SAM.gov, short for System for Award Management, is the entry point for federal contractors to interface with the government. So, it is a basic starting point for every federal contractor. But your SAM.gov profile also needs to stay up to date and be up to date at time of bid submission, and failure to keep your SAM profile active can cause problems, even for established contractors. Everyone involved with government contracting knows, or should know, a little bit about registration in SAM.gov.
This post walks you through the most important things you should know about registering in SAM.gov.
SAM.gov users must have a login.gov user account. A login.gov account allows users to log into SAM.gov and a number of other government websites. Unlike the old SAM.gov login system, login.gov requires two-factor authentication. This means that you’ll first be required to put in your username and password. After this, login.gov will send a six digit security code to the phone number associated with your account. Don’t wait too long. Each code expires fast.
What you need before you register.
There are a number of pieces of information (see SAM checklist) you should have on hand before you register, including the following:
Entity Organizational Documents. For most entities, you must be registered with a state. The specific documents needed depend on the type of entity, such as LLC or corporation. This handy list shows what documents you will need.
If you are a US tax paying entity, you need your Tax Id Number (TIN) and Taxpayer Name. Your TIN can be either an Employer ID Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN) based on your business structure. You can apply for your federal TIN or EIN through the IRS here. Also note: your Taxpayer Name may be different from your legal business name! Make sure you verify the Taxpayer Name on your entity’s 1099, W-2, or W-4 forms.
Your CAGE or NCAGE Number, if you already have one. You can check your CAGE/NCAGE number, or request a new one, here. If you don’t have one yet, no worries! You will be automatically assigned one after you register in SAM.gov.
Your Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Information. You want to get paid! To do so, you need to provide your bank routing and account numbers.
Basic SAM Registration Info.
Here are some of the key items you will provide as part of the registration process.
Entity information. The SAM checklist includes a lot of information about your entity, including things that you would expect such as name, address, date and state of incorporation. It also includes immediate owner details and more detailed business information.
Your Unique Entity ID. Unique Entity IDs (UEI) are 12 character identification numbers associated with each physical location of your business. The UEI is assigned during the SAM registration process. It used to be assigned by a third party company, but that changed in 2022, when the DUNS number was done away with.
MPIN. You will create, when you register, a Marketing Partner Identification Number (MPIN). This is like an ATM pin and should be guarded well.
There are many more details needed, so please review the Entity Registration Checklist and have that information handy as well.
Providing one or more NAICS codes.
We’ve discussed NAICS codes previously on this blog. When you are registering in SAM, you must supply at least one NAICS code associated with your business, but you can include as many as are applicable to you. You must mark only one as your Primary NAICS code however. Still, keep in mind that you can add, remove, or change NAICS codes whenever as your business grows or adapts. You also need to list which NAICS codes and size standards you are small for.
TELL THE TRUTH!
While this one should be obvious, we cannot stress it enough! When filling out Core Data, you may be required to provide “proceedings data”. Specifically, you must disclose whether the business you are registering (or any of its principals) have been subject to a number of types of legal proceedings related to performance of a Federal contract in the last 5 years.
These proceedings include Federal or State (1) Criminal proceedings resulting in a conviction or other acknowledgement of fault; (2) Civil proceeding resulting in a finding of fault with a monetary fine, penalty, reimbursement, restitution, and/or damages greater than $5000, or other acknowledgement of fault; and/or (3) Administrative proceedings resulting in findings of faults with either a monetary fine or penalty greater than $5,000 or reimbursement, restitution, or damages greater than $100,000, or other acknowledgments of fault.
If you answer yes to any of these, you will be asked to provide additional, detailed information. This information will be made public through FAPIIS. In any case, however, it is best to disclose any relevant information! If you have any question about whether or not disclosure is required, its generally best to disclose. For specific questions on how to appropriately disclose information, you can also talk to a lawyer, like the ones at our firm.
In addition to the Core Data section, under the Representations and Certifications portion of your SAM.gov registration, the Government has created a “questionnaire” related to specific FAR and DFARS provisions contractors may have to comply with. These questions include disclosures about recent judgments involving related to government contracts and violating federal criminal tax laws.
Your answers will be public here as well, but again, do not try to cover things up! Misrepresenting anything means your pants are likely to set on fire or, in any case, you are subject to facing serious consequences.
SAM.gov is not just for entity registration.
Entity registration is one big part of SAM, but it is a one stop shop for many other activities involving federal contracting. Another aspect of SAM is that it is the primary federal government website for searching contracting opportunities. But SAM also houses the Federal Procurement Data System, the Contractor Performance Assessment Reports System, and the Past Performance Information Retrieval System among other federal websites.
If you want additional information on registering for SAM.gov, the government has put together a pretty thorough checklist, along with a number of descriptive videos and FAQs.
Questions about this post? Email us Need help with a government contracting legal issue? Give us a call at 785-200-8919.
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