Getting Started with the Small Business Hub

Whether your business is focused on innovation, a product, a service, or subject matter expertise, follow the steps below to become a defense contractor and connect with people, partners, and resources within our ecosystem.

Snapshot of Steps

  1. Connect with AFRL Ecosystem
  2. Seek Assistance from SBDC
  3. View SBA Resources
  4. Contact APEX Accelerator
  5. Complete Registrations & Certifications
  6. Understand Regulations
  7. Find AFRL Opportunities
  8. Choose Your Path

Connect with the AFRL Ecosystem

Join the network at the AFRL Small Business Hub and connect with the team at the AFRL Small Business Office (AFRLSBO).

Seek Assistance from Your Local SBDC

Gain insights on which steps to take next by accessing resources through your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which works with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide counseling and training for small businesses.

Research Resources Provided by the SBA

Search and learn about topics and resources ranging from planning and launching to managing and growing your business.

Contact Your Local APEX Accelerator

APEX Accelerators exist to support businesses entering and participating in the defense supply chain. The program provides education and training so that all businesses can participate in federal, state, and local government contracts.

Complete Registrations & Certifications

Utilize and the SBA Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) to ensure your business’s registrations and certifications are complete and up to date.

Understand the Regulations

Small businesses need to understand and comply with the numerous laws, regulations, and code that dictate how to do business with the government. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS)Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and Office of the Law Revision Counsel United States Code (USC) are some of the primary legal references small businesses should be familiar with to ensure they are meeting the necessary government acquisition requirements, registrations, and certifications.

There are also a variety of government FAR and non-FAR based contract strategies or agreements to execute programs, projects, and establish partnering relationships. Each of these contract strategies or agreements are also based on the federal regulations and/or law. Understanding the different types of contract strategies or agreements available to small businesses widens the aperture of federal opportunities and resources.

Find AFRL Opportunities

Look for opportunities within AFRL, whether through prime contracts, subcontracting, grants and/or commercialization.

Choose Your Path

At this point in your journey, you face a critical decision: What type of business are you running? Choose a pathway focused on Product, Service, Innovation, or Subject Matter Expertise, and dive into our curated resources for each option.