Expanding Your Business

Exports | Government Contracts


Export Readiness Assessment

  • Export Readiness Assessment
    International trade specialists have designed this assessment to help you determine if your business is ready to take on overseas markets. It highlights key areas that successful exporters need to know and provides links to information on each topic.
  • Export Questionnaire
    This questionnaire highlights characteristics common to successful exporters. Many of these questions will guide you to more information on exporting. You will receive a score once you complete the questionnaire, which will help you to assess your export readiness, as well as an identification of areas your business needs to strengthen to improve its export activities.

Begin Exporting

  • Register with Export.gov
    Registering with Export.gov gives you access to market research and trade leads. You must be a U.S. company in order to access this information.
  • MBDA’s Export Basics
    Exporting is good for American businesses, American workers, and American jobs. Ninety-five percent (95%) of the world’s customers are outside the United States and the Minority Business Development Agency is committed to working with U.S. companies to help American-made goods and services succeed in the global market.
  • Market Information Webinars
    With offices in more than 100 U.S. cities and 80 countries across the globe, the U.S. Commercial Service offers U.S. companies exporting information, advice, and cost-effective end-to-end international business solutions. Tune into Export.gov webinars to hear from the U.S. Commercial Service and industry trade experts about how your company can start or increase your international sales.

Export Financing

Trade Missions

  • General Trade Missions
    Department of Commerce trade missions are overseas programs for U.S. firms that want to explore and pursue export opportunities by meeting directly with potential clients in their markets.
  • Certified Trade Missions
    U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Certified Trade Missions (CTMs) are overseas events planned, organized, recruited, and led by private and public sector export-oriented groups outside of the U.S. Department of Commerce. CTMs bring representatives of U.S. companies into contact with potential agents, distributors, joint venture partners, licensees, local businesses, and government officials.
  • Upcoming Missions




Analyze your Business

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has created a tool that can help you determine if you qualify as a “small business” under SBA size standards. Qualifying as a small business may allow your business to take advantage of valuable government contracting opportunities reserved for small businesses. To be eligible as a small business, your business must:

  • Satisfy the SBA’s size standard for your industry
  • Operate for profit
  • Be independently owned and operated
  • Reside in the U.S., making significant contributions to the U.S. economy 

Visit SBA’s Learning Center to learn more about government contracting.

Register for the System for Award Management (SAM)

SAM is a federal procurement system that allows you to do business with the federal government. All businesses must register in order to be awarded a government contract. SAM is completely free of charge for both registrants and users. The overarching benefits of SAM include streamlined and integrated processes, elimination of data redundancies, and reduced costs while providing improved capability.

Visit the General Services Administration

The GSA Schedules program manages procurement for products and services from commercial vendors with approximately $50 billion a year in spending or 10 percent of overall federal procurement spending.  For vendors, GSA Schedules establishes long-term, government-wide contracts to provide access to millions of commercial products and services at volume discount pricing. Having a GSA Schedule contract is a significant investment on the part of the vendor and GSA.

Search Federal Business Opportunities

The Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website is the central hub to find open procurements and business opportunities across federal agencies. Commercial vendors can search the federal markets for available opportunities or view them by agency.

Search MBDA’s Contract Opportunities

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has compiled available contract opportunities for minority-owned businesses.  It is a free tool available to all registered minority-owned firms and those seeking to do business with minority firms that consolidates opportunities from many databases in one easy-to-use interface.

Visit the Federal Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)

The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is responsible for ensuring that small businesses are treated fairly and have an opportunity to compete and be selected for a fair amount of the agency’s contracting and subcontracting dollars. There are currently 35 agencies with offices dedicated to helping small businesses:

Visit the website of the agency of your interest to learn how to do business with that agency.

Join SBA’s Government Contracting Classroom

SBA has created a series of free online contracting courses designed to help prospective and existing small businesses understand the basics about contracting with government agencies. Whether you are just getting started or looking for ways to compete in the government contracting marketplace, these courses can be helpful to you.


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