Getting on the GSA Schedule

Checklist of Steps to Get a GSA Schedule Contract

GSA Beginner's Guide

There is no single application that a company can fill out to obtain a GSA Schedule or get on the GSA list. Companies interested in getting on the GSA Schedule must submit a proposal in response to the appropriate Solicitation. Depending upon the Solicitation and starting from the time you submit your proposal to GSA, it may take up to a year to receive your GSA Schedule Contract Award.

The following is a checklist of the steps needed to get a GSA Schedule Contract.

Determine Eligibility

The first step to getting on the GSA Schedule is determining if your company/organization is eligible to receive a GSA Schedule Contract Award. Before beginning the GSA Schedule proposal process the following must be met:
  • Financial Stability
  • At Least 2 Years in Business
  • Past Performance
  • Products Commercially Available
  • Products Compliant with the Trade Agreements Act. End product must be manufactured or substantially altered within the U.S. or a ''designated country'' as defined by the Trade Agreements Act. Click here for a list of designated countries.

Required Registrations

Whether or not you plan on obtaining a GSA Schedule Contract, the following items are required to do business with the federal government:

Past Performance Evaluation

A Dun & Bradstreet Open Ratings Past Performance Evaluation report must be included with your GSA Schedule Proposal. The process can take 35 days, so we recommend ordering the report — which costs $185 — when you begin preparing your GSA Schedule proposal. Keep in mind though; the report is only valid for 12 months. Meaning, if your GSA Schedule proposal gets put to the side for too long, you will have to pay to have the report completed again. For more information and to order the report, click here.

Identify the Appropriate GSA Schedule

There are currently over 11 million products and services available through nearly 50 GSA Schedules. It is important you pick the appropriate Schedule for your product/service offerings. Depending upon your offerings, the appropriate Schedule may be immediately obvious, or may require an in-depth analysis of your products/services in comparison with the scope of various Schedules. If the correct Schedule is not identified before beginning the proposal process, you risk wasting months worth of work preparing a proposal that will be rejected. A list of GSA Schedules can be found on the GSA eLibrary website.

Download the Corresponding Solicitation

Once you have identified the appropriate GSA Schedule, download the corresponding solicitation. Links to each GSA Schedule solicitation can be found here.

Prepare a Proposal

In general, each solicitation will require data including, but not limited to: corporate and financial information, past performance, commercial practices, and a proposed GSA price list. The exact information and format required will vary from Schedule to Schedule. If your company/organization chooses to pursue a GSA Schedule Contract without outside assistance, this may be the most time-consuming step of the process. The Solicitations are not always clear and contractors frequently end up submitting proposals that are incorrectly formatted, incomplete, and swiftly rejected by GSA.

TIP: Be cognizant of a possible Solicitation Refresh. Many companies who decide to take the GSA acquisition project in-house can take anywhere from months to over a year to complete the proposal. In this time GSA can issue a Solicitation Refresh which is an amendment that can potentially change the entire scope of the Solicitation. Once a Refresh is issued, contractors are typically given a set amount of time to submit proposals under the old Solicitation. After this time, proposals submitted under the outdated guidelines will be rejected.


Proposal Review

Your GSA Schedule Contract proposal must be submitted electronically through GSA's eOffer system,, which requires a digital certificate. Once submitted, it will be assigned to a Contracting Officer who will conduct an intense and thorough review. During this review the Contracting Officer will request additional information and/or clarifications.

GSA Contract Negotiation

The purpose of the GSA Schedules Program is to leverage the government's vast buying power to pre-negotiate discounted pricing. Once your Contracting Officer has completed a satisfactory review of your proposal, a conference call will be scheduled to negotiate pricing. It is crucial that you plan a negotiation strategy in advance to ensure the agreed upon discount is favorable to both potential government buyers and your company/organization.

Final Proposal Revision

After negotiations are complete, you will prepare and submit a Final Proposal Revision (FPR) that synopsizes your entire proposal and includes finalized pricing, as negotiated with GSA.

GSA Contract Award!

Contractors will receive a Contract Award and GSA Schedule Contract Number approximately a week after submitting the Final Proposal Revision. Once awarded, you may begin selling from your Schedule immediately.

Help Getting on the GSA Schedule

Federal Schedules, Inc. has been helping companies get their GSA Schedule Contracts since 1986. We can help you through each step of the process - from strategy development and proposal preparation, to GSA Schedule Contract Award. For more information, see GSA Schedule Proposal Help.

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