Contracting with the federal government can be a great way to expand your business. If you have experience bidding on private-sector contracts, you will find that the process is very different.
To move forward, you must register within the System for Award Management (SAM). What do you need for a SAM registration? This article answers that question, along with other top questions you should ask yourself before this critical government contracting step:
- Do you want to do business with the government?
- Are you already registered in SAM?
- Who is your E-Business Point of Contact?
- Do you need to renew SAM registration?
- How often do you need to renew SAM registration?
- What do you need for a SAM registration in terms of information?
- What do you need for a SAM registration within the system itself?
- Who is your authorized entity administrator?
Top SAM Registration FAQs
Question #1: Do you want to do business with the government?
You must complete SAM registration if you want to start bidding on federal government contracts. That applies whether you are a vendor (supplying goods) or a service provider (performing work, such as repair or construction).
Generally, companies register within SAM because they want to become federal contractors. However, registration is also necessary if you want to get financial assistance, such as grants, from Grants.gov.
Question #2: Are you already registered in SAM?
Sometimes people are unsure if their company has been registered or not. Check with your chief financial officer, financial department, grant administrator, or another official to determine if you are registered. You can also use a free federal tool: the SAM Status Tracker. (See the next question to proceed if you determine you are already registered.)
Questions #3: Who is your E-Business Point of Contact?
The E-Business Point of Contact (EBiz POC) is your ongoing responsible party for SAM registration and renewal. This individual is also your contact for any grant applications you might submit through Grants.gov. If you are starting a new registration, be certain the EBiz POC is chosen wisely. (See the next question.)
Question #4: Do you need to renew SAM registration?
If you are already registered and need to renew, it is the EBiz POC who must complete that process as well. The EBiz POC is also responsible for making any adjustments during the year if your information changes.
Question #5: How often do you need to renew SAM registration?
- Log in with your username and password at SAM.gov.
- Click on “Register/Update Entity.” Click on “Complete Registrations.”
- Click on your business within the Entity List panel.
- Within the Registration Details panel, click on “Update Entity.”
- Answer the Purpose of Registration question.
- Update and validate all your information.
Question #6: What do you need for a SAM registration in terms of information?
Probably the most common question about registering in SAM is, “What do you need for a SAM registration?” Hence, this answer and the next one are particularly important.
People often associate SAM registration with the generation of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code. The CAGE Code, the unique identifier for each government contractor, is assigned to your business once your registration is accepted. That is unless you already have one – in which case, you should enter that number during registration.
To complete SAM registration, two pieces of information are required:
- Your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
- Your Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number
The TIN must be the correct one for the business you are registering. The Federal Service Desk (the administrator of SAM) validates what you enter into your registration with the IRS.
The DUNS number – generated through Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) – also must be the correct one for your business. Plus, the information in your DUNS record must exactly match what you enter within your registration. It is especially crucial to check your business name with D&B. It must be your legal business name, not a DBA.
If you do not yet have a DUNS number and entry, you can apply through the Dun & Bradstreet website. It is free and easy. You should receive the number in 1-2 business days. If anything is amiss within your D&B record, you must change it so that SAM validates correctly. Again, it will take 1-2 business days for the system to completely update. Wait until everything is properly updated before you register with SAM to avoid any problems or delays.
You also want to have your bank’s ABA routing number and account number on hand.
Question #7: What do you need for a SAM registration within the system itself?
You must establish an individual user account before registering an entity.
Question #8: Who is your authorized entity administrator?
Before your registration within SAM becomes active, you need to send a notarized letter. The letter should come from the authorized entity administrator. This requirement is a security measure that was put into place in 2018.
Success with Federal Contracting
Your SAM registration can be incredibly valuable, but you want to ensure it is completed correctly. You can incur penalties if there are errors in certain responses. At Select GCR, the applications and registrations we submit on behalf of our clients have a 98% approval rate. Contact us today to discover how we can help your business.