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What is the System for Awards Management (aka SAM)?

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The United States government has a huge market for private corporations to sell products and services. This can become a very lucrative part of a company’s businesses because the government is responsible for a multi-billion dollar market. There are several steps that a company has to go through to become part of this market. One of those steps is to register with the System for Awards Management.

What is the Systems for Awards Management?

The Systems for Awards Management (SAM) is an official United State Government website that helps companies conduct business with the United States Government. This system is fairly straightforward, and many businesses can complete this part of the process on their own. SAM is free, and there is no cost to use SAM; however, you are required to update your registration each year. There are several things you can use SAM for. For example, you can use SAM to update or renew your entity registration, check the status of an entity registry, and you can use SAM as a research tool by searching for entity registration and exclusion records. However, SAM is most important when it comes to registering your business, and this is required to do business with the government.

SAM Registration for Contractors

Registering for SAM only takes a couple of hours then it can take a couple of weeks to find out if you have done the process correctly and are approved. There are several things that you need to consider if you are planning on doing this process.

  • Make Sure you are on SAM.gov

Several companies have made their website very similar to SAM.gov, in an attempt to sell you a service. However, by using SAM.gov, you are not paying any fees. 

  • Get a Free DUNS number

A DUNS number is a very important number because you must have it to complete SAM. This number is free to get. 

  • Gather All Necessary Information

There is a lot of information that is needed to complete your SAMs registration. You will need banking information, taxpayer identification number, sales per year average for the past three years, the total number of staff for the past 12 months, and a point of contact information. The process of registering for SAM can go quickly if you can have all of this information present. 

  • Have NAICS Codes Ready

You need to have your NAICS codes as well to complete SAM. 

  • Prepare Your Product Service or Federal Class Codes

This number is important because it allows a potential buyer a better understanding of the products or services your company provides. It may take some research on your part to get these numbers.  

  • Notarized Letter Requirement

A notarized letter is required for all new SAM registrants that appoints an “Entity Administrator.” This does not have to be done when you renew unless the person who was the Entity Administrator changes.

Once you have all of this information, the process of completing SAM can go very quickly. You start by creating a user account at Login.gov. It is important to understand that everyone who can make changes to this account will need their own login. After you have created an account at Login.gov, you then go back to SAM.gov and select Entity Registration and choose Register New Entity. After this, you will be presented with several pages, and you need to fill in the information that they are asking and then click “Save and Continue.” Finally, you need to make sure that you push “Submit” after you have completed your final review. 


NAICS Codes are important because they help to identify what your business primary activity is. Your business may have multiple NAICS codes, and you can find them on the US Census Bureau NAICS website. You can put multiple codes into SAM, but you will need to identify which one is your primary industry code. 

SAM Beta

SAM is growing and will eventually be the replacement for three different websites.

  • Contract Data Reports (FPDS Reports)

This will eventually replace FDPS.gov. This will allow you to search for public award data, which can help you build your business pipelines to be competitive. This site can also be used to learn about contracts that are about to expire and will also allow you to find potential subcontracting opportunities. 

  • Contract Opportunities (FBO)

This will replace FBO.gov. This site can be used by anyone who is interested in working with the government and allows then to have access to a lot of information. You can find original notices or related notices that can show the full pre-award acquisition. You can also find a history of notices and can track the changes. You are also able to use this website to educate yourself on a submitted response, offer, or proposal, and when the responses are due. 

  • Wage Determinations (WDOL)

This will replace WDOL.gov. This website allows you to get the wage rates and fringe benefit rates for workers in the United States Department of Labor. You are also able to specialize in this data based on different categories. You can find both Davis-Baron Act (DBA) wage determinations and Service Contract Act (SCA) wage determinations. 

Registering for SAM is an important step that companies need to take to make sure that they can do work with the United States government and get access to a multi-billion dollar market that is created by working with the government. The process of registering for SAM is pretty straight forward leaving you with no excuse not to. Your company should take the time to collect all the necessary information that is required before you start to make the registration process as simple as possible. There are several numbers that you need to find to help potential buyers understand what your company does. Finally, SAM.gov is becoming a more powerful website when it comes to working with the government. SAM beta plans to replace multiple different types of websites and will allow businesses to research government contracts more efficiently all from the same site.

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