Becoming a contractor

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Part of my business in the US was providing contract engineering services. Things like product design, CAD drafting, CNC machining, custom built assembly fixtures for factories, etc. I would be interested in doing this again for the local bases on a project basis. Is it possible for a one person company to get work with the military, or does contract work flow only through big companies? How would I go about starting the discussion with someone in a procurement position?

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@AlexCLE, keeping in mind that I retired back in 2009, things have changed so my knowledge is not current, but probably not that much off the mark.

 

First thing you'd have to do is be a registered business with Germany (Gewerbeschein) and all the facets that go along with that.  Then you'd need to begin finding contracts that fit your business and bid on them.  At the same time, perhaps some of the larger contractors might sub-contract to you for things you have expertise in, where it is cost advantageous to pass to you.

The US Government always gives preference to small businesses, but it depends largely on the type of contract.  Obviously a contract to build a tank or ship cannot go to a small business.  When contracts are awarded, a site assessment is performed to ensure you have the ability to perform to the terms of the contract.

A contractor or potential contractor is to have little to no contact with a KO (contracting officer) or anyone else in the Regional Contracting Office (RCO) for reasons of possible nepotism.

 

I cannot say for sure these days, but as small a footprint as DLA, Army, Navy and Airforce have in Germany, contracts are not like they were in the 80s or 90s.  I'm sure there are new building contracts, services contracts and repair contracts.  But as it sounds like you support factories, the idea of sub-contracting or supporting one of the larger contractors might be more in the direction you should go.  CNC machining or factory fixtures are not things the military needs as they don't have factories, but their contractors do.

To add to this, there are American companies who for the past number of years operate in Germany to secure these contracts.  They tend to look more for employees versus a sub-contractor, but searching for them could prove lucrative.

 

I do wish you luck on this.

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