By Karen Krymski | August 1, 2017
Many small business clients come to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida looking to begin their journey of selling to the Federal Government (FedGov). When they do, one of the first items on the list is to get registered on the System for Award Management, also known as SAM. The second step is to register (actually provide details) within the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS), which is linked to SAM.
Let’s talk about SAM.gov
First of all, it is important to note that registration is FREE! Yes, that’s right. Do NOT pay anyone or any company to complete the SAM registration. Sometimes a government contracting consultant will say “we’ll throw it in” if you purchase a website or a training course, etc. What’s really required is 40 to 60 minutes of uninterrupted time and some business info (see next paragraph). If you are experiencing difficulty or confusion, reach out to your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center representative. We are usually located within Florida SBDC Network offices and our services are without charge.
Before you begin your SAM registration, what preliminary information is necessary prior to opening the portal (creating a User ID/Password) at SAM.gov? These are necessary pieces of business information that you will need:
- Dun & Bradstreet number or DUNS*
- Company’s EIN or TIN
- NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code(s) that identify the products or services that your company provides. Usually there are several.
Why do you need to register in SAM?
- If you are planning to do any work within the FedGov, it is required. This is the first place that the contracting officer checks to make sure you are eligible to do work with any agency, department or bureau.
- It takes the place of many other databases that were part of the process in prior years. Many companies were “migrated over” from predecessors and many others were not. In any case, EVERY company must login at least once per year to keep their registration active (otherwise, the company will no longer be visible to anyone who is looking).
- One of the main reasons that a company would want to register in SAM is for fast, electronic payment if the company’s banking information is provided within the SAM registration.
- Your SAM registration also provides a quick reference of your company’s capabilities. If your company adds services or partners with a company so that your scope of services broadens, login and update your NAICS codes within your SAM profile. It’s always better to include EVERY applicable NAICS wherein your company has competency. Also, if your company plans to respond to a requirement, make sure you have that NAICS code (of the requirement) listed on your SAM.gov page. Otherwise, the contracting officer will not deem you to be qualified in that area.
- In addition, registering on SAM.gov allows your company’s information to become publicly available to contracting officers, prime contractors and other small businesses. It also allows access to another database, Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS). DSBS is a tool that is very often used by other small businesses for teaming as well as by prime contractors to identify small businesses who can enhance their Federal award strategy for success.
A link to DSBS is available near the end of your SAM registration process. Simply click on the link where it indicates “SBA Register or Update My SBA Profile.”
Courtesy of TargetGov, here is the checklist of items that will require input/confirmation when completing the DSBS section.
Completing these two databases is just the beginning of the journey to do business with the Federal Government. The Florida SBDC at USF works with clients to develop a “Go to Market” strategy that will assist companies in their identification of targeted agencies, which certifications may be the most beneficial and how companies go about identifying steps that are the most direct towards reaching their goal.
*If your company does not have a DUNS #, please apply online. This will enable your company to apply for a DUNS # without charge, as it is necessary for FedGov contractors to have one.