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A Complete Guide to Blog Feature
Julien Cannon

By: Julien Cannon on April 4th, 2022

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A Complete Guide to

GSA Schedule | Government Business Development | 6 Min Read

If you have ever tried to sell to the federal government, then you have come across The System for Award Management (SAM, is the official website for people who make, receive, and manage federal awards. GSA teamed up and integrated with partner sites to curate a powerful tool to register, report, search opportunities, and sector data. On, you can search contract opportunities and entity registration, access data reports, check assistance listings, and connect with resources to help your business of any size succeed.

Every company that sells to the government must register with SAM. Whether it’s your first time selling to the government or your 100th time, is a critical part of the federal procurement process, so knowing the capabilities of the website will ease some headaches that go along with contracting with the federal government. Here’s what you need to know.

Registering Your Entity in

Registering for a SAM account is the first step to submitting your GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) offer and is required to sell to federal agencies. has made registration a streamlined process, but you will still need an array of information to establish your registration, including:

  • Your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
  • Financial Information (U.S. bank Electronic Funds Transfer)
  • Point of Contact (POC) who can serve as the Electronic Business POC and the Government Business POC

The requirements for registering with means you will have to collaborate with your company executives and accounting department to get all the necessary information. If you need more guidance on how to register your SAM account, we have resources for you to use to help you along.

Renewing your Account

Set an alarm for a few weeks before the anniversary of registering your SAM account, because your registration must be renewed annually. Updating your SAM registration can be a meticulous process because it means you will have to do some updating and reporting every year. If not renewed by the first anniversary, your online record with become expired and mark you as inactive. The most important sections of your update are:

  • Your financial information
  • Size metrics
  • Representations and Certifications (Reps and Certs)

While you are updating your entity’s registration, you can also update your POC and your NAICS Codes if necessary. Remember, registration and the annual renewal are a free process, be leery of emails asking you to pay a few to update your registration.

Once submitted, your SAM registration can take a few days to be approved if there are no major changes. If there were significant changes, you may be contacted to confirm the updated information.

Contracting Opportunities in 

Now that you are registered on, you can start looking for opportunities for government contracts. On the homepage, you can access the contract opportunities tab. In this tab, you can search for opportunities through multiple factors like Keywords, dates for the solicitations, notice type, products, services, and set-asides.

Contract opportunities are procurement notices from federal contracting offices. Anyone interested in doing business with the government can use this system to search for opportunities. Opportunities include pre-solicitation notices, solicitation notices, award notices, and sole source notices. Anyone may search for contract opportunities without an account, but a user account lets you save searches and join interested vendor lists. You can also follow changes to opportunities and receive email notifications about updates to the opportunity with your account.

Taking Advantage of all the Data in the DataBank

Conducting market research eliminates time lost to missed opportunities and getting beat out by competitors. Having access to large amounts of data gives you the ability to make the best decisions and stand out from competitors. The reports generated by support the analysis and tracking of federal awards through their lifecycle.

Accessing the available data is easy—if you click on the DataBank tab in the upper left corner of the home page, it will take you to the portal to select the desired report type.

The different roles assigned to you through SAM determine which reports are available for you to run. The DataBank allows you to download and run reports you can filter through to get the most pertinent information.

Reports range from static pre-generated reports, prepared on a fiscal year basis for the public and are available as prepared for download, to fully customizable ad hoc reports, that offer the ability to select data fields from the database to run a query. There are also standard reports that contain information about contract activity and can be filtered and sorted to locate the information you need.

Assistance Listings in SAM

SAM has even more data and contracting opportunities for your company to mine. Assistance listings (formerly Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers) are detailed public descriptions of federal programs that provide grants, loans, scholarships, insurance, and other types of assistance awards.

By searching assistance listings across all government agencies, you can learn about potential funding sources and assistance programs that your company can tap into for potential sales. Assistance listing numbers are also used by organizations to search for assistance programs on The assistance listing number is referenced in every solicitation. Each program is assigned a unique number that allows for data and funding transparency. You can download the data packets to search offline at your convenience.

Entity Reporting

Now that you’ve leveraged the contract opportunities and DataBank, SAM also offers annual reporting. Service Contract Reports (SCRs) are made easy through Service Contract Reports require you to report cost-reimbursement, time and materials, and labor hour service contracts through

Getting to your entity’s reporting page is easily accessed from your workspace. Click on the “Compliance Reporting” widget and select the “Service Contract Reporting” tab. Select Service Contract page is where you can edit an existing SCR or create a new SCR.

If your contract falls under BioPreferred, a program created by an Executive Order to promote sustainable acquisition throughout the government, you will report on as well. You can find the BioPreferred reporting in the same reporting portal as SCRs by clicking the “Add USDA” category to your corresponding contracts. You can also view the status of a specific BioPreferred report in this portal as well.

Making the Most of GSA Tools

GSA has generated a powerful tool for your company to harness. For future updates and the latest insights, be sure to subscribe to our blog. Our consultants are also always here to assist you with anything you may need with your GSA Schedule contract. If you have any questions about registration and its implications on federal contracting opportunities, such as what you will need to include in your SAM registration to apply for a GSA Schedule, please reach out to Winvale and we would be happy to help.

­­­­­­­A Complete Checklist for Maintaining Your GSA Schedule CTA


About Julien Cannon

Julien Cannon is a Consultant for Winvale’s Government Contract Services Department. A Marine combat veteran and native of New Market, Virginia, Julien earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.