As a federal contractor, have you ever gotten an email saying that you will need to pay hundreds of dollars to renew your SAM.gov registration? Contractors should be wary of these offers, some of which are outright scams, because registering and updating your business’s registration in SAM.gov is always free. If you are already a federal contractor, you probably have dealt with registration in SAM.gov, and as you can imagine, keeping this registration updated yearly is important.
However, the System for Award Management (SAM) registration can cause a lot of headaches because some contractors are not familiar with how to update their registrations, and they let them expire or pay to get it renewed. Some scams like to take advantage of this confusion by sending spam emails, many designed to look like official correspondence, promising that they will take care of your SAM registration for a fee. To avoid any scams or letting your registration expire, we put together this blog to explain how you can update your SAM.gov registration correctly.
If you need assistance with your entry in SAM.gov, please contact your local Alabama PTAC!
What is SAM.gov?
The System for Award Management, or SAM.gov, is an ever-evolving central repository for contractor information, federal procurement systems, and other federal programs or registrations. This system is extremely important for contractors because all entities interested in doing business with the federal government are required to have an active registration in SAM and renew it annually.
SAM.gov was updated on May 24, 2021, with changes to both design and function. While some things have changed, federal contractors will still likely find the actual process of registering in SAM.gov to be familiar.
Why Do You Need to Update Your SAM Registration?
Updating your SAM registration can be a meticulous process because each SAM registration is only valid for one year and must be renewed prior to its yearly anniversary. If not renewed by the one-year anniversary, the record will expire and become inactive.
That means that you will want to keep your SAM.gov registration active and up to date, regardless of whether you are trying to obtain a government contract vehicle such as a GSA Schedule or just want to take advantage of open market opportunities.
It can be easy to overlook important fields while working through your registration, especially since SAM.gov has made a lot of recent updates. With each new update, you shouldn’t be surprised if you find additional questions you are required to answer. While there may be changes to what information you have to input, the actual process of updating your SAM registration has not undergone any major changes.
Prerequisites to SAM Registration
Before you register in SAM, make sure your business has an active registration with Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) and an associated DUNS number. This is currently the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) that SAM uses to identify your business. SAM.gov pulls information such as your address from your D&B registration, so you will want to make sure the information in your D&B registration is accurate before you update your SAM registration.
Note: SAM will transition away from using the DUNS as its UEI by April 4, 2022 and will instead be using a SAM.gov generated UEI. If you already have a SAM.gov account, you have already been assigned this new UEI and don’t have to take any actions. If not, this UEI will be assigned while you register your entity.
You will also want to make sure you have your Marketing Partner Identification Number (MPIN) number handy because it serves as an electronic signature. The MPIN was created when your entity was originally registered. If you have forgotten it, the Entity Administrator for your business’s registration will have to reset your MPIN. Once you have this information prepared, you can start updating your entity’s registration in SAM.gov.
Step 1: Entering Your Entity’s Registration Information
- Log-in to SAM.gov account using your login.gov email and password that is associated with your company’s registration.
- Click on the “Workspace” tab if you are not already there and you will find a box that says, “Entity Management.” Click on the icon with a number above “Active” (seen below. Note: the number will not be 0 if you are already registered). This will take you to a page that displays your active entity registrations. If no registrations appear, you are likely not associated with your entity and will need to request a role, which your Entity Administrator can approve for you.
- From there, you will need to select the entity you need to update. Click on the ellipsis in the top right corner of the correct registration and choose “Update.”
Step 2: Updating Your Entity’s Registration
Since the information from your initial registration and any subsequent updates will still be in the system, you now have to go through each section to affirm that this information is current and accurate. You have to go through the entire record and you cannot skip any sections. Click “Save and Continue” at the bottom of each page once you have ensured the information within it is correct.
Listed below are a few sections of your SAM.gov record that you should pay attention to every time you update:
- DUNS Information: Your company name and address are pulled from the D&B database. If you have recently updated your address with D&B, you should click on “Refresh D&B” button on the “Verify DUNS” page so that it will display your new address. Your address must match the address that is on file with D&B.
- Financial Information: Make sure your banking and contact information are current, including bank account numbers, Taxpayer Identification number (usually your Employer Identification Number), and remittance address.
- Size Metrics: This is one of the easiest sections to miss and one of the most important sections to update since it can change frequently with employee turnover and company revenue. Your small business size determination depends on the information you provide in this section. Be sure to update your average annual receipts (3 or 5 year average) and average number of employees (12-month average).
- Points of Contact: Be sure to have current employees listed under this section so that they can monitor any updates or Requests for Information (RFIs) you receive from SAM.gov.
- NAICS Codes: You may want to update your NAICS codes if you have new offerings or would like to change your primary NAICS code.
- Representations and Certifications: You may have to represent your entity’s agreement to abide by new FAR and/or DFARS.
Step 3: Reviewing and Submitting Your SAM Registration
Once you have reviewed your SAM registration, updated anything required, and verified all information is correct, you can submit your registration. When you are updating your SAM record it’s important to take your time to ensure all the information included is correct. SAM.gov will send an email when your registration is submitted and again when it is approved.
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. For example, if your company address was updated, you will have to go through the CAGE code review process, which will delay your updated SAM.gov registration for up to a few weeks.
Excerpted from Patrick Morgans. Patrick Morgans is a Consultant for Winvale’s Government Contract Services Department. He is a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia and earned his Bachelor’s of Arts in Government from the University of Virginia.