Answers to a few frequently asked questions about contracting with the government and working with Montana APEX

Do you want to sell your products or services to the government? Are you wondering whether your business is suited for government contracting? Do you need help figuring out where to go, how to start? Are you perplexed by registrations, regulations, certifications, bids and solicitations?

Montana APEX offers you personal, timely advice on government contracting. Our experienced government contracting advisors can help you answer the above questions and many more. We encourage you to contact the Montana APEX nearest you to visit with one of our highly qualified staff members.

What is Montana APEX Accelerator?

Montana APEX is here to help you with your questions and concerns about selling to the government.

How much do you charge for APEX services?

The majority of Montana APEX’s services are free. Occasionally, we may charge a small fee to cover costs for special or large-scale training event. Montana APEX can provide free or low-cost services because the program is funded by Congress and local matching funds through a cooperative agreement. 

There are private companies that sell “government contracting” services. Their Web sites often resemble official government sites. Contracting with the government does not cost money. Before you pay for assistance with registrations, certifications or other government contracting services, we encourage you to call an APEX Accelerator office.

Does the government buy what I sell?

The federal government buys almost every type of product or service imaginable from businesses of all sizes. An APEX government contracting advisor can help you research opportunities and awards to see what agencies would most likely buy from you.

How can APEX help me?

Montana APEX offers a wide range of government contracting assistance including, but not limited to: market research; bid and proposal assistance; bid matching; solicitation review; registration assistance with government databases; government codes, regulations and requirements; small business programs and certifications. We offer many other services related to government contracting as well. Call the APEX Accelerator closest to you to learn how we can help you prepare for, then proceed and prosper in, the government marketplace.

Does APEX help with loans and grants?

Montana APEX helps individuals and nonprofit organizations with government contracting processes, electronic registrations, regulations, etc.,  that are required to do business with the federal government. However, we do not provide grant or loan assistance. The mission of Montana APEX is to assist businesses with selling products and/or services to government agencies.

Where is the nearest APEX Accelerator Office?

To find the Montana APEX nearest you, click here: Locations. Remember that we serve businesses throughout the state. If you are unable to meet with us personally, we will arrange to consult with you over the phone, email or video.  If your business is not located in Montana, click here: Resources. Under the Resources tab, you will find a link to our national professional association with information on APEX Accelerators throughout the country.

How do I get started in government contracting?

The processes and requirements vary for state and local government contracting. But to sell your products or services to the federal government, you must first take several required steps:

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), then:

  1. Obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) from the System for Award Management (SAM). We recommend that you ask your APEX Accelerator for assistance with this step and the others below. We can make it easier, clearer and more efficient for you. 
  2. Find your NAICS codes.
  3. Register in SAM (System for Award Management) database.

You can access more information on these steps by clicking this link: Helpful Web Sites; however, we advise you to call a Montana APEX government contracting advisor for free assistance with the above steps.

After I get registered, how long will it take to secure a government contract?

Winning that first government contract can take time – one study estimated an average of 18 to 24 months. It also takes patience, perseverance and, above all, commitment.

You must be committed to learning how the government works, finding the right people, perfecting your sales pitch, researching opportunities, and submitting bids. And after you receive that first contract, you must then meet the challenge to perform.

Fortunately, Montana APEX can help. We are dedicated to providing you with personal, timely advice on contracting with the government and supporting you in your efforts to learn, grow and succeed.

Montana APEX Accelerator is made possible by Big Sky Economic Development and its partner organizations across the state.

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