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  • Senaite Habtewolde

LA Small Businesses: Introduction to Government Contracting

Updated: Jun 13, 2022

Government contracting is when small businesses provide goods and services to a government entity in the form of a contract, thereby making them “government contractors.” Providing goods and services to the government also attracts customers and increases sales for the business, so it’s a win-win for both sides! If you’re a small business interested in government contracting, check out the resources below.

Overview of Registration for Government Contracting


  • Registration is mandated by government agencies for small businesses that want to sell products in the state of California.

  • Establishing your profile on the right government portal is important, as it identifies your business contact information and includes the products or services your business offers.

  1. Learn more and register as a vendor with the State of CA:

  2. With the County of LA:

  3. With the City of LA:

  • It also ensures that you receive important information about announcements and events.

The following items are needed for registration:

  1. Your taxpayer identification number and certification

  2. Your company/organization’s main contact name, address, phone, email

  3. Your California Sales Tax Permit number, if applicable

  4. A list of the types of products and/or services your company provides

Be aware that the County of LA will confirm your Tax Identification Number (TIN) with the IRS TIN Matching Program for the TIN and the name on the provided Form W-9, requesting for TIN and Certification to match IRS records.

Overview of Certification for Government Contracting


In order to become certified as a government contractor, you must:

  1. Determine which programs are available for your business.

  2. Identify which programs for which your small business is eligible.

  3. Gather necessary documentation for government procurement applications.

It’s also highly recommended for references to be listed in the bidding processes, as the application is sent to a variety of vendors.

Certification Programs at the State and Local Levels within California

State of CA

  • Small Business

  • Small Business for Purposes of Public Works

  • Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE)

  • Non-Profit (NP) Organization

County of Los Angeles

  • Local Small Business Enterprise (LBSE)

  • DVBE (included in the CBE program)

  • Social Enterprise

  • Community Business Enterprise (CBE)

  • Women Business Enterprise (WBE)

  • Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)

  • Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE)

Overview of the LA County Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)

The LA County PTAC helps small businesses who intend to market and sell products to the local, state, or federal government. Businesses can obtain resources and training at the PTAC, as well as:

  • Small Business Counseling - enrolling and registering small and disabled veteran-owned businesses

  • Small Business Concierge - “one-stop shop for business owners in Los Angeles County”

The PTAC’s services are COMPLETELY FREE.

How can the PTAC help me and my small business?

  • Meet and speak with procurement staff to establish individualized action plans to become a government contractor

  • PTAC provides steps on how to get started in government contracting, from marketing resources to forming a capability statement.

  • Provides support in registration, certification, and procurement practices

  • Looks at client proposals, quotes, or responses

  • Accessibility of proprietary market intelligence software that gather information in the marketplace tailored to small businesses’ interests

To schedule an appointment, contact