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What is the UEI Number, and Do I Need One to Register in SAM?

A UEI number stands for Unique Entity Identifier. It is a distinct and unchanging code assigned to entities that conduct business with the U.S. federal government. The UEI number is used to uniquely identify and track these entities in federal systems and databases. It is a part of the broader effort to improve transparency and accountability in federal contracting and grant processes.

As of April 2022, the UEI has replaced the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the official identifier for entities doing business with the federal government. While the DUNS number used to be the standard identifier, the transition to UEI is aimed at reducing reliance on a single commercial entity and promoting greater competition in the marketplace.

Here’s what you need to know about UEI and SAM registration:

  1. Transition from DUNS to UEI: If your business was previously registered in SAM using a DUNS number, it has likely been transitioned to a UEI. This transition was part of the federal government’s efforts to ensure that all entities have a unique identifier not tied to a specific commercial entity.
  2. UEI Assignment: The assignment of a UEI is typically managed by the U.S. government, specifically by the System for Award Management (SAM). You do not need to apply for or request a UEI separately; it is generated and assigned as part of the SAM registration process.
  3. SAM Registration: To register in SAM, you will need various information about your business or organization, including your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), legal business name, and other details. During the registration process, SAM will assign your entity a UEI, which you will use for federal contracting and grant purposes.
  4. Use in Federal Contracting and Grants: Your UEI will be used in federal procurement processes, grants, and other federal assistance agreements. It helps federal agencies and the government track and manage their interactions with your entity.

In summary, a UEI number is the new standard identifier for entities conducting business with the U.S. federal government, replacing the DUNS number. You do not need to independently apply for a UEI; it will be assigned to your entity as part of the SAM registration process. Ensuring that your SAM registration is accurate and up to date is essential to maintain your UEI for federal contracting and grant purposes.

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