The System for Award Management is a government website that government contractors should use to register their business with the federal government. There are many benefits to the System for Award Management for both government contractors and government agencies that award contracts when goods or services are needed by the federal government.
The System For Award Management Explained
The System for Award Management, also referred to as SAM, is an online resource that is owned and operated by the federal government that allows government contractors to list their business. Government agencies use the System for Award Management to find contractors as well. Additionally, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, SAM is used to consolidate the capabilities in Central Contractor Registration (CCR)/FedReg, Online Representations and Certifications Applications (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS).
The System for Award Management is entirely free for users. According to the SAM.gov website, you can use the website to:
- Register to do business with the U.S. government
- Entity registration (register, renew, or check status)
- Access publicly available award data
- Search for contract opportunities
- Search for wage determinations
There are many additional uses for The System for Award Management as well. For government contractors specifically, the website is a great opportunity to market your business to government agencies, check on contract information and opportunities, and keep an active
status with the federal government.
How To Register With The System For Award Management
You can register your business with the System for Award Management via the entity registration page on their website. This involves an easy four-step process that includes requesting a DUNS number, preparing your data, gaining an account with login.gov, and submitting your registration. It can take up to ten days after the final step for your business to become active on the SAM.gov website.
The Benefits Of The System For Award Management
The System for Award Management makes it easy for government contractors to list and market businesses to federal agencies. Additionally, government contractors can sort through and find government contracts that are available and access previous contract award data. Essentially, SAM.gov is a one-stop-shop for government contractors to conduct business, which makes the contracting process with government agencies much quicker and more convenient.
Perhaps more importantly, SAM.gov is incredibly beneficial for government agencies, which use the website to find contractors for government-related projects. SAM.gov allows government agencies to search for contractors based on the skills they provide, their location, level of experience, and more. This ensures that they are able to hire the best company for the contract, and helps ensure the most qualified contractors that are right for the job are not overlooked.
How to Use The System For Award Management To Help Your Business
As mentioned, the System for Award Management can be used as a marketing tool for government contractors. All government contractors should register on SAM.gov to receive contracts that are issued by federal government agencies. To assist with the registration process and to help optimize the benefit you receive from the System for Award Management, consider the following tips:
- Make sure to use the exact legal name of your organization
- Obtain a DUNS number before starting the entity registration process
- Find your North American Entity Classification (NAICS) code prior to registration
- Opt-in for a public search (otherwise agencies cannot find you)
- Fill out your Small Business Association (SBA) profile
The SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) portal is a part of the System for Award Management and is used by government agencies to find small contractors. It is important to sign up with the SBA after registering your business with SAM.gov to maximize your marketing efforts with the federal government and increase the number of contract opportunities you have.
All Current And Potential Government Vendors Are Required to Register With SAM
Organizations that contract with the federal government are required to register with the System for Award management. This includes a one-time registration that provides basic information related to financial transactions and contract procurement. The System for Award Management also requires that contractors update their information annually to maintain active status.
The Use Of The System For Award Management To Facilitate Paperless Payments
Another use (and benefit) of the System for Award Management is that the federal government uses it to facilitate paperless payments to government contractors that work on contracts issued by local, state, and federal government agencies. This is done through an electronic funds transfer (EFT), which makes the payment process easier for both the agency and the contractor.
However, payment processes with government agencies (which may include an audit) can become more complex than many contractors realize, and working with a certified public accountant is strongly encouraged.
Registering and utilizing the System for Award Management ensures that your contracting business is visible to government agencies when contracting needs arise, and gives you the opportunity to seek out new contracting opportunities that you otherwise would not have had access to. To learn more about registering your government contracting business with SAM, it is best to speak with a certified public accountant that understands the process.