DC Doing Business Guide

DC Government Contracting

The Office of Contracting and Procurement invites all businesses to take the required steps to do business with the Government of the District of Columbia. Vendors interested in doing business with the District should:

  1. Attend a general vendor workshop Each month, OCP in conjunction with the DSLBD, hosts a General Vendor Workshop to discuss how to do business with the District. In these sessions, vendors learn the requirements for doing business with the District, the procurement process, and ask any questions they may have. In addition to the General Vendor Workshop, OCP also hosts a monthly workshop specifically for vendors interested in the DC Supply Schedule, a set-aside market for registered Certified Business Enterprises in the District. At these sessions, vendors are given an overview of the DC Supply Schedule and its application process. Call (202) 724-4477 or visit bit.ly/dcvendorworkshop for more information.
  2. Meet all of the requirements for doing business with the district, including:
    • Provide a federal identification number and Dun and Bradstreet number. Prior to the award of a contract, vendors must provide a federal tax ID Number and D&B number. Additionally, OCP may request a copies of D&B reports. (800) 333-0505
    • Prove tax compliance. For contracts exceeding $100,000, vendors must show proof that their taxes are current and that, if in arrears, an approved payment schedule exists. (202) 727-4829 · otr.cfo.dc.gov
    • Show proof of unemployment tax compliance. For contracts exceeding $100,000, vendors must show proof of current Unemployment Tax payments. (202) 724-7000 · does.dc.gov
    • Enter into a First Source Agreement. For contracts exceeding $300,000, vendors must enter into a First Source Agreement. This agreement requires the vendor to utilize DOES as the first source for employee recruitment, referrals, and placement in jobs created under the proposed contract. Please review the updated DC First Source Policy regarding social security numbers. (202) 724-7000 · does.dc.gov
    • Submit an Affirmative Action Plan. For contracts exceeding $25,000, vendors must submit an Affirmative Action Plan. Local vendors may qualify for the District’s Small, Local, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, and Resident Business Owner Certification. Vendors who are certified receive preference points in the competitive solicitation process. OCP supports the Mayor’s initiatives to enhance economic development in the District. OCP encourages all eligible District businesses to consider certification. (202) 727-3900 · dslbd.dc.gov
    • View solicitation notices. Opportunities are advertised on the OCP website. For solicitations over $250,000, regulations require at least one notice in a newspaper of general circulation. Currently, business opportunities are advertised in the classified section of The Washington Examiner. OCP now uses an electronic solicitation system. Paper copies are no longer available at the Office of Contracting and Procurement. Vendors are responsible for checking OCP’s website daily in the event that amendments are made to a solicitation.
    • Meet minimum insurance requirements. Before awarding a contract, OCP determines the risks and minimum insurance required for supplies or services contracts. (202) 727-8600
  3. Register to do business with the district in esourcing to receive notice of open solicitations. Visit bit.Ly/dcesourcing for more information.
  4. Become certified as a cbe-certified business enterprise (local businesses only) A Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) is a for-profit business that is headquartered in the District of Columbia and has been certified by the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD). Businesses with CBE certification receive preferred procurement and contracting opportunities.

The District government directs spending to CBEs, contributing to job creation and the District’s tax base and strengthening the local economy. The CBE program provides contracting preference to certified businesses, maximizing their ability to compete for District government contract opportunities. Each agency, including an agency that contracts or procures through the Office of Contracting and Procurement, must exercise its contracting and procurement authority. It must meet, on an annual basis, the goal of procuring and contracting 50 percent of the dollar volume of its goods and services, including construction goods and services, to Small Business Enterprises. Businesses may be certified in any of the certification categories listed below; however, only a maximum of 12 points can be applied toward any contract award.

DSLBD’s CBE Connect (cbeconnect.dc.gov) is a comprehensive tool to provide CBEs a one-stop shop for all contracting and procurement needs.

Certification as a Local Business Enterprise (LBE) is a prerequisite to be certified in any additional business enterprise category within the CBE Program. In the CBE Program, once a business meets all LBE requirements, the business can request the Small Business Enterprise (SBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Resident-owned Business Enterprise (ROB), business enterprise located within a Development Enterprise Zone (DZE), Longtime Resident Business Enterprise (LRB), Veteran-owned Business Enterprise (VOB), or the Local Manufacturing Business Enterprise (LME) designation(s) for consideration to receive additional preference points or percentages.

The preference points associated with each category of certification are as follows:

CBE CategoryProposal PointsBid % Price Reduction
Local Business Enterprise22%
Small Business Enterprise33%
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise*22%
Development Enterprise Zone22%
Resident-Owned Business55%
Longtime Resident Business510%
Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise22%
Local Manufacturing Business Enterprise22%
*Note: The personal net worth of the applicant seeking DBE certification must be less than $1,000,000, excluding the value of his/her primary residence and values if his/her ownership interest in the CBE.
  1. Get on the dc supply schedule (cbes only). The DC Supply Schedule (DCSS) is the city’s multipleaward schedule for providing commercial products and services to District government agencies. Competitive contracts are awarded to hundreds of suppliers who can provide products and services to meet recurring needs of these government agencies. DCSS Schedules Categories:
  • Advertising, Novelties, Souvenirs, Promotional and Specialty Products, 037-00
  • Audit & Financial Management Services, 946-00
  • Engineering and Logistics Services, 925-00
  • Furniture and Furniture Management Services, 425-00
  • Industrial Services, 934-00
  • Industrial Supplies and Apparel, 485-00
  • Information Technology, Equipment and Software, 920-00
  • Marketing, Media and Public Information, 961-00
  • Medical Supplies and Equipment, 475-00
  • Mission Oriented Business Integrated Services (MOBIS), 918-00
  • Moving and Logistics Services, 962-00
  • General Office Supplies, 615-00
  • Printing and Document Management Services, 966-00
  • Security Equipment, Security Services and Emergency Preparedness
  • Temporary Support Services, 962-69,961-30
  • Training Services and Products, 924-00 (202) 727-0252 ·


  1. Regularly visit ocp.Dc.Gov to view current procurement opportunities.