offerings.

  • Start by coming up with a short description of what your business does.
  • Go to the Free NAICS Look Up page, enter a keyword from your business description into the NAICS Search box, and click the NAICS Search button. This should return a NAICS code. If your business has more than one primary function, you may need more than one code. (The same web page also has a means to search for NAICS codes by industry.)

    Note: The Small Business Administration (SBA) developed size standards for each NAICS category. To find more information about the SBA size standards, visit the Small Business Size Standards web page. You may also contact SBA’s Office of Size Standards at (202) 205-6618 or via e-mail to

2. Obtain a Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S® Number

D-U-N-S numbers are unique identification numbers used by the Government and others for various tracking and reporting purposes. Any company seeking to do business with the Federal Government is eligible for a cost-free D-U-N-S number.

  • Go to the D&B D-U-N-S Request Service for U.S. Federal Government Contractors and Grantees web page.
  • Click on the link to request a unique D-U-N-S number via the web. You must know your business location before taking this step.
  • Click on the Continue to Government iUpdates button.
  • Click on the Start Now button in the Find D-U-N-S or Request new D-U-N-S box.
  • Enter your business name, and the City and State in which it is located and click the Search button. This will return any businesses with that name that already have a D U N S number.
  • Select the appropriate one and click the Next button. You will be asked to enter information to verify you are a current registered executive officer within the selected company.
  • Supply all the requested data, and click Next. Continue to follow the prompts throughout the registration process. Once registration is completed, a D-U-N-S number will be sent to your company.
3. Register in System for Award Management

The System for Award Management (SAM) is a Federal Government owned and operated free website that consolidates vendor registration and certification protocols. Any business wanting to sell to the Federal Government must be registered in SAM.

  • Go to the SAM website.
  • Click on the Create User Account button and follow directions.
  • Click on the Register/Update Entity button and follow directions to register your business.
4. Determine if your business qualifies for any of the special programs the Federal Government maintains to assist certain groups with their small business
  • Go to the Small Business Administration Small Business Certifications & Audiences page.
  • Click on any of the special program types to determine if your business qualifies for that program. Special programs include:

    • HUBZone
    • Native Americans
    • 8(a) Business Development
    • Small Business Certification
    • Woman-Owned Small Businesses
    • Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
    • Disadvantaged Businesses
    • Alaskan Owned Corporations
    • Native Hawaiian Owned Corporations
5. Pursue Opportunities with WHS
  • All businesses: review existing WHS opportunities, including requests for proposal (RFPs), requests for information (RFIs), and sources sought requests on the FedBizOpps site, Enter “Washington Headquarters Services” as your search variable.

  • Small businesses: schedule a meeting with the director of the Office of Small Business Programs by sending an e-mail to

For small-business specific information regarding WHS procurement, visit the WHS Office of Small Business Programs page