System for Award Management
What is SAM?
The System for Award Management (SAM) (https://www.sam.gov) is a government run site that serves as a central registration point for government contractors.
While federal contract opportunities have varying requirements, there is a core set of data that is required across the board. Instead of repeatedly submitting the same company information with each bid, the government created procurement systems for companies to submit required information through one source. SAM was launched around 2012 and consolidates the following legacy systems:
- Central Contractor Registration (CCR)
- Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA)
- Excluded Parties List System (EPLS)
Do You Need to Register on SAM.gov?
Any company that would like to do business with the federal government, or needs to report subcontract information, must register on the System for Award Management (SAM). SAM.gov registration is also a requirement for companies that want to obtain a GSA Schedule Contract.
How to Register on SAM
There is no fee to register on SAM. To begin the SAM registration process, a company must go to https://www.sam.gov, create a user account, and click “Register/Updated Entity”. If you have the information below readily available, you can expect to spend approximately 1-3 hours entering the required data. Once submitted, a SAM registration is typically approved or “activated” in 3 weeks or less.
The SAM registration process can be broken down into the four categories listed below.
- Core Data: Company Name, DUNS, CAGE code, TIN, General & Financial Information
- Assertions: Type of Goods/Services, Company Size
- Representations and Certifications (Reps & Certs): Small Business Size Status, Acceptance of Common Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Clauses and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) clauses
- Points of Contact
Having the following information will speed the SAM registration process:
- Dun & Bradstreet DUNS number. A DUNS number is a nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business. As with SAM registration, obtaining a DUNS number is free; it is provided by Dun & Bradstreet and can be requested at https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code(s). NAICS codes are used to classify products and service offered by companies. You can search for the appropriate NAICS code by keyword on the Census website here: https://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/.
- Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code. If you do not already have a CAGE Code one will be assigned to you by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) after you complete your SAM registration
SAM Registration Notes
Your SAM registration is valid for one year and must be updated on an annual basis. There are third-party companies that assist with the SAM registration process for a fee. However, it is important to note, a company can register on SAM.gov without outside assistance and for no cost.
Federal Schedules, Inc. (FEDSched) provides guidance on SAM registration in conjuction with our GSA Schedule Contract support. If your company is just getting started in the government space and has questions regarding SAM registration, consider contacting an Small Business Administration (SBA) resource partner, such as your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC).