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How to Become a GSA Schedule Contractor Blog Feature
Stephanie Hagan

By: Stephanie Hagan on October 16th, 2023

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How to Become a GSA Schedule Contractor

GSA Schedule | 7 Min Read

Here at Winvale, we talk a lot about the General Service Administration (GSA). Having a GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract is a great opportunity to expand your company’s opportunities to a whole new market. Maybe you’ve read up about GSA Schedule contracts and are starting to learn more about the acquisition process and what is required, but we know how intimidating it can be. After perusing all the various GSA sites and coming across unfamiliar phrases and regulations, where do you begin? In this blog, we'll help you figure out what to do first and how to be prepared. 

What Research Should I Do Before Starting the GSA Schedule Acquisition Process?

There’s a lot to know about the GSA world. There’s several acronyms and a lot of information to get in your head before getting your GSA contract started. To begin:

1. Download the Solicitation

The Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) solicitation package provides guidance to companies who want to offer products, services, and solutions to federal, state, and local government customers using GSA Schedules. The solicitation is the best place to start to get an idea of the scope of the contract vehicle and where you fit in best into the program. Now that the GSA Schedules have been consolidated, it’s more important than ever to review this document.

2. Research the Market for Your Products and Services

Research the federal government marketplace to identify what federal agencies have historically purchased your products and/or services to help you establish a targeted approach. Agencies report all contract actions with estimated value in excess of the Micro-Purchase Threshold in the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). FPDS can serve as a valuable tool for you to research the federal procurement marketplace.

  • Research Your Competitors: Utilize the Schedule Sales Query database, in conjunction with GSA eLibrary to understand your competition already on Schedule. Determine who your key competitors in the federal marketplace are and what their prices are. You want to make sure your prices are competitive in the GSA world, so doing this research ahead of time will pay off in the long run!
  • Plan on how to market your GSA Schedule contract: Prepare a marketing plan to do business with the federal government. Develop a marketing and sales strategy for how you will find opportunities and win federal business. Use the information that you find in your research through FPDS to outline the federal agencies that you plan to target.

How Do I Prepare My GSA Schedule Offer?

Now that you’ve done your market research and decided a GSA Schedule is right for you, it’s time to become familiar with the core requirements your company needs to get on Schedule.

To be eligible for a Schedule contract, you must have been in business for two years and provide two years of financial statements, unless you are eligible for the Startup Springboard Program, allowing you to use professional and project experience from key personnel to fill in the gaps. You must also have registered your company in (and received a Unique Entity Identifier, or UEI), have Trade Agreement Act (TAA) compliant products and services, and offer your solutions commercially. More information can be found in our blog about GSA Schedule requirements

If you meet the criteria, start to gather important company documents (company financial, catalogs, price lists, brochures, organization charts, etc.) as required by the solicitation. During this phase you must obtain the required registrations and validations, such as a registration (mentioned above), a UEI, and a digital certificate, among others. You will also be required to do a selection of trainings before submitting your GSA offer.

A GSA Schedule offer has three sections: Administrative, Technical, and Pricing. You will need to pull files and complete documents to fit the solicitation’s requirements for all three sections. If you have any questions as you prepare your offer, please seek clarification from GSA or a GSA consultant.

How Do I Submit My GSA Schedule Offer?

Once you’ve completed all the documents required by the solicitation for a GSA Schedule offer, you can now submit the offer! The eOffer system enables potential industry partners to submit an electronic offer to the latest solicitation by following a step-by-step process that may be saved and revisited as the offer is built.

You are required to submit your offer through the eOffer system. Please note that digital certificates are also required when using the eOffer system.

GSA Will Review Your Offer

Once your offer has been submitted to GSA, a Contracting Officer (CO) will be assigned to review it. The CO will act as your official GSA guide through this process. Once the initial review has been completed, the CO will negotiate the contract’s terms and conditions as well as prices of the potential contract. If all requirements are met and the prices are fair and reasonable, your contract will be awarded.

GSA will try to award offers efficiently and effectively. However, comprehensive review, a potential financial review,  potential negotiations, and award may take up to 12 months depending on the offer.

It's important to note that submission of an offer does not guarantee the award of a Schedule contract. Many of our clients come to us with incomplete or rejected offers, unsure of how to start the process again and frustrated they wasted their time. This is why we suggest if you don't have someone on your team who is knowledgeable about the process and has a lot of time on their plate to dedicate to it, to consider hiring a consultant.

What Do I Need to Do to Maintain My GSA Contract?

Getting your GSA Schedule contract is only the first step to being a successful GSA Schedule contractor. Often, after a contract is awarded, an industry partner will need to modify contract information. Maintaining your contract is just as important as getting a schedule in the first place!

1. Compliance and Support

You must maintain compliance with all terms and conditions of your Schedule contract throughout the contract’s life. A GSA representative (known as an Industrial Operations Analyst “IOA”) will work with you during the contract term to help you remain compliant.

2. Minimum Sales

You need a minimum of $25,000 in sales within the first two years of your Schedule contract and then each individual year thereafter.

3. Sales Reporting

You are required to track and report your GSA Schedule sales, and remit the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) for all sales made against your Schedule contract. The reporting and IFF remittance frequency will depend on how your Schedule contract is awarded.

4. Pricing

You are required to share your full Schedule price list on GSA Advantage! within 30 days of award and any applicable modification to your contract. Pricing on GSA Advantage! is available for the public to view.

5. Marketing

You will also want to make sure that you are marketing your GSA contract to drum up as many potential opportunities as possible! Marketing your GSA contract is not the same as marketing your contract commercially, although the two may overlap.

Preparing for the GSA Schedule Acquisition Process

Becoming a GSA Schedule contractor may seem like a daunting task, but when you’re equipped with the right information, it becomes more manageable. If you want to learn more about the GSA Schedule Acquisition process before you jump into it, check out one of the blogs below:

If you have any questions contact the Winvale team today! We are here to help you succeed in the government marketplace.

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About Stephanie Hagan

Stephanie Hagan is the Training and Communications Manager for Winvale. Stephanie grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and earned her Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism and Rhetoric/Communications from the University of Richmond.