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The US General Services Administration (GSA) runs a system called the Systems for Award Management (SAM) that is 100% FREE to use. SAM is an online, comprehensive application used by organizations to get federal grants and contracts. It also enables electronic payment of these awards. Through SAM, business details are gathered, stored, validated, and distributed.
The following is possible within SAM:

  •  You can register to have a business relationship with the federal government.
  • You can determine your registration status.
  • You can renew and update your registration.
  • You can search for records of registrations and exclusions.

Working within a federal system can be confusing and stressful. This SAM Registration Guide makes the process straightforward, covering these topics:

  •  What is SAM registration?
  •  How long does SAM registration take?
  • What are the benefits of registration?
  • What are SAM registration requirements?
  • How do I fill out the SAM registration?
  • What is the SAM Status Tracker?
  • What is an E-Business Point of Contact (EBiz POC)?
  • How often is SAM registration renewal needed?
  • Why do businesses hire SAM registration specialists?

What is SAM registration?

In order to access the opportunities the portal allows, you need to register. Many people get professional assistance completing the process (as described in the final section of this SAM registration guide). While that can be a wise choice, you can also register yourself.

Business

How long does SAM registration take?

It should take about 45 minutes to fill out the registration information, per the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Getting your SAM registration approved can take as long as seven weeks – but that’s assuming you do not have an employer identification number (EIN) or taxpayer identification number (TIN) with the IRS. Getting your EIN or TIN may take as long as five weeks by itself. Once you have that identifier, approval of your SAM registration should take no more than 14 days. Typically, it takes 7 to 10 business days. The approval process is initiated when you register through the website and submit a notarized letter from your organization’s administrator.

What are the benefits of registration?

Many organizations ask the question, “What is SAM registration used for?” After all, this SAM registration guide will only have value for you if you know what the value of registration is.

The reason companies use SAM are threefold:

1. SAM gives you access to federal business opportunities.

It is the main database with which vendors are able to have a business relationship with the federal government. All of the following awards require SAM registration, per the Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR):

  • Basic agreements
  • Basic ordering agreements
  • Blanket purchase agreements
  • Contracts.

2. SAM enables you to self-certify.

By “self-certifying” and completing solicitation clauses related to your organization’s socioeconomic characteristics and size, you certify that your business information is accurate.

3. SAM is a marketing platform.

As indicated by the SBA, the capabilities of a business, its location, its track record, its size, and its ownership are all searchable within SAM. That means both other government contractors and federal agencies can learn about your business.

Especially, for this reason, registering and partnering with a government contract consulting firm can be powerful. At Select GCR, for instance, we assign each client a

Government Procurement Adviser, who helps them navigate the federal contracting maze and define a targeted government marketing plan: who to contact, what to say, and what to send them.

What are SAM registration requirements?

In order to supply products or services to the federal government, it is necessary to have an active registration within SAM. Do you need a DUNS Number to register with SAM? Yes, but you will need other information as well, as indicated below.

US-based companies:

  1. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
  2. Taxpayer Name for the TIN (matching what is on IRS tax documents)
  3. Legal name of your organization (matching Dun & Bradstreet’s records)
  4. Physical address (also matching D&B)
  5. DUNS Number (which you can get for FREE here)
  6. Bank routing number, account number, and account type to enable Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

International companies:

  1. Legal name of your organization (matching Dun & Bradstreet’s records)
  2. Physical address (also matching D&B)
  3. DUNS Number (which you can get for FREE here)
  4. The organization’s NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (which you can get for FREE here)
  5. NCAGE name and address information that matches Dun & Bradstreet.

You will also need to go through an IRS and DLA validation.

How do I fill out the SAM registration?

This SAM registration guide divides the entire task into two parts. The first, preliminary part of the process in SAM registration is the creation of a new user account:

Step 1: Go to www.sam.gov.

Step 2: Click on “Create a User Account” (the user and plus symbol icon at the left).

Step 3: Choose your account type:

  • Individual User: This account works if you just need to register, update your registration, or manage/create exclusions. (You can also access contractors’ For Official Use Only (FOUO) level data if you are within the federal government.)
  • System User: This option allows for communication between your computer system and SAM.

Step 4: Complete the registration intake information, including the designation of an EBiz POC (see “What is an E-Business Point of Contact, or EBiz POC?” above). Click SUBMIT.

Step 5: When the confirmation page populates, click DONE.

Step 6: Once you receive an automated email from SAM confirming your account generation, you have 48 hours to click the link and activate the account. (You will need to copy-paste it into your browser if it is not hyperlinked.)

With those steps complete, you can move on to actually registering your company:

Step 1: Go to www.sam.gov.

Step 2: Log in with your account’s login credentials (created above).

Step 3: On the left side of the screen, click “Register New Entity.”

Step 4: Toward the bottom of the overview page, click “Start Registration.”

Step 5: Complete the registration information.

Step 6: Once you reach the “Congratulations” page, check your email confirming that your registration has been initiated.

Step 7: The administrator should then write a letter stating that they are in that role.

Step 8: The letter must then be notarized and mailed.

Step 9: Wait for your registration to be activated within SAM.gov. If 10 business days pass and your status is still listed as “Submitted,” contact the Federal Service Desk via www.fsd.gov or (866) 606-8220.

Step 10: Start doing business with the federal government.

What is the SAM Status Tracker?

Are you unsure if your company is already registered? You can find out if you are registered or not through your organization’s CFO, financial department, or grant administrator. Another option is to simply use an online tool: the SAM Status Tracker.

The SAM Status Tracker is a portal that lets companies know whether they are currently registered with SAM or not. Additionally, this tool lets entities know if any additional registration steps are needed. You will need to know what your CAGE Code or DUNS Number is in order to pull up your information in this system.

What is an E-Business Point of Contact, or EBiz POC?

If you find out registration was completed previously, it is important to know who the EBiz POC is. Short for E-Business Point of Contact, the EBiz POC is the individual at your company who has to handle the SAM registration.

How often is SAM registration renewal needed?

Registering in the federal system is not a one-time affair. The E-Business Point of Contact also must complete SAM registration renewal each year.

Why do businesses hire SAM registration specialists?

Government contract consultants offer value to organizations by both assisting with the registration process and enhancing your marketing push to land federal contracts. These organizations help in the following ways, not just in the registration of your company but in actually getting the business for which you are registering in the first place.

Here is what the experts at an organization such as ours can do for you:

  • Speed up the registration process
  • Maintain DLA and IRS compliance
  • Give you someone to answer whatever questions arise
  • Help them attain a DUNS if you do not already have one
  • Register their business with DSBS & FEMA for disaster recovery while completing SAM
  • Help in determining the proper NAICS and PSC to represent your business to the Government properly for ALL opportunities
  • Provide ongoing services for additional registrations that will better position your business for opportunities, such as certifications & GSA
  • Marketing assistance – Government Resume, programs to help them find contracts and contacts, targeted marketing, education, and industry knowledge

We can also help mitigate common mistakes during the process, such as:

  • Not having enough, too many, or the wrong NAICS & PSC’s
  • Leaving important section unfilled that are crucial when presenting your business to the Government, such as no capabilities narrative or keywords
  • Information that does not match or is inconsistent

Do you want to register with SAM? Choose an organization that is a proven industry leader. Select GCR offers more than 100 years of combined expertise and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. We have procured loans, grants, contracts, and other financial awards totaling more than half a billion dollars. Contact us today to learn more.