How Long Does It Take to Receive a GSA Contract Award?

How Long Does It Take to Receive a GSA Contract Award?

By: | Date: 2024-02-13

Securing a GSA (General Services Administration) contract is a coveted achievement for businesses looking to tap into the lucrative federal marketplace. These contracts open doors to a vast array of opportunities, enabling companies to provide their products or services to various government agencies. 

However, one of the most pressing questions on the minds of businesses seeking a GSA contract is: "How long does it take to receive a GSA contract award?" The answer to this question is vital for planning, budgeting, and managing expectations.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricate details of the GSA contract award process, shedding light on the various factors that influence the timeline. 

So, whether you are a seasoned government contractor or a newcomer to the federal procurement scene, understanding the journey to a GSA contract award is crucial for your success.

How Long Does It Take to Receive a GSA Contract Award?

The GSA Contract Application Process

The process of applying for a General Services Administration (GSA) contract can be intricate and time-consuming, but understanding each step is crucial for those seeking to tap into government procurement opportunities. In this section, we'll delve into the key stages of the GSA contract application process:

A. Submission of Offer:

Steps in Preparing and Submitting the Offer:

The submission of an offer to the GSA is a critical step in securing a GSA contract. Here are the primary steps involved:

  1. Market Research: Begin by researching the federal marketplace and identifying the GSA Schedule that aligns with your products or services.
  2. Registration: Ensure that your business is registered on the System for Award Management (SAM) and has a Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S) number.
  3. Proposal Preparation: Prepare a comprehensive proposal that includes all required documents, such as financial statements, past performance information, and a technical proposal. It should align with the GSA's specific requirements.
  4. Pricing Strategy: Develop a competitive pricing strategy, considering both government requirements and market rates.
  5. Submission: Submit your proposal through the eOffer portal on GSA's website, including all necessary documents and information.

Also, read our article on The Functionality of a General Service Administration Contract

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When submitting your offer, it's essential to steer clear of common mistakes that can lead to rejection or delays:

  1. Incomplete Documentation: Missing or incomplete documents can cause your proposal to be rejected. Ensure all required documents are included.
  2. Inaccurate Pricing: Incorrect pricing can lead to contract disputes and delays. Verify that your pricing aligns with your proposal.
  3. Failure to Follow Instructions: Not adhering to the GSA's instructions and guidelines can result in proposal rejection.
  4. Lack of Compliance: Ensure your proposal complies with all relevant laws, regulations, and GSA requirements.

B. Proposal Review:

  • Initial Review:

After your proposal is submitted, it undergoes an initial review by GSA contracting officers. During this phase, they assess whether your proposal meets basic requirements and guidelines. This includes verifying that all documents are present and that your pricing is in line with market rates.

Also read: Why Should Small Businesses Partner with Prime Contractors?

  • Discussions and Clarifications:

If your initial proposal review raises questions or concerns, GSA may engage in discussions or seek clarifications. This allows you to address any issues or provide additional information to enhance the proposal's quality and compliance with GSA standards.

C. Contract Negotiations:

Once your proposal clears the initial review and discussions, GSA may initiate contract negotiations. This phase involves refining the terms and conditions of the contract, ensuring that both parties (your business and the government) agree on all aspects, including pricing, delivery, and performance requirements.

D. Final Proposal Revision:

Following negotiations, you may need to make final revisions to your proposal, incorporating any agreed-upon changes. This ensures that the contract terms are accurately reflected in the final proposal.

E. Contract Award:

The contract award is the culmination of the GSA contract application process. Once GSA is satisfied with your proposal and negotiations, they will award you the GSA contract. This award signifies your official authorization to provide goods or services to federal agencies through the GSA Schedule 2024.

Also read: The Role of GSA Schedules in Government Procurement

The GSA Contract Award Timeline

The time it takes to receive a GSA contract award can vary widely, depending on several factors. Here is a breakdown of the key stages and the average duration associated with each:

Preparation (2-6 Months): The GSA contract journey begins with preparation. This stage involves researching the federal market, identifying your products or services' suitability, and ensuring compliance with GSA's requirements. Businesses must also obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S) number and register in the System for Award Management (SAM) database, which can take several weeks.

Proposal Submission (1-3 Months): Once you have prepared all the necessary documentation, you'll need to submit your proposal through the GSA eOffer platform. This process can take anywhere from one to three months, depending on the complexity of your proposal and the responsiveness of GSA personnel during the review.

Initial Review (2-6 Months): After submission, your proposal undergoes an initial review by GSA specialists. This phase involves a comprehensive assessment of your proposal's compliance with GSA's requirements. Delays can occur if your proposal requires revisions or additional information.

Negotiation (2-4 Months): If your proposal passes the initial review, negotiations begin. This phase involves discussing terms, pricing, and other contractual details. Negotiations can take two to four months, depending on the complexity of your contract and the responsiveness of both parties.

Final Review and Approval (2-4 Months): Following successful negotiations, your contract undergoes a final review. This review includes legal and financial assessments to ensure all requirements are met. Once approved, your contract moves closer to the award phase. Delays in this stage may occur if further revisions or clarifications are needed.

Contract Award (1-2 Months): Finally, if all goes well, your GSA contract is awarded. This can take anywhere from one to two months after the final review and approval stage. Once awarded, you can start selling your products or services to federal agencies through the GSA Schedule.

It is important to note that these timelines are approximate, and actual durations can vary based on numerous factors. Complex proposals, incomplete documentation, or backlogs within GSA can all extend the time it takes to receive a GSA contract award.

Factors Influencing the Timeline

Several factors can influence the time it takes to receive a GSA contract award:

  • Proposal Quality: The completeness and accuracy of your proposal play a significant role. A well-prepared proposal that meets all GSA requirements ensures a smoother process. Missing or inaccurate documents can lead to delays or rejections, making it crucial to double-check your submission.
  • Contract Complexity: The complexity of your contract, such as the range of products or services and negotiated terms, can impact the timeline. More intricate contracts may require additional review and negotiation time to ensure compliance with GSA standards
  • GSA Workload: GSA's workload and staff availability can affect processing times. During peak periods or when GSA is dealing with a high volume of contracts, delays may occur due to the sheer volume of proposals they need to review.
  • Negotiation Speed: The pace of negotiations depends on both parties' responsiveness and willingness to compromise. Efficient communication between your business and the GSA can expedite this stage, allowing for quicker resolution of contract terms.
  • Contracting Officer: The experience and workload of the contracting officer assigned to your contract can influence the timeline. An experienced officer may streamline the process by efficiently addressing issues, while an overloaded officer may struggle to meet deadlines, causing potential delays.
  • Revisions and Clarifications: If GSA requests revisions or clarifications during the review and negotiation stages, addressing these promptly is essential. Timely responses help prevent unnecessary delays, ensuring that your proposal moves forward smoothly. Clear and cooperative communication can lead to quicker resolution of any outstanding issues.


Securing a GSA contract award can be a pivotal milestone for businesses seeking to engage in government contracting, but the timeline can vary significantly. At Advance GSA, a premier GSA consultant providing comprehensive GSA services, we understand the importance of efficiency in this process. While the duration can depend on various factors such as the complexity of the proposal, completeness of documentation, and current workload of the General Services Administration (GSA), our experienced team works diligently to streamline the journey for our clients. Typically, the process from submission to contract award can range from several months to over a year. However, with our expertise and dedication, we strive to expedite this timeline wherever possible, ensuring that our clients can start reaping the benefits of their GSA contract as soon as possible. 

Conclusion: How Long Does It Take to Receive a GSA Contract Award

In conclusion, the journey to receiving a GSA contract award is a multi-step process that can take anywhere from 8 months to 2 years or more. Understanding the factors that influence this timeline is crucial for businesses seeking to navigate the federal procurement landscape successfully.

While the timeline may seem lengthy, the rewards of securing a GSA contract can be substantial. These contracts provide a steady stream of revenue and access to a vast customer base in the federal government. Therefore, patience, diligence, and careful preparation are essential qualities for any business pursuing a GSA contract.

Remember that each step of the process is critical, from thorough preparation and proposal submission to negotiation and final review. By investing the time and effort required at each stage and maintaining open communication with GSA personnel, you can improve your chances of receiving a GSA contract award in a timely manner.

Ultimately, while the road to a GSA contract may be long, the opportunities it offers are well worth the journey. With determination and the right approach, your business can thrive in the federal marketplace, serving the needs of government agencies and contributing to your company's growth and success.

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