Registering a small business in the System for Award Management (SAM) can be a difficult task for anyone. Despite the challenges, successful registration is key to accessing billions of dollars of business opportunities for companies that oftentimes can’t afford losing out on a contract award.
Both current and potential businesses wanting to do business with the federal government are required by Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR) to be registered in SAM prior to the award of a contract, basic agreement, basic ordering agreement, or blanket purchase agreement.
Vendors are required to submit a one-time registration to provide basic information relevant to procurement and financial transactions with the US government.
Here’s how you can get your business registered and ready:
Step 1. Create Your Profile
SAM registration is done via a two-step process: first by registering yourself and then by creating and registering your entity.
To get started, visit https://www.sam.gov/ to register. Information needed to complete registration includes:
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
- Individuals need to provide their full first and last name, citizenship status if not a US citizen, date of birth, passport number
- DUNS Number (D&B Number)
- Cage Code
- Legal Business Information
- Business Mailing Address
- Phone Number
- Contact Name
- Email Address
- Legal Organization Name (if applicable)
- Primary NAICS Code of the organization’s primary classification
- Type of Organization (individual/sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or Limited Liability Company (LLC))
- If the organization is a nonprofit, the organization’s tax-exempt status.
Step 2. Verify Your Information
Once all of your information has been entered, it will be reviewed by SAM to validate and verify you are not a security threat. If everything is correct, your registration requests will be submitted to OMB.
If you entered an EIN, the IRS will be contacted to validate the EIN is currently active and not on a list of erroneously issued or revoked numbers. SAM also cross-references your information with several other government lists including but not limited to:
- Debarred/disqualified parties
- Excluded parties
- Bad actors
- Debarred/disqualified contractors
- GSA schedule awardees
- Those who have not completed their taxes or filed for bankruptcy.
Step 3. Entity Registration
Registering a new entity in SAM also connects your business to other federal agencies, in addition to small business registrations. This registration also facilities paperless payments through electronic funds transfer (EFT).
Step 4. Send a Notarized Letter of Authorization
Once all of the information has been verified, a Notarized Letter will need to be sent to SAM stating who is designated as the authorized entity administrator.
Assuming there are no issues, expect the registration process to take 12-15 business days to be issued a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and your account to be active in SAM. If the registration shows a “Submitted” status for longer than 15 business days, you may want to contact the Federal Service Desk at 866-606-8220 or https://www.fsd.gov to check on the status of the application.
Once your profile is established, you can add additional awards on the My Profile page within your account on www.sam.gov . Once on that award management page, you can add award number, award name, award type, and award date.
SAM registration is the first step in doing business with the federal government so it is important to use SAM as a resource for your company’s procurement processes.
Each year, awardees should sign into SAM and verify the accuracy of their registration information.