Power up your DSBS Keywords to Build a Strong Federal Contracting Small Business Profile

The SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search database (DSBS) is the leading federal agency marketing research tool used by contracting officers and prime contractors.

There are over 300,000 small businesses registered in this database and whether they sell cloud technology or construction services, they are trying to land federal government contracts that lead to increased revenues.  

The Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) is a database maintained by the Small Business Administration (SBA) that provides information about small businesses that are interested in bidding on federal contracts.

The DSBS is used by federal agencies to identify small businesses that are eligible to participate in their procurement activities.

Follow our tips below to improve your visibility in the DSBS and most importantly, increase your chances of being found by federal agencies looking for contractors.

4 Main Tips for Choosing Effective DSBS Keywords:

To build a strong federal contracting small business profile in the DSBS, it is important to use keywords that accurately describe your business and the services or products that you offer. This will make it easier for federal agencies to find your business when they are searching for potential contractors.

  1. Use specific terms: Avoid using broad terms or generic phrases. Instead, use specific terms that describe your business and the services or products you offer.
  2. Include industry-specific terminology: If your business operates in a specific industry, use industry-specific terms to describe your business and the services or products you offer.

  3. Be descriptive: Use descriptive phrases that give a clear picture of your business and the services or products you offer.

  4. Use acronyms cautiously: If your business uses acronyms that are commonly known in your industry, include them in your keywords.

How can your company stand out in the crowd?  

Your small business profile is made-up of your SAM.gov registration and your DSBS profile (which includes the extra pages entered with SAM.gov.  


Keywords are Your Power Tools 

Your DSBS profile includes a specific section for keywords. If your keywords are missing or minimal, you are invisible in the eyes of the federal buyer.   So, for example, if you sold tractors and only used the word tractor, you'll be found in a search for 'tractors’.  

However, if you added John Deere AND tractor, your profile would be included in searches for both John Deere (a manufacturer of tractors), and for tractors.

Your DSBS profile is your free marketing opportunity for your business the SBA. 

Bonus Opportunities 

The keywords field accepts up to 525 characters. In addition to the field labeled keywords, two other fields – capability narrative and special equipment material – are keyword searchable and include up to 2500 characters. Remember, every letter, space and comma is counted as a character.  

At this stage, we have only described the first step in the overall process. The DSBS is also where you showcase SBA Certifications for the 8a Business Development Program and the SBA HUBZone programs.

You can enrich your profile with an enriched capabilities narrative, keywords to search the DSBS database, references in the form of past commercial or governmental contracts, as well as bonding information for the building trade. 

Why Federal Buyers and Contracting Officers Search for Contractors on the DSBS Database? 

Contracting officers are required to do market research makes the DSBS a valuable tool in finding businesses by social economic type (i.e., woman-owned Small Business, 8a, HUBZone Small Business, and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business).  

Contracting officers used this information to determine set-aside opportunities under the Simplified Acquisition Threshold of $150,000, which is required under Part 13 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation.  

Contracting Officers are required to do market research for government procurement. This is a way for prospective vendors to provide company contact information and a capabilities statement for bids that are less than $25,000 and that do not have to be advertised on an electronic bid board like www.fbo.gov. 

Prime contractors who have government contracts over $650,000 are required to have a subcontracting plan that uses all the areas listed in the SBA DSBS. Prime contractors use the database for research to find businesses with whom to subcontract. 

DSBS is used by government contractors and agencies to verify the status of businesses as either 8a, HUBZone, or both. 

 Time to review your SBA supplemental page 

  1. Go to Small Business Administration (SBA) page by using the search link http://dsbs.sba.gov/dsbs/search/dsp_dsbs.cfm. 
  2. Go down to the “Searching for a specific profile” area and enter your DUNS number or cage code and then go to the bottom and click on search. Your company information will appear if you are current in the federal registration system. 
  3. Click on your company name and review your information for missing or out-of-date company information. 
  4. Next, login to the Systems for Award Management (SAM.gov) website to enter new or corrected information in the SBA profile. 
  5. Finally, make any necessary corrections or add more company marketing information on your SBA pages. 

Remember to add new award information to keep your reference area up to date. This will you keep your company information fresh and available to agencies when they plan government bidding opportunities. 

How Can You Update your SBA Profile (SBA Supplemental Page)

At the end of your entity registration on the System for Award Management (SAM.gov) website, if your business meets SBA size standards, you are given the option to complete an SBA Profile to add your business to the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS).

To edit your SBA Profile at a later date, you can either use the link in your SAM.gov profile under the Small Business Certification section, or you can access it through SBA’s General Login System (GLS)

If you do not already have a GLS account, follow the GLS Instructions for Small Businesses link in the left navigation on the GLS Login page () to create one. Add your business to your GLS profile

1. Log in on the GLS Login page

2. Then select the Profile link in the site header.





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