The time it takes to complete SAM (System for Award Management) registration can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of your business, the completeness of your documentation, and your familiarity with the registration process. Here’s a general overview of what to expect:
- Preparation: Before you begin the SAM registration process, it’s essential to gather all the necessary information and documentation. This includes your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), legal business name, D-U-N-S number (if applicable), financial information, and other details about your organization.
- Creating an Account: If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to create a user account on the SAM website. This typically involves providing basic contact information.
- Entering Data: You’ll need to enter detailed information about your organization, including its legal structure, size, capabilities, and contact information. This can be a time-consuming step, especially if your organization is large or has complex ownership structures.
- Validation and Verification: SAM may need time to validate and verify the information you’ve provided. This can involve checks against external databases, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for TIN validation. This step is critical to ensure the accuracy of your registration.
- UEI Assignment: As of April 2022, SAM assigns a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) during the registration process. This UEI is used in lieu of the former D-U-N-S number. SAM generates and assigns the UEI as part of your registration.
- Review and Certification: Before submitting your registration, you’ll have the opportunity to review and certify the information you’ve provided. It’s essential to carefully review your registration to ensure accuracy.
- Submission: After reviewing and certifying your registration, you can submit it to SAM. Once submitted, you’ll receive a confirmation of submission.
- Activation: SAM registration does not become active immediately. It can take several days or even weeks for your registration to be fully activated, depending on the backlog and processing times at SAM.
- Annual Renewal: It’s important to note that SAM registrations must be renewed annually to remain active. Failure to renew can result in an inactive status.
Given these factors, the entire SAM registration process, from preparation to full activation, can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. It’s advisable to start the registration process well in advance if you plan to bid on federal contracts or grants or if you need an active SAM registration for any other federal business purpose. Additionally, maintaining accurate and up-to-date information in SAM is crucial to ensure the success of your federal contracting efforts.