Registering in Federal Databases

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To sell to the government, you'll need to register with a variety of databases.

  1. Employer Identification Number: EIN, also referred to as Federal Tax Identification Numbers (TIN), is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS that is used to identify a business entity. If you have questions relating to EIN, including whether you should apply for a number or not, visit the EIN section on the IRS website. You may apply for an EIN in various ways, including online.
  2. Dun & Bradstreet: D&B is a business specializing in credit and financial reports on registered companies available for a fee. The identifier for registered companies is referred to as a DUNS number. In order to do business with the federal government you must obtain a DUNS. DUNS number assignment is FREE for all businesses required to register with the US Federal government for contracts or grants.
  3. (Note that one in two companies requesting a DUNS number already has one. Run a DUNS check online to see if your company already has a DUNS.  If you are not listed, you can apply for a DUNS.)

    System for Award Management: To do business with any department of the federal government, you must first register in SAM. If are not registered in CCR, you will need to create new personal and company registrations. The Procurement Technical Assistance Center staff are available to provide assistance with SAM issues.

    SAM registrations must be renewed annually.  This registration provides government contractors with a profile of your company and required banking information so that you can be paid electronically. It also includes a mandatory compilation of standard contract certifications and terms & conditions that are required in almost all Federal contracts. Upon completion of this registration, small businesses are also provided a link to register on Dynamic Small Business Search, see below.

    Dynamic Small Business Search: This SBA-operated, self-certifying database is used by contracting officers and others to find information on small businesses.

    North American Industry Classification System (NAICS Codes) are numerical codes creating uniform descriptions of small business types.. Size standards, for determination of whether or not a business is small, are keyed to NAICS codes. You can look up NAICS Codes online. You can download Small Business Size Standards that are matched to the NAICS Codes.

    Product Service Codes (PSC) and Federal Supply Codes (FSC) are alpha-numerical codes designed by the government to create descriptions for products and services. They are not specific to small businesses and do not describe business size. A-Z are for services and 10-99 are for products. You can look up PSC and FSC Codes online.


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