By: Haley Lawrie on January 11th, 2021
SAM.gov Registration FAQs
GSA Schedule | 11 Min Read
The System for Award Management (SAM) is an essential website for GSA contractors. In fact, you must be registered with SAM.gov before you can officially submit your GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) offer. While it’s a basic requirement to becoming a GSA contractor, we know it isn’t always an easy process to get your SAM registration up and running. So, we compiled 11 SAM.gov registration FAQs based off our clients’ inquiries to help you go through the process smoothly.
1. What Information Do I Need to Create My SAM.gov Registration?
A: You will need a wide array of information to establish your SAM.gov registration. It’s possible you will need to work with your Company Executives and/or Accounting department in order to get all of the necessary information. The core items needed for a SAM.gov registration are as follows:
- Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number,
- Your entity’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
- Your entity’s Financial Information (U.S. bank Electronic Funds Transfer) for Federal government payment purposes
- Foreign entities do not need to provide EFT information
- Executive compensation information
- At least one NAICS code that fits your company’s capabilities
- Your entity’s size metrics
- The contact information for at least one company POC that can serve as the Electronic Business POC and the Government Business POC
2. Am I Required to Register in SAM.gov to Qualify for Federal Opportunities?
A: Yes, it is required for companies/businesses/organizations to register in SAM.gov to qualify for all federal opportunities.
3. We Are a Non-Profit Applying for Grants: Is the Process to Register in SAM.gov the Same?
A: If you are registering in SAM.gov solely so you can apply for a Federal financial assistance opportunity on Grants.gov, you will have a quicker registration process. To choose the grants only path:
- Select “I only want to apply for federal assistance opportunities like grants, loans, and other financial assistance programs.” in response to the question “Why are you registering this entity to do business with the U.S. government?”
- Complete the Core Data section
- Complete the Points of Contact section
- Complete the Representations and Certifications section (for non-federal entities only)
- Submit after Final Review
- Please give yourself plenty of time before your grant application submission deadline. Allow up to 12-15 business days after you submit before your registration is active in SAM, then an additional 24 hours for Grants.gov to recognize your information.
4. How Do I Get a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number?
A: DUNS numbers are unique for each physical location you are registering. If you do not have one, request a DUNS number for free to do business with the U.S. federal government by visiting the Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) website. It should take no more than 1-2 business days to obtain a DUNS number.
*NOTE: By April of 2022, the federal government will stop using the DUNS number to uniquely identify entities registered in the System for Award Management (SAM). At that point, entities doing business with the federal government will use a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) created in SAM.gov. They will no longer have to go to a third-party website to obtain their identifier. Active registrants will have their UEI assigned and viewable within SAM.gov; there is no action for registered entities to take at this time.
5. What is My Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)?
A: You need your entity’s Taxpayer ID Number (TIN) and Taxpayer Name (as it appears on your most recent tax return). Foreign entities that do not pay employees within the U.S. do not need to provide a TIN.
Your TIN is usually your Employer Identification Number (EIN) assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Sole proprietors may use their Social Security Number (SSN) assigned by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as their TIN, but are strongly encouraged to obtain a free EIN from the IRS. Allow approximately two weeks before your new EIN is ready for use when registering in SAM.
6. What is an MPIN?
A: The Marketing Partner ID Number (MPIN) is required for SAM registrants and is a personal code you create on the business Information page of the SAM registration process. The MPIN allows you to access other government applications such as Grants.gov. The MPIN also serves as your electronic signature on the IRS page of the SAM registration.
If you do not know your MPIN, please contact your Entity Administrator or the Federal Service Desk for assistance. The process to retrieve your MPIN can be quite tedious, so be sure to safeguard it!
7. What NAICS Code(s) Should I Provide?
A: Your North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code(s) should reflect your entity’s capabilities. For the purposes of your SAM.gov registration, you are only required to put in one NAICS code, but you can put as many as you think are applicable. To search NAICS codes, visit the NAICS association webpage. You can always edit/revise these at a later time!
8. What Product and Service Code (PSC) Should I Provide?
A: PSCs are not required for the initial SAM.gov registration process. If you are not already familiar with the PSCs associated with your company, skip this section and return to it later if you so choose! You can find the Product and Service Code Manual on acquisition.gov.
9. What Points of Contact Should I List?
A: Your Electronic Business POC is integral to the procurement process. Your Government POC will be used by other government systems, such as the CAGE program, when they contact you. List someone with direct knowledge of this registration for both of those POCs. Other POCs are optional or can be the same POC as the main one. SAM.gov only requires one individual. Diversify as you see fit, but only one person is required.
10. Does My SAM.gov Registration Expire? When Should I Renew it?
A: SAM.gov registrations need to be updated every year. When you renew or update your registration, you must review the entire record. Take the time to make sure all the information is accurate and complete.
11. Where Can I Get Assistance with My SAM.gov Registration?
A: For free help registering in SAM.gov, contact the Federal Service Desk (FSD).
NOTE: Allow up to 12-15 business days after you submit before your registration is active in SAM. This period is to generate your CAGE Code.
What Happens After You Register for a SAM.gov Account?
Once you are officially registered on SAM.gov, you are ready to do business with the government! You can now begin to prepare your GSA MAS offer. While this is not an easy process either, it’s certainly a rewarding one once you gain access to government customers.
If you need guidance on submitting a GSA MAS offer, check out our blogs on successful tips for preparing a GSA MAS offer and a walkthrough of the GSA Schedule acquisition process. However, you don’t have to go through the acquisition or subsequent contract maintenance on your own—our consultants are here to help you with any questions you may have.