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7 Tips for Successful Entity Validation in SAM Blog Feature
Stephanie Hagan

By: Stephanie Hagan on July 1st, 2022

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7 Tips for Successful Entity Validation in SAM

GSA Schedule | 4 Min Read

While going through the GSA Schedule offer process there are several documents to submit and the requirements can vary depending on what solutions you plan to offer, if you’re offering products or services, and if you’re a small or large business, but one thing is for certain—no GSA Schedule offer can be completed without registering in the System for Award Management (SAM). SAM is an official U.S. government website where you can register your entity, search for contract opportunities, and run reports, making it a key website for GSA contractors.

You don’t want your GSA Schedule acquisition process to get slowed down by SAM registration, so you should get started right away. There have been some instances where a company tries to validate their entity through SAM and their documents get rejected, slowing down the time it takes to get registered in SAM and receive a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). Here are 7 tips to avoid getting your validation documents rejected and to make sure your SAM registration process goes smoothly.

What is the Entity Validation Process in SAM.gov?

If you want to register your entity in SAM.gov or just get a Unique Entity ID (UEI), you need to validate your entity information with the System for Award Management’s new Entity Validation Service Provider (EVS). If your entity information does not match the information in SAM.gov or there is no match at all, you will need to create an incident and attach the proper documentation to verify your entity’s:

  • Legal business name
  • Physical address
  • Date of incorporation
  • State of incorporation or national identifier

However, there are some instances when your entity validation documents get rejected. We’ll review 7 scenarios below so you can avoid them and have a relatively painless registration process.

1. Explicitly State the Reason for Your Entity Validation Request in the Ticket

If your entity information does not match the information in SAM or you cannot find your entity at all and you create a ticket in SAM.gov, be specific. Don’t just attach the proper documents and say “see attached,” or “system didn’t find me,” tell them what you’re submitting the ticket for and what each document is for.

2. Make Sure Any Document You Attach for Your SAM Entity Validation is Current 

If you submit a document that is generated on a monthly or annual basis like a bank or utility statement, you must provide one from the last 5 years. Anything older than that will not be accepted. However, if it’s a one-time foundational document like articles of incorporation, you can use it no matter how old it is, as long as the information hasn’t changed since the entity was established. If your articles of incorporation has an outdated address, include a secondary document that has a current physical address. You should also make sure your legal business name and any doing-business-as information are correct and exactly the same on the documents.

3. Make Sure All Documents Have the Correct Information

This might seem like a given, but can be easily overlooked. Don’t provide documents that don’t match what you entered as your business information. For example, if you want to update your legal name to ABC Company, make sure your business license reflects that and doesn’t say something slightly different like ABC, Inc. Same thing with suite numbers—if you enter your address change with a suite number, make sure it’s included in the document you provide.

4. Don’t Use a P.O. Box to Demonstrate Your Physical Address in SAM.gov

If you use a P.O. box to validate your physical address, it will be rejected every time. P.O. boxes or mail service addresses are not considered physical addresses in the eyes of the federal government. You can request to change your legal business name or physical address, but you must use a physical address.

5. Attach a Certified English Translation to Any Non-English Documents

If you are sending over documents that are in a different language, here’s what you need to do:

  • Include a separate document that translates the original content line by line (unless your government’s custom is to provide certified translation in-line with the document text).
  • Ensure the document includes a statement of certification by the translator.

6. Don’t Attach Original Applications or Forms, Only Processed Documents

Original forms and applications you submitted to a local, state, federal, or national authority (including tax applications like W-9 forms) will never be accepted. Only processed forms and applications will be considered. You should also never include screenshots or exports of any federal website record.

Instead, you should attach:

  • A screenshot or printout of your business’s record in your state’s business registry from an official state website, such as your secretary of state’s site. Note: these screenshots must show the record of the search and the URL and not a form that you are filling out on the website that has not been submitted. 
  • Processed applications, evidenced by seals, signatures, and stamps from the processing authorities. 

7. Attach Only High-Quality Documents On SAM.gov

Handwritten documents, low contrast scans, and documents with cut-off information will generally be rejected if the quality is poor. Make sure you are attaching documents in your SAM entity validation that are clear, and any seals, stamps, or signatures are visible. If you redact any information that is not relevant to your entity validation, make sure to do it neatly.

Making a Smooth SAM Registration Process

In addition to validating your entity, there are a few other steps to take to complete your SAM registration. Then, you’ll be on your way to submitting your GSA Schedule offer! If you have more questions about the SAM registration process and what else you need to complete, check out our blog on SAM.gov Registration FAQs. For more information on entity validation on SAM, you can read this article from the Federal Service Desk.

We know the GSA Schedule acquisition process isn’t easy or fast. If you have more questions about getting a GSA Schedule, or you need help navigating the process, we would be happy to help you.

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About Stephanie Hagan

Stephanie Hagan is the Content Writer and Digital Editor for Winvale where she helps the marketing department continue to develop and distribute GSA and government contracting content. Stephanie grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and earned her Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism and Rhetoric/Communications from the University of Richmond.