The United States government is one of the world’s largest buyers of products and services. In fact, federal agencies buy and need almost every type of service: from marketing strategists to contractors. That means that federal government agencies could become your clients. But you might be wondering: how can I find out what business opportunities are available? The first step is to include your business in the federal contractors registry: System of Award Management (SAM).
What is SAM?
SAM is an online portal that consolidates all opportunities to do business with the federal government. Signing up at SAM is free.
You only need to sign up once, but must renew your registration each year to keep it active. You should also update your registration if there are changes in your business’ address or contact persons, among others.
Why register in SAM?
- It’s a requirement to do business with the federal government.
- It’s necessary if your organization wants to receive help, incentives or federal assistance.
- SAM allows federal agencies and contractors to search according to company size, location, experience and certifications received from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Recommendations for filling out the SAM registration form
The SAM registration navigation is rather intuitive. However, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind, to prevent you from making mistakes that can cause the system to stop the registration process:
- Use your company’s legal name as it appears on all official documents. Some entrepreneurs register their businesses with one name in the Department of State but use another in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) system. If that happens, the SAM registration process will not allow you to continue
- If your business is a DBA (Doing Business As), use your personal Social Security number and your name as it appears on the Social Security card.
- Write the address the same way as you did when applying for your Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS). If you forgot the exact address, look for the DUNS confirmation email. (A period, a comma or writing “Calle” instead of “Street”, or vice versa, can make a difference and lock the system.) For information on how to get the DUNS number, access this link.
- In the country field, check the United States option and in the state, use Puerto Rico.
- The registry system does not recognize periods, commas or special characters. If your business features the abbreviation Inc. as part of its name, write it without using the period (Inc) to prevent the application from failing.
- In the contact section, enter your name or that of the business’ contact person. A tip: In that section’s comments portion, be sure to include a number for emergencies or a link to your social media in case a disaster affects communications. Some businesses used this strategy in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Remember that filling out the registration is necessary to do business with the federal government. Completing the registration is free. If you have any doubts, contact the Puerto Rico Federal Contracting Center (FeCC), a division of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO). Call them at (787) 758-4747 extension 3181, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They will provide you with free advice. You can also send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about what to evaluate before considering the federal government as a possible client and what information you need to register in SAM, read our article How Would you like to have the Federal Government as your Client?
Banco Popular de Puerto Rico (Popular) has no affiliation or relationship with the Federal Contracting Center (FeCC), with the entities or with the information provided in the links mentioned in this article. This article is informative in nature and does not constitute an endorsement or a guarantee of its accuracy. Popular or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries or related companies are not and will not be liable for special damages, direct or indirect, incidental or consequential, including, but not limited to loss of profits ensuing from or related to communications, articles or advice provided, or that may ensue from the information contained in this article. Popular is devoted to providing banking services and therefore does not offer (directly or indirectly) any type of advisory service towards contracting with the federal government. If you require any of these services you should seek advice from a competent professional of your choice. Popular is not liable in any way for the outcome of any related endeavor if you choose to voluntarily communicate with SAM, the FeCC or any of the entities mentioned in this article.