Government contractors are individuals or organizations that enter into contracts issued by the federal government. As a government contractor, you may need a federal grant if you need financial assistance to complete work for the federal government. This review discusses the multi-step process for applying for a federal grant as a government contractor or vendor.
What Is A Federal Grant For A Government Contractor?
A federal grant is a form of economic assistance that is issued by the federal government. When a grant is provided to a government contractor, there is typically a specific purpose that the Yucontractor must use the financial aid to complete. In total, there are more than 1,000 grant programs that are offered by federal grant-making agencies. Unlike a loan, a federal grant typically does not have to be paid back to the federal government.
A Step-by-Step Guide To Applying For A Federal Grant As A Government Contractor
There are three main steps that you must complete when applying for a federal grant. These steps include obtaining a unique entity identifier (UEI) or a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, registering your organization with the System for Award Management (SAM.gov), and registering your organization with grants.gov.
Obtain A Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) Or A DUNS Number
The first step to take when applying for a federal grant is to obtain a unique entity identifier (UEI) or a DUNS number. Specifically, you will obtain a DUNS number if you are applying before April 4, 2022; if you are applying after April 4, 2022, then you will obtain a UEI. You can obtain a DUNS number by filling out the online application on the Dun and Bradstreet website. You can also call Dun and Bradstreet to register as well. You will need the following information to complete the application for a DUNS number:
- Your business’ full legal name
- The legal status of your business
- The year you established your business
- Address and phone number
- The products and services you provide
- The number of employees your business has
As mentioned, you do not need a DUNS number if you are applying after April 4, 2022. Instead, you will visit SAM.gov and they can assign you a free UEI, which is a 12-character alphanumeric value.
Register Your Organization With The System for Award Management (SAM.gov)
After you have your UEI or DUNS number, then you should register your organization with the System for Award Management on SAM.gov. The System for Award Management is an online website that is owned and operated by the federal government and gives contractors the opportunity to list and market their business to various government agencies.
SAM.gov provides excellent support via live chat and video assistance if you have any issues with the registration process. You will need to register under the entity registration page on their website. They will ask a series of questions, and you will have to provide your DUNS number. It can take up to ten days for your organization to be approved and show up after you submit the entity registration form.
Register Your Organization With Grants.gov
Lastly, to apply for a federal grant, you will need to register your organization with grants.gov. This website, which is owned and operated by the Department of Health and Human Services, is the only official access point for all federal grant-making agencies. There are no fees associated with grants.gov registration.
Grants.gov allows you to register, search for federal grant opportunities (of which there are more than 1,000 programs), and apply. They have a support portal, FAQ section, grant learning center, and more to assist you. You can learn more about applying and access applicant resources here.
When Should I Consider a Federal Grant as a Government Contractor?
The federal government provides a grant to a government contractor when additional funding is necessary to complete a specific project. For example, your organization may need additional funding in the form of a grant for a construction project. This may be more readily available as an option if the construction project that is built for the government is intended to serve the community at large.
Of course, there are many different grant types that your organization may qualify for and benefit from. Generally speaking, a federal grant is awarded when there is a greater good that comes from the services or goods provided with the grant money.
Tips For Writing Your Federal Grant Proposal
You can submit your grant proposal through grants.gov. When doing so, it is important to clearly state your purpose for applying for the federal grant and precisely how you intend to use the additional funding. It can also help to work with a professional that understands the federal grant application and award process.
If your contracting business is interested in learning more about applying for federal grants to support funding your government contracts, reach out to a knowledge certified public accountant to get started.