MoneyMindedMoms: Women-owned Small Businesses (WOSB) , Part 2

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Women-owned Small Businesses (WOSB) , Part 2
Mar 09 2011 08:00 PM | Eva Rosenberg  in Erasing & Managing Your Debt -----
In our last episode, you learned, from Lourdes Martin-Rosa, how a home-based meeting planner generated $170,000 in government contracts within two years after looking into these opportunities for women.

How can you do this, too? There’s no mystery about this.

This is the foundation you need to get started, according to Lourdes Martin-Rosa and Amex Open. (I will go through the steps to see what obstacles you will face – and clear them from your path.):

First step – get these things – you will need them to start your application:

o Mailbox service - TaxMama Tip – If you value your privacy - BEFORE you start, sign up with a mailbox service with an address that looks like a street address. The system posts your street address and phone number for the world to see.

o DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number - obtain it FREE - (TaxMama Tip: If you use this link, instead of their main link, you won’t be forced to call them and listen to a sales pitch. They will simply email your existing DUNS number, or a new one. Be sure to enter your STREET address or you will run into problems later. It took less than 20 minutes for it to arrive.)

o TIN or EIN (Tax ID or Employer ID Number) from IRS (TaxMama Tip: get an EIN, instead of using your Social Security number. Your business looks more professional – and you protect your identity, a little.)

o Product or Services Classification Codes (NAICS) - Choose the category that best describes your business and what it provides. (TaxMama Tip: Important! When you sign up for leads, these are the categories from which you will get your leads and announcements about potential government contracts will be generated. Select NAICS codes for the kind of work you want to do and projects you want to take on. Don't just select codes that reflect what you’ve been doing until now. Include the “all other” code numbers among your categories. You may enter up to 1,000 codes – but don’t go crazy. You do want to narrow down the data you receive. Too many leads become meaningless.)

Next Step - Register in CCR (Central Contractor Registration) This is the primary vendor database for the U.S. Federal Government. It collects, validates, stores and disseminates data in support of agency acquisition missions. Registration is free. TaxMama Tips:

When you start your registration, the first thing it asks for is your DUNS number. It will match it to the database. You cannot go any further if the DUNS number doesn’t match. So, if you have an old number, you must update your information before you can go forward. Then wait 24 hours for the database to be updated.

Although the CCR application asks for a street address, if the address you submitted for the DUNS number is a PO Box, use it. Otherwise, the database won’t match – and you can’t go to the next screen.

There is a field to enter a CAGE/NCAGE code. Skip it. The system will assign it to you.

However, if you entered a PO Box in the DUNS application, you will get an error on the General Information page. You MUST then go to or call them at 1-888-814-1435 Monday-Friday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM Local Time.

Meanwhile, you can move on and fill in the rest of the database. TaxMama Tip – before you click on SAVE – copy ALL the data. I spent about an hour on this page and had to log back in, having lost all my data!

After you enter your choice of NAICS codes, you come to the Product Service Codes - PSC. You are limited to 10 choices. Invest a LOT of time scouring this list. This is where your contracts will originate.

Next come the Federal Supply Classification Codes – FSCC – you are limited to 4 of these.

Points of Contact – Martin-Rosa says to be sure YOU are the person entered as the primary contact. You don’t want your business going to staff who may have left. TaxMama Tip: if you include email addresses for staff, set up email address for this purpose. Make sure you are copied on all the mail they receive at that email address. (You can easily do this on your website’s control panel.)

One of the steps in the process is to authorize the government to look at your tax return. Do you want that to happen? Don’t worry. It won’t be IRS looking.

OK, it took about two hours, with interruptions, to get this far. It won’t take you that long, because you will avoid my pitfalls.

The next article will take you further. Meanwhile, feel free to start exploring the website, and start taking some of the free courses.

Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of , where your tax questions are answered. Eva is the author of several books and ebooks, including Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at and other tax courses at


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