These 3 steps that are listed below have been pulled out of the MDC Online Resource Guide.

The Michigan Defense Center created the resource guide for Michigan companies and innovators who are interested in doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The purpose of the guide is to provide information on the various organizations, tools and other resources available locally and at the state or national level that can help you win federal contracts. These resources are free or available at a low cost for Michigan companies.

Why Get Into Defense Contracting?
• Diversify your portfolio to reduce risk and weather economic downturns
• Create opportunities for steady work and revenue
• Defense, defense aerospace and homeland security cross over into every industry
• Grow your business

Getting Started
There are three main paths to get into defense contracting. Perhaps the easiest way to enter the federal supply chain is to become a Subcontractor where you provide your goods or services to a company that already has a contract with the federal government. If you have an innovative idea that you would like to develop, prototype or produce, you can get a federal contract through Other Transaction Authorities (OTAs). Finally, you can become part of the federal supply chain by providing your goods or services directly to the federal government as a Prime Contractor. Whatever path you take to win a federal contract or become part of the federal supply chain, you must first do the following things:

  1. Register your company with the U.S. government through the System for Award Management (SAM) at SAM is a federal government-owned and operated website that allows companies to register and do business with the U.S. government. You must complete your SAM registration in order to bid on federal contracts, work as a federal contractor, or apply for federal grants.
  2. You also need to comply with NIST 800-171, a federal cybersecurity requirement. This requirement ensures that government contractors are able to protect the confidentiality of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). Contact your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at or the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC) at to receive assistance with NIST compliance.
  3. Connect with your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at to receive free or low-cost support for entering the federal supply chain such as individualized business counseling, training, registration and certifications, bid proposals, and matchmaking.

The Michigan Defense Center, an operation of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), is the lead voice for Michigan’s defense and homeland security economy. It has galvanized 34 academic institutions and local, state, and economic development organizations to become partners in protecting and growing the defense assets and industry in the state. To date, the Michigan Defense Center has distributed $6.5 million in grants to these partners and small businesses in Michigan including the Upper Peninsula. The tools and resources that the Michigan Defense Center has developed to assist Michigan businesses such as the Bid Targeting System (BTS) and Proposal Writing Services (PWS) has resulted in 400 new Michigan small businesses becoming engaged in the defense industry, and winning $500 million in contracts.

Download the full version of the Online Resource Guide Here.