List Of Small Business Acronyms For Federal Contractors

Important acronyms business owners need to know as federal contractors…


The U.S. Small Business Administration is best known as the SBA. That is synonymous with a long list of government programs, grants, offices, and resources specifically for small businesses. One of the most important SBA programs is the SBA Loan, which is a government backed loan program that helps keep interest rates low and make loans available to new and small companies.


While DUNS is cleverly similar to the name of the founding and administering company, Dun & Bradstreet, it is actually an acronym for the Data Universal Numbering System. It is used by the United States government, European Commission, and even Apple computers when approving new vendors to release apps for iPhones and Mac computers. The nine digit number is also part of a system used to track your business credit score, so it is very important for your business.


The Automated Clearing House is a system maintained by the Federal Reserve that allows electronic fund transfers from one financial account to another. Using your bank’s routing number and your unique account number, you can send and receive funds, often at no cost, through this secure and trusted system.


America’s Small Business Development Centers are an SBA program that bring small business expertise to hundreds of offices around the country. You can find a local SBDC in all 50 states and territories including Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. Located at many universities and economic development agencies, they offer free resources and some low-cost training sessions that are sure to boost your business chops and help feed your bottom line.


The Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) is a database that government agencies use to find small business contractors for upcoming contracts. Small businesses can also use DSBS to find other small businesses to work with. 


Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) provide local, in-person counseling and training services for you, the small business owner. They are designed to provide technical assistance to businesses that want to sell products and services to federal, state, and/or local governments.

ACH: Automated Clearing House
APTAC: Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers
CAGE: Commercial and Government Entity Code
COC: Certificate of Competency
CMMI: Capability Maturity Model Integration
CMMII: Capability Maturity Model Integration Institute
CPARS: Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System
CTAs: Contractors Team Arrangements
DCAA: Defense Contract Audit Agency
DoD: Department of Defense
DUNS: Data Universal Numbering System
DSBS: Dynamic Small Business Search
EDWOSB: Economically-Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business
EIN/TIN: Employer (Tax) Identification Number
FSC: Federal Supply Codes (another name for Product Service Codes)
VA FCO: VA Forecast of Contracting Opportunities
GSA: General Services Administration
HUBZone: Historically Underutilized Business Zone
NAICS: North American Industrial Classification System
PSC: Product Service Codes (sometimes referred to as Federal Supply Codes)
PTAC: Procurement Technical Assistance Center
SAM: System for Award Management
SDVOSB: Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business
SATCs: Simplified Acquisition Threshold Contracts
VA: Department of Veterans Affairs
VA OSDBU: VA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
Vets First: Veterans First Contracting Program
VIP: Vendor Information Pages
VOSB: Veteran-Owned Small Business
WOSB: Women-Owned Small Business

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