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SAM Registration- Easier Said than Done

Jun 3

Written by: Grants Office, LLC
Monday, June 3, 2013  RssIcon

The US Government’s System for Award Management (SAM) is a system that combines the functions of the Central Contractor Registry (CCR), Federal Agency Registration (FedReg) Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS).  There’s little doubt that the merging of these systems will streamline functionality, combat overlap, and ultimately save money.   While these efficiencies are welcome outcomes of the implementation of SAM, the process of getting registered in SAM can be confusing and highly frustrating.  The confounding aspects of SAM registration may lead one may posit the question: “Why would my organization even need to be registered in SAM?”  Simply put, if your organization is looking to apply for Federal grants and/or other Federal assistance, you have to be registered in SAM.

Let’s take a closer look at the process and some of the potential pitfalls.  The first step in the process is to create your SAM account.  Here are the steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Create an Account
  3. Choose Individual account
  4. Provide the requested information and submit
  5. Receive the email from “notifications” and click through the link to validate your account
  6. Log in at with the username and password you created

Seems easy enough, but this is just the first part.  Many folks believe that once they’ve logged in with their SAM username and password per the instructions in step 6 they are all set, but they’ve only created the account, they haven’t fully registered with SAM.  Failure to see SAM registration through in its entirety will result in your organization not being able to submit federal grants.

So what else do you need to do? 

Here’s a step by step process to follow, once you’ve completed the account creation steps noted above:

 1. Click “Register New Entity” under “Register/Update Entity” on your “My SAM” page

2. Select your type of Entity

3. Select “No” to “Do you wish to bid on contracts?”

6. Select “Yes” to “Do you want to be eligible for grants and other federal assistance?”

7. Complete “Core Data,” which consists of:

a. Validating your DUNS information

b. Entering your Business Information (TIN, etc.)

c. Entering your CAGE code if you have one. If not, one will be assigned to you after your         registration is completed.

d. Entering your General Information (business types, organization structure, etc)

e. Financial Information (Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT ) Information)

f. Executive Compensation

g. Proceedings Details

8. Complete “Points of Contact”

9. Your entity registration will become active after 3-5 days when the IRS validates your TIN information.

I would strongly recommend that you give your organization at least two weeks to accomplish account creation and registration to ensure that you’ll have enough time to address any issues that could arise during the process.  If for any reason you feel that you are not fully registered or are having problems at any point the SAM you can contact the SAM Help Desk at or by phone at 866-606-8220.  The SAM website ( is full of FAQs, video tutorials, and other useful documents.  One quick pointer: some operators at the Help Desk are more in-tune and helpful than others. If you’re connected to an operator who’s “less than helpful,” I would suggest politely excusing yourself from the call and calling back in a few moments. Hopefully then you’ll be put in touch with a more responsive representative. 

If you take your time, carefully follow the instructions provided on the SAM website, leave nothing to chance, and most importantly follow the process through to the end you and your organization will be in good shape to move forward with your federal grant submissions. 


System for Award Management Screenshot

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