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-Small Business > Department of the Navy Office of Small Business Programs Frequently Asked Questions
Department of the Navy Office of Small Business Programs Frequently Asked Questions

Department of Navy (DON) Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) is dedicated to supporting the needs of small businesses. The following questions are the most frequently received inquiries from small businesses to our office.

If you have additional questions, please call 202.685.6485 or email OSBP.info@navy.mil.


What is the mission of the Department of the Navy Office of Small Business Programs? 

The Department of the Navy Office of Small Business Programs fosters acquisition opportunities where small businesses can best support Sailors, Marines, and their families through policy, advocacy, counseling & training.

Does the Department of the Navy Office of Small Business Programs award contracts?

No. The vast majority of Department of the Navy (Navy and Marine Corps) contracts are awarded by DON’s ten buying Commands.

What does the Department of the Navy buy?

The DON consists of ten Commands (Head (major) of Contracting Activities). You will find the mission and requirements for each here.

How do I do business with the Department of the Navy?

A "Ten Steps to Success" document is published on our website. The 10 steps are designed to assist small businesses with obtaining the required information necessary to do business with the Department of the Navy.

How is a small business defined or categorized?

The Small Business Administration defines a small business concern as one that is independently owned and operated, is organized for profit, and is not dominant in its field. Depending on the industry, size standard eligibility is based on the average number of employees for the preceding twelve months or on sales volume averaged over a three-year period.

The size standard is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and is currently figured by either dollar revenue or number of employees. Click here to determine your company's NAICS code(s).

What are NAICS and SIC codes?

The Federal government uses the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to classify business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. NAICS replaced the U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system in 1997. NAICS is the first-ever North American industry classification system. The system was developed by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to provide comparable statistics across the three countries. For the first time, government and business analysts are able to directly compare industrial production statistics collected and published in the three North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) countries. FAR 19.303 instructs Contracting Officers to determine the appropriate NAICS code and related small business size standard for solicitations above the micro-purchase threshold which best describes the principal purpose of the product or service being acquired.

What entity established the size standards within a certain industry?

The Small Business Administration is responsible for establishing size standards for the different industries in the economy. Click here to determine your company's size standard. (Additional business size standard information can be obtained from SBA's Office of Size Standards).

How can I certify my company as a small business (Small, 8(a), Small Disadvantaged, Women-Owned, Veteran-Owned, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned, HUBZone)? 

The HUBZone Program, and 8(a) Business Development (BD) Program require official certification from the Small Business Administration; you must apply for those directly. The remaining categories are self-certifying and no formal certification is required. Self-certification will be reviewed if a competitor or other interested party protests. Click here for more information on Small Business Certifications.

What is the difference between 8(a) certification and Small Disadvantaged Business certification?

The 8(a) program is a business development program that offers a broad scope of assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged firms. Small Disadvantaged Business certification pertains to benefits in Federal procurement. 8(a) firms automatically qualify for Small Disadvantaged Business certification (see https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/articles/Small%20Business%20Certifications.pdf).

Who do I contact regarding my goods and/or services?

Contact your nearest Small Business Professional. Refer to OSBP's online Location Map to obtain the contact information for any Department of the Navy Small Business Professionals. If you have determined a Buying Command with which you want to conduct business, you can contact the Small Business Professional at that Buying Command.

What is the role of a Small Business Professional?

To act as an advocate to maximize small business opportunities in support of the mission of their organization.

How can I contact a Small Business Professional in my state?

Our Small Business Professional Location Map includes the contact information for all Department of the Navy Small Business Professionals. We do not have Small Business Professionals in every state.

How do I find out about upcoming conferences and events?

OSBP posts upcoming events of interest for small business vendors to Participating Events under Outreach. Each of the 10 Buying Commands posts events on their websites as well. Industry Days are also posted in the Federal Business Opportunities website "www.fedbizopps.gov.

How can I find opportunities available within the Department of the Navy and Department of Defense (DoD) for small businesses?

You can identify current procurement opportunities in your product or service area by checking the Federal Business Opportunities website www.fedbizopps.gov. You can identify Navy and Marine Corps, as well as other Federal procurement opportunities. Each of the Department of the Navy’s 10 Buying Commands posts a Long Range Procurement Forecast. Links to these forecasts can be found here.

Visit the DoD Small Business website to learn about DoD Small Business with DoD and to view the DoD's Subcontracting Opportunities.

How do I identify subcontracting opportunities?

Regardless of your product or service it is important that you do not neglect our very large secondary market, Subcontracting Opportunities with DoD Prime Contractors. The Small Business Administration provides information on Subcontracting for Small Business, which includes a DoD Prime Contractor Directory, Small Business Administration’s Subcontracting Assistance Directory, and additional information on the DoD Subcontracting Program. We encourage you to investigate potential opportunities with these firms. Many also have websites that may be useful and we encourage you and them to team with each other.

The SBA's SUB-Net is a valuable source for obtaining information on subcontracting opportunities. Solicitations or notices are posted not only by prime contractors, but the SUB-Net is also used by other government, commercial, and educational entities.

Who do I contact if I have questions about my contract, including questions about payment as a prime or subcontractor?

For questions about your contract, contact the Contracting Officer assigned to the Command that awarded the contract. Vendors may also contact the Small Business Professional. Note: Have the contract number available prior to calling the Small Business Professional!

Where can I find DoD contracting procedures and clauses?

These are contained in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS).

How can I obtain assistance or training to prepare bid proposals?

The Small Business Administration provides valuable information on applicable training resources. Another resource is the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs). PTACs are located in most states and partially funded by DoD to provide small business concerns with information on how to do business with the Department of Defense. They provide training and counseling on marketing, financial, and contracting issues at minimal or no cost.

How do I contact other small businesses?

To locate a small business in your area, refer to the System for Award Management (SAM) website and the Small Business Administration’s Dynamic Small Business Search website.

Who do I contact at the Small Business Administration?

Who do I contact if I have a new technology that the Navy and Marine Corps may not know about?

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STIR) programs support small businesses doing innovative research and technology development. Find out more information here: You can also contact a Department of the Navy Small Business Professional.

Are there rotational opportunities available in your office?

DON OSBP provides developmental opportunities through the Rotational Excellence Program for leadership-minded government employees in defense-acquisition career fields.

Where can I find information on the Mentor Protégé Program?

For information on the Department of Navy’s Mentor-Protégé Program, please visit the Office of Small Business Programs at: http://www.secnav.navy.mil/smallbusiness/Pages/mentor-protege.aspx

How do I do obtain a DUNS Number and register in the System for Award Management (SAM)?

Contact Dun and Bradstreet to obtain a DUNS Number. You must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) to be awarded a contract from the DoD. SAM is a database designed to hold information relevant to procurement and financial transactions. SAM affords you the opportunity for fast electronic payment of your invoices.

What is eSRS?

The electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS) is a government-wide Internet-based tool which streamlines the process of reporting on subcontracting plans, and provides agencies with access to analytical data on subcontracting performance. The eSRS eliminates the need for paper submissions and processing of the SF-294, SF-295, Individual Subcontracting Reports, and Summary Subcontracting Reports, by replacing the forms with an easy-to-use electronic process to submit the data.

The paper submission of SF-294 is only required for orders issued under either a Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) or a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA).

For additional information go to: ESRS

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