What Is The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)?

The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) are the written guidelines and rules that offer direction to government personnel as they navigate the daily operation of acquiring products and services for their Agencies and Departments. As a Federal Salesperson trying to do business with the Government, it is imperative for you to understand and follow these publicly available guidelines so that you properly conduct business with the Federal Government and not get yourself or your company into an ethical dilemma.

What Is The Purpose Of The FAR?

“The Federal Acquisition Regulations System is established for the codification and publication of uniform policies and procedures for acquisition by all executive agencies. The Federal Acquisition Regulations System consists of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which is the primary document, and agency acquisition regulations that implement or supplement the FAR. The FAR System does not include internal agency guidance of the type described in 1.301(a)(2).”

FAR 1.101 Purpose.

To properly convey these guidelines, the FAR consists of 53 total parts organized under the following 8 subchapters:

  1. Subchapter A: General
  2. Subchapter B: Competition & Acquisition Planning
  3. Subchapter C: Contracting Methods & Contract Types
  4. Subchapter D: Socioeconomic Programs
  5. Subchapter E: General Contracting Requirements
  6. Subchapter F: Special Categories of Contracting
  7. Subchapter G: Contract Management
  8. Subchapter H: Clauses & Forms

Each part of the FAR dives into very specific aspects of contracting, such as improper business practices, competition requirements, market research, sealed bidding and more. The goal of providing these details is to empower contracting officers to use good business practices while procuring goods and services on behalf of the government and with taxpayer money.

Why Do Federal Contractors Need To Understand The FAR?

While the FAR is designed to better enable government employees in their purchasing decisions, it also offers valuable guidelines for Federal Salespeople trying to do business with the government. By understanding the FAR as a Federal Salesperson, you gain insight into:

  • What Federal employees view as proper and improper business behavior
  • The steps Federal employees need to cover when selecting and developing requirements documents for new purchases
  • Approved contract methods and contract types & more

This knowledge allows you to better converse with the Federal customer and plan a purchase solution that aligns with the guidelines they need to follow. Additionally, violating the rules pertaining to gifting and kickbacks can result in legal action against you as a Federal contractor, so better understanding the parameters, as outlined in the FAR, also allows you to protect yourself.

Is The FAR The Only Acquisition Regulation I Need To Know?

The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) is the primary acquisition regulation for the Federal government, however, it is not the only acquisition regulation. In fact, every government agency can issue their own agency acquisition document to supplement the guidance outlined in the FAR. As such, other regulations documents include:

  • Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement (DFARS)
  • The General Services Acquisition Regulations Supplement (GSARS)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration FAR Supplement (NASFARS) & more.

Depending on the agency you are trying to do business with, you need to understand the FAR and their unique agency supplement if they have one.


Learn More About The FAR & What It Means For Your Sales Process

Register now for our OnDemand Federal Sales Certification Training course! The Execution module of our course covers key topics such as:

  • How to find and interpret the FAR
  • Understand what types of product certifications may be required of you to do business with the government
  • Where to learn the acronyms used by your Federal customer & more

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