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Wondering how can open doors to federal contracts and grants for your business? System for Award Management is the mandatory registration database for entities seeking federal procurement and funding opportunities. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the benefits of entity registration, the steps to register and maintain an active status, and practical tips for using the system to your advantage—without the fluff.

Key Takeaways

  • The System for Award Management website is an essential platform for federal procurement and grant opportunities, allowing businesses access to valuable opportunities and resources. Maintaining an active SAM registration is vital for participation.

  • Proper and timely SAM registration requires careful attention to detail, with annual renewal needed to maintain active status. The transition from DUNS to UEI and awareness of expiration dates are crucial for compliance.

  • Staying vigilant against scams is a must for users of the System for Award Management; it is free to register and any solicitation for payment should be treated as suspect and reported to the Federal Service Desk.

Understanding the System for Award Management (

Illustration of various government acquisition agencies serves as the primary supplier database, collecting, validating, and storing supplier data for dissemination to government agencies. Launched on July 24, 2012, consolidated prior systems such as:

  • Central Contractor Registration (CCR)

  • Fedreg

  • ORCA

  • EPLS

The system was further updated in 2021 through a merger with, resulting in a complete redesign and improved user experience. The users of encompass contracting officials, grant-makers, contractors, and the general public, all of whom utilize the system for various procurement and grant-related activities.

One of the appealing aspects of the System for Award Management website is its accessibility. There is no charge for users to register with, ensuring participation across various stakeholders. Therefore, it becomes a vital resource for:

  • any small business aiming to access federal contracts and funding opportunities

  • seasoned contractors

  • business owners trying to land their first government contract

A SAM account, or an entity’s SAM account, is the first step to unlocking these opportunities. Information in an entity’s SAM account is automatically updated in JustGrants, highlighting the seamless integration between SAM and JustGrants. This integration reduces the burden on award recipients to manually update information across multiple systems and helps the Department of Justice validate recipient information efficiently.

The Role of SAM in Federal Procurement

SAM acts as a crucial intermediary in federal procurement, bridging the gap between a small business and government acquisition agencies. SAM registration is essential for a small business as it is necessary to be listed in the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) database, used by federal government and agencies to locate potential prime contractors. This makes not just a database, but a platform for discovery, where your business can meet federal agencies in need of your services and obtain a contract through prime contractors.

Apart from linking businesses with federal agencies, also provides access to other valuable resources. Some of these resources include:

  • The Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation (FPDS-NG), which allows you to discover procurement trends and contract opportunities within the government

  •, which provides information on federal spending and contracts

  • Small Business Offices within federal agencies, which provide support to small businesses by identifying contracting opportunities and offering training and networking events.

These resources can be extremely helpful for businesses looking to work with various government acquisition agencies and manage their gov account effectively.

Benefits of Active SAM Registration

An active SAM registration offers a plethora of opportunities, including:

  • Access to federal contracts

  • Mandatory public listing on for contracts valued over $25,000

  • Increased visibility, which can significantly boost your business’s prospects and open doors to a wide array of federal contracts.

Beyond procurement, an active SAM registration is also a prerequisite step to apply for funding opportunities. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses seeking to receive grants from federal domestic assistance programs. In essence, maintaining an active SAM registration not only helps you stay compliant but also improves your business’s visibility and access to critical funding for contract opportunities.

Navigating the SAM Registration Process

Illustration of the SAM registration process

While registration follows a simple process, it demands meticulous attention to detail. To start, a user account must be created, followed by entering entity information such as legal business name and address.

First-time registrants will receive a Unique Entity ID (SAM). Entities must regularly update their registration details in the Workspace front page and renew their entity registrations annually to maintain their active status on

During the registration process, entities have the option to make their registration information public or keep it private according to their preference.

Why would you do it yourself?

While the registration process is free, it can be time-consuming and requires careful attention to ensure all information is accurate and up-to-date. This is where companies like Select GCR come in. We’ll talk more about their services later in this guide. For now, let’s delve into some specific aspects of the SAM registration process: the transition from DUNS to UEI and the importance of annual renewal and expiration date management.

Transition from DUNS to UEI

The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is a 12-character alpha-numeric value that became the official name entity identifier for entities doing business with the federal government on April 4, 2022. This marked an important shift in the SAM registration process as the Unique Entity ID officially replaced the DUNS Number in all Integrated Award Environment (IAE) systems.

Entities looking to receive a CAGE Code now must use the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) instead of the DUNS number. While this change may sound intimidating, it’s an essential step in the evolution of SAM, designed to simplify and streamline the registration process. The transition to UEI is a crucial part of understanding the current SAM registration landscape.

Annual Renewal and Expiration Date Management

Maintaining an active SAM registration requires more than just initial registration; it involves diligent management of your SAM account. Here are the steps to renew your SAM registration:

  1. Log in to using your username and password.

  2. Click on the “Renew Registration” button on the homepage.

  3. Review and update your entity’s information, including contact details, financial information, and certifications.

  4. Submit the renewal application.

  5. Wait for the renewal process to be completed, which can take up to 10 business days.

  6. Once your SAM registration is active again, you will receive an email confirmation.

Remember, renewal in must be done annually to ensure that the information in your registration remains accurate and is automatically updated in Just Grants.

Updating SAM registration information requires entities to review, update, and validate data on various pages including Representations and Certifications within a single computer session. Entities can monitor the status of their renewal and any documentation submitted for validation through their Workspace or by contacting the Federal Service Desk. This underscores the importance of keeping track of your SAM account’s expiration date and ensuring timely renewal.

Utilizing Federal Domestic Assistance Programs

Illustration of federal domestic assistance programs is more than just a procurement tool; it’s a gateway to federal domestic assistance programs. facilitates access to these programs, serving as a platform where businesses can apply for any grant. This makes a valuable resource for businesses seeking to expand their funding opportunities beyond traditional avenues.

Keeping your registration and applications updated is vital to optimize the benefits of these programs. Using the DOJ Grant Application Submission Checklist is a recommended action to ensure successful acquisition of any grant from federal assistance programs through Now, let’s dig deeper into the process of applying for grants and the eligibility requirements.

Grant Applications and Eligibility

There are several crucial steps involved in applying for grants and contract opportunities through, and ensuring the accuracy and verification of your entity information is among the most important. This includes having a valid CAGE code, which is essential for a small business to demonstrate eligibility for receiving grants and contracts through

However, applicants may encounter difficulties validating their entity ownership due to issues with CAGE code validation. This underscores the importance of ensuring all the entity registration information is accurately entered and verified for a successful grant application submission on

Navigating these requirements can be complex, but with the right approach and resources, small businesses can successfully apply for and receive grants through

Tips for Small Businesses Seeking Grants

If you’re a small business seeking grants, it’s important to approach the process strategically. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Conduct thorough research to find grants that match your business’s unique profile and objectives.

  2. Understand your business’s needs and identify grants that align with these needs.

  3. Tailor your applications accordingly to increase your chances of receiving funding.

Understanding grant requirements and tailoring the grant application to meet them is crucial in the successful acquisition of grants. Submitting a complete and compliant grant application, including all necessary documents and adhering to specified guidelines, is essential to avoid disqualification. With these tips in mind, small businesses can increase their chances of securing grants through

Avoiding Common Pitfalls and Scams

Illustration of identifying legitimate vs. illegitimate services on

Despite being a valuable tool for businesses, isn’t invulnerable to scammers. Criminals frequently target new, small businesses by imitating official-looking websites and prompting them to pay fees for SAM registration.

It’s important to remember that it is free to register on Scammers may also manipulate email and text communications to create urgency and direct victims to fraudulent websites.

Criminals often use big name companies or organizations to appear credible and may ask for sensitive personal information under false pretexts. They also create fake documents to pose as government officials, which they use in various schemes against users.

Awareness of these tactics is the first line of defense against falling victim to these scams. Now, let’s discuss how to identify legitimate services and report suspicious activity.

Identifying Legitimate vs. Illegitimate Services

While there are fraudulent services out there, there are also legitimate professional services that can assist with the SAM registration process. These services can:

  • Save you several hours

  • Ensure proper submission of all documents

  • Provide easy verification

  • Assign a CAGE code quickly

However, some paid services deceptively present themselves as ‘Official’ CAGE Code registrars, promising bid services and charging clients substantial fees without proper authorization.

Legitimate companies, like Select GCR, will explain upfront that they are not the Government and do in fact charge for the services they provide. It’s important to do your due diligence when choosing a service to assist with your SAM registration.

Reporting Suspicious Activity

In case of suspected scams or malicious activities, immediate reporting is essential. Suspicious activity can include unsolicited requests for payments to complete or expedite SAM registration. Scammers may also pose as government officials or services and ask for sensitive information, claiming it’s required for SAM registration.

When you encounter such incidents, report them to the Federal Service Desk. You can report suspicious activity via the Federal Service Desk website or through their official contact channels. Maintain all evidence of the suspicious activity, such as emails or website links, when reporting the incident. Be ready to provide details of the interaction or transaction to help the authorities investigate the suspicious activity.

Resources and Support for SAM Users

Illustration of resources and support for SAM users provides a vast array of resources and support for its users. Quick Start Guides for entity registration are available on the entity registration page, providing users with a step-by-step guide to navigating the registration process.

Additionally, the federal government provides assistance to users who need support with various aspects of the the system for award management.

Additional Resources

Online tutorials and additional resources are also accessible to users for learning how to navigate and utilize systems more efficiently. These resources cover a range of topics and are tailored to meet the specific needs of various user groups, ensuring that both company and individuals can find relevant information.

Federal Service Desk Assistance

The Federal Service Desk (FSD) is a valuable resource for users. It supports users across the federal government by addressing their questions and concerns regarding SAM. The FSD provides guidance on the use of and assists with technical issues experienced by users.

Users can contact the FSD for assistance with SAM-related inquiries through the following channels:

  • Email: users can send an email to the FSD for support.

  • Phone: users can call the FSD to speak with a live support representative.

  • Online ticketing system: users can submit their queries directly to the FSD through an online ticketing system.

Online Tutorials and Guides provides a range of online tutorials and guides to assist users in navigating the system. These resources cover topics such as registration, system navigation, and managing user roles, providing users with a comprehensive understanding of how to effectively use

Resources are tailored to meet the specific needs of various user groups, ensuring that both company and individuals can find relevant information. Whether you’re a small business owner, a contractor, or a member of the general public, these tutorials and guides can help you make the most of

Select GCR Provides Registration and Renewal Services

While the SAM registration process can be complex, you need not navigate it all by yourself. Select GCR is a well registered, company that offers registration and renewal services for SAM, including:

  • Proper submission of documents

  • Easy verification

  • Quick CAGE code assignment

  • Optimization of your profile

  • Inclusion of all relevant NAICS and PSCs for maximum exposure and viability

With their help, you can streamline the process and ensure a successful SAM registration.

Focus on your Government Marketing and not Registration

Whether you’re registering for the first time or renewing your SAM registration, Select GCR can provide valuable assistance. They understand that SAM registration must be active for a business to get paid, and they can help you ensure that your registration is done right the first time. If you’d rather focus on marketing your business to the federal government and leave the SAM registration to the experts, Select GCR could be the right choice for you.


In conclusion, System for Award Management website is an essential tool for businesses looking to do business with the federal government. From procurement to grant applications, offers a wealth of opportunities for businesses of all sizes. However, to fully leverage these opportunities, it’s crucial to understand the system, its registration process, and the resources available to users.

Whether you’re navigating the registration process, seeking grants, or trying to avoid scams, this guide provides valuable insights to help you make the most of Remember, while the process may seem daunting, the benefits are immense. With the right approach and resources, you can maximize opportunities with and take your business to new heights.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is is a comprehensive database that collects, validates, and stores supplier data for government agencies. It is considered the primary supplier database for various government acquisition agencies.

How do I register on

To register on, create a user account and input your entity information, such as legal business name and address, to receive a Unique Entity ID from the federal government.

What are the benefits of having an active SAM registration?

Having an active SAM registration allows you to access federal contracts, be listed on for contracts over $25,000, and apply for funding opportunities, making it essential for expanding your business in the government sector.

What resources are available to help me navigate

You can make use of guides and manuals given from Select GCR’s assistance, and online tutorials offered on to navigate and utilize the system effectively.