Are there business opportunities with Prime contractors?


YES, There are contracting opportunities with Prime contractors.

Federal prime contractors are required to maintain an acceptable subcontracting plan if they are a large business (including all affiliates) and the estimated dollar value of the base contract and all option periods exceeds, or is expected to exceed, $700,000 ($1.5 million for construction). Contractors that meet the above criteria must establish a subcontracting plan with specific dollar and percent goals for subcontracting to small businesses, including small HUBZone, small disadvantaged, small women-owned, small veteran-owned, and small service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. This plan must be in place prior to contract award and is updated annually.

Note that small business federal prime contractors are not required to have Subcontracting Plans. However, if responding to a small business set-aside, the small business will be required to perform a percentage of the contract and comply with the limitations on subcontracting as outlined in their contract.

How can you find potential prime contractors?

There are several online prime contractor directories:

  1. The U.S. SBA hosts the Subcontracting Network system. SubNET is a listing of opportunities that are available for subcontracting with Federal prime contractors.
  2. The U.S. SBA also hosts an online directory of federal prime contractors with subcontracting plans.
  3. General Services Administration (GSA) – GSA Subcontracting Directory

Remember that prime contractors will need to know about your business. They will want to know:

  1. If you are a Small Business, and if you have any of the U.S. SBA business designations or certifications (such as 8(a), HUBZone, etc.).
  2. If you have past experience with other prime contractors or federal agencies.
  3. If you have the capacity and capabilities to meet their requirements.
Where will primes find information about your business?

There are several sources prime contractors will use, including:

  1. The System for Award management (SAM) – Although the federal government does not require federal subcontractors to register in SAM, prime contractors will look for subcontractors in SAM and may require you to register in SAM.
  2. Your company’s website. One of the easiest ways for someone to learn about what your business does is to look at your website.
  3. Websites such as ThomasNet, membership listings such as those for trade groups or chambers, as well as mentions in press releases, awards, or similar public recognition.
  4. Information gathered at meetings, workshops and conferences. WPI recommends taking every possible opportunity to meet with potential partners at procurement and government business events. We also recommend that you prepare a single-page capabilities statement to have available at meetings and events. WPI posts upcoming events to our events page.