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What is a Cage Code?

Cage Code

The federal government loves to use specific codes and acronyms for its processes. The CAGE Code is one of these terms. However, understanding this particular term is extremely beneficial to the GSA applicant.

CC is an identifier the federal government uses to identify businesses and their legal affairs with the government. A CAGE Code is like a social security number for your contract with the federal government.

Since 2014, CAGE codes have been mandatory for contractors working for the federal government, making them a relatively recent form of unique identification. These new regulations will eventually replace the Federal Supply Code for Manufacturers FSCM and the National Supply Code for Manufacturers NSCM.

The Commercial and Government Entity Code, also known as the CAGE Code, is a unique identifier consisting of five characters that the government widely uses to identify businesses that offer goods or services to the federal government. It is a recognized way of identifying a certain legal structure at a particular location, and the Defense Logistics Agency is the institution that is responsible for assigning it. A corporation, a business, an organization, or a government agency are all included under the CAGE Code.

CAGE Codes have only been valid for five years, beginning with the most recent update; after that, they will need to be renewed. If, on the other hand, a person already possesses a CAGE Code and obtained it before August 26, 2016, they are eligible to have their code automatically enrolled as permanent and free from any associated expiration date restrictions.

Why is a CAGE Code Necessary?

A firm must possess a CAGE code to be eligible to receive payments from the United States government. Those who wish to sell their goods or services to the government must first acquire a CAGE code. Moreover, the CAGE Code is used to help in purchasing and acquisitions. In addition to this, the NATO Codification System or NCS makes use of CAGE Codes. Thus they are used worldwide. If one runs a business that sells things all over the world, one might find this to be helpful.

With CAGE code, one may exchange data with another system that needs the unique identifier of a contractor entity, identify when offerors are held or governed by another agency, and exchange data, including contract payment processes and contract administration, with another system.

How Do You Acquire a CAGE Code?

There are two approaches through which United States-based organizations can use to get a CAGE code. The prerequisites are determined by the approach used. Entities not based in the United States are needed to acquire a NATO CAGE or NCAGE Code.

System for Award Management

The first thing a corporation must do to be able to market to the government is to register with the System for Award Management at Upon registering for something, you will give one a CAGE Code.

The DUNS Number and a Taxpayer Identification Number are requirements for a firm to meet to register with SAM. The Data Universal Numbering System number or DUNS number is available for free. Acquiring a DUNS number often takes no more than one or two business days.

The DUNS number is a unique identification provided by a private organization that the United States government has contracted to fulfill its need for unique identifiers. In contrast to the Social Security Number and Employer Identification Number, considered private and confidential information, you can use the DUNS number in a public setting.

Moreover, one can receive a free Employer Identification Number or EIN. You can also use your EIN as the Taxpayer Identification Number or TIN. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is responsible for providing businesses with an Employer Identification Number, primarily used for determining tax liability. The process of obtaining an EIN typically takes around two weeks.

Wait for 12 to 15 working days after completing the information before checking the registration status in SAM.

SAM Registrants Based in the United States

Before registration in the System for Award Management, you are not required to have a CAGE Code under any circumstance. When you submit the Entity Registration for validation, SAM will forward the data about the firm to the DLA so that a CAGE Code can be assigned. SAM will receive the CAGE Code after the DLA has appointed it, and then it will attach the code to the Entity Registration.

The Government Business Point of Contact or POC will be notified via email by the DLA if more information is required for the designation of the CAGE code. This notification only occurs if the DLA has any questions or concerns.

SAM Registrants Who Have an International Address

The NATO Commercial and Government Entity or NCAGE Codes are assigned to organizations not based in the United States. Before finishing a SAM registration, all foreign entities must have NCAGE Codes assigned to them. This step is part of the NATO Codification System or NCS. Using the NATO Codification Tool, one can apply an NCAGE Code.

Defense Logistics Agency

This approach should be taken just by entities participating in the X-TECH Search program. Before beginning an application for a CAGE Code from the DLA, you are not obliged to provide any information.

To register for a CAGE with DLA, you must provide basic information. This information includes:

The system will inquire about the entity’s DUNS and Taxpayer Identification Number. But, these areas are not required to be filled out. If this information is unknown, click the next button.

After submitting all information, wait for ten to twelve business days for the final validation and implementation of the CAGE code.


Partnering with the government can give your business a significant advantage, but becoming a partner can be a complicated process. Obtaining a CAGE code can be a great first step to help you partner with the government, whether your business is based in the United States or anywhere around the globe.

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