Hard work made you a successful contractor with a solid reputation, and a rash of natural disasters with their resulting devastation from the Gulf Coast to the heartland has ignited a desire to use your skills to do more. Registration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides you the opportunity to bid on the federal contracts that deliver direct assistance to calamity survivors. It takes a few days to become FEMA-approved, but registration is free and easy to complete.
Locate your taxpayer identification (TIN) and data universal (DUN) numbers. The TIN is usually the contractor’s employer identification number; however sole proprietors may use their Social Security number. FEMA uses the DUN, which is issued by Dun & Bradstreet, to track disbursements of federal money; go to D & B DUNS Numbers (see Resources) and complete the free application if you don’t have a DUN.
Register with the CCR (Central Contractor Registration); this is the primary registrant database and market research tool. You must detail the average number of people the contractor employed over a 12-month period and the average annual receipts for the three previous completed fiscal years and include your TIN, DUN and electronic funds transfer information. CCR will issue a Marketing Partner Identification Number (MPIN), which is used to verify authorized contractors and bidders, in three to five business days.
Contact the Industry Liaison Support Center (ILSC) to obtain a Vendor Profile, which FEMA forwards to local Contracting Officers as supplemental market research during disasters. Complete the Vendor Profile and return it to the ILSC. You are an approved FEMA contractor once the document is processed.
Go to FedBizOpps to determine the procurement opportunities the federal government currently has available for bidding.
Download the federal publication “How to do Business with FEMA” and keep it handy throughout the process of becoming an approved contractor. In addition to contact information for FEMA departments and offices, it provides copious tips for building your relationship with FEMA and fellow contractors and bidding guidelines to help improve the odds you’ll get the contract.