- Register your business and obtain a DUNS number and SAM registration. Register your business with local authorities.
- Obtain necessary licenses and permits as per the type of work you are going to perform.
- Comply with labor laws such as minimum wage payment, fair treatment of workers, compliance with safety regulations, and non-retaliation policy.
- Understand security clearance requirements if you are working on a sensitive government project.
If you are planning to work as a government contractor, you must be aware of some necessary legal requirements to ensure your eligibility to work. Government contracts come with strict laws and regulations requiring contractors to comply.
If you want to get into a career in government contracting, you must know the legal matters to take care of as a government contractor to avoid legal consequences. In this blog, you will learn about things you should know before starting your journey as a government contractor.
Register Your Business
The first step towards becoming a government contractor is registering your business with the state or local authorities. Apart from business registration, you must obtain a DUNS number and register on the System for Award Management (SAM). SAM is used to track the contractor’s eligibility and performance history. Registering your business is crucial to ensure you are eligible for government contracts.
Obtain the Necessary Licenses and Permits
Before working as a government contractor, you must obtain the required licenses and permits according to your work. If you are dealing with hazardous materials, you must obtain an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permit. Similarly, some states require additional licenses to work as a contractor. Getting the needed licenses and permits is a legal requirement to start your work as a government contractor.
Comply with Labor Laws
As a government contractor, you are obliged to comply with labor laws. There are many labor laws you must be aware of, but these are the most important ones you should never forget about:
Minimum wage payment
You must pay your employees at least the minimum wage as per the federal and state laws. This also includes paying for overtime if your employees are working more than forty hours in a week.
Fair treatment of workers
You are required to treat your employees fairly and not discriminate against them on the basis of race, religion, disability, or any other protected characteristics. Employers must also adhere to all workplace regulations related to safety and health.
Compliance with safety regulations
Your contractor business must always comply with safety regulations and standards issued by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This includes providing a safe working environment to your employees, providing proper protective gear, regular training, and implementing emergency response plans.
You must ensure that your employees are free from any form of retaliation for reporting a hazardous situation or filing a complaint against you. Any sort of harassment, intimidation, threats, or coercion is strictly prohibited by law.
By being knowledgeable about the most essential labors you need to follow, you can ensure a good working relationship with the government and prevent any legal issues.
Understand Security Clearance Requirements
If you are working on a sensitive government project, you may need to have security clearance. These clearances allow you to access confidential information and protect national security. If you do not hold the required clearance, you may lose the contract or have your security clearance revoked.
If this happens, you should consider employing the help of a security clearance law firm. They will help you understand the security clearance process and assist you in obtaining the necessary clearance. They can also provide other services, such as responding to statements of reasons, suitability determinations, or interrogatories, and they can even help you with written appeals for a security clearance denial.
Follow the Contractual Requirements
As a government contractor, you must follow the contractual requirements to avoid contract breaches. You must comply with the time and budget constraints mentioned in the contract. You must also ensure the quality of the work is up to the government’s standards. Failure to meet the contractual requirements may result in legal actions, termination, and loss of government contracts.
Government contracts can be highly lucrative, but they also come with strict laws and regulations that you must adhere to. As a government contractor, you must understand legal matters such as registering your business, obtaining necessary licenses and permits, complying with labor laws, understanding security clearance requirements, and following contractual obligations. Taking these steps seriously from the beginning will ensure that your business remains compliant with all relevant legislation while maintaining good relationships with the government.