Originally published by University of Mary Washington, July 6, 2022 by Susan Ball and Tresha Taylor

There have been some big changes to the System for Award Management (SAM) in the past few months.  In April, the DUNS number was dropped and replaced with a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). The changes migrated business and owner verification from Dun and Bradstreet to the Federal Service Desk (FSD).  In May, the FSD began requiring all entities to reset their MPINs.  These changes have not been painless, but we do have some guidance and tips to help you through these processes.

Here are some guidelines to help you get through the SAM registration process(es) as seamlessly as possible.

  1. A Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) was assigned automatically to companies already active in SAM. The UEI is 12 characters long and a mix of numbers and letters.  If you are registering a new company in SAM,  you will need to apply for a UEI within the SAM application.  The first step in a new registration is to select your purpose in registering. After that you will need to supply the following information in order to be assigned a UEI:
    • Legal business name
    • Physical address
    • Date of incorporation
    • State of incorporation

At this point, the system will search for your entity.  Hopefully, it will find an exact match.  Select your company, and you will be assigned a UEI and be able to move forward with the normal SAM registration.  If the system does not find your company, see Item 2.

  1. Entity Validation. If you do not find an exact match for your company, you will need to Create an Incident and provide documentation to support the changes that need to be made.
    • Do NOT choose Details Are Incorrect. This sends you in a circle.
    • Choose NO MATCH.
    • Enter your exact, correct business name and address.
    • Upload supporting documentation that include exact business name and address.
    • Acceptable documents include SCC registration documents, utility bills, letter from IRS assigning tax id number, and operating agreements.
    • Document should be less than 5 years old.
    • Once the incident is created, it will take a week or more for the incident to be resolved. Keep an eye out for an email from the GSA.  If further information is requested, you have 3 days to respond or the incident with be closed without resolution.
    • VERY IMPORTANT – Please do not create more than one incident report.
  1. Once you complete your registration, you will be required to verify your identify. This requires you to use your cell phone to take a photo of your state-issued identification card.  Please follow the link provided in the text message to allow the application to take the photo.  Do not upload a picture of your license for review.  You will get an unable to verify error.  You will also need to provide your social security number and a phone associated with your name.
    • You may have to use the primary number on your phone plan, rather than the number you actually use.
    • If you do not have a phone number in your name, a verification code can be mailed to you. This takes about 3 – 5 days.
  2. Entity Administrator Letters are still required. However, they are no longer mailed.  You need to upload your entity administrator letter by:
    • Go to fsd.gov
    • Login using login.gov credentials
    • Select “Create an Incident”. This is found near the bottom of the page.
    • Select “SAM” as the business name
    • Select “SAM: Notarized Letter” as the Issue Type
    • Complete remainder of form and attach notarized entity administrator letter. Please note that letter should be on company letterhead, and it must be notarized.
    • There is a Entity Administrator template on the FSD.gov site.
  1. Resetting MPIN—All entities must reset their MPIN the first time the sign in after May 2022. Many clients are unable to reset the MPIN and will need to call the FDS Help DesK:  (866) 606-8220.  It will be helpful if you try these troubleshooting steps before you call.
    • Change the entity status from Work in Progress to Inactive. To do this, click the 3 dots in the circle at the top right of your workspace and select Delete.  This will delete the In Progress registration, but will not delete your entity from SAM.
    • The screen should refresh to show status as Inactive. Click the three dots again and select Update.
    • You will need to re-verify your entity. If an exact match is not found, see Item 2.
    • You must reset your MPIN before you will be able to access your record and re-activate your SAM registration.

The Valley SBDC can assist you in registering in SAM and applying for government certifications.  For all other federal procurement questions, we recommend that you register to be a client of the Virginia PTAC at www.virginiaptac.org.  If you are not a Valley SBDC client, please register at www.virginiasbdc.org to become one.

The Valley SBDC and Virginia PTAC provide free, confidential business assistance as resource partners of the SBA.