On April 4th, the General Services Administration (GSA) will complete a major technology modernization project that began back in 2012 – The federal government will be replacing the Dun and Bradstreet numbers (DUNS) number with a new Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) known as the Unique Entity ID.
Continue reading to learn what that means for your small business, and what you need to do now.
What is a Unique Entity Identifier?
The federal government uses an award system called SAM, which stands for System for Award Management. Any entity that wants to bid on federal contracts or wants to receive federal funds must first register with SAM. Entities that use SAM include for-profit businesses, nonprofits, government contractors, subcontractors, as well as state and local governments (SLED).
The Unique Entity ID commonly referred to as a UEI, is a 12-character alphanumeric identifier assigned to an entity by SAM.gov. The Unique Entity ID is generated, owned, and managed by SAM.gov. It connects these entities and companies throughout the federal award lifecycle whether it’s bidding on a contract or managing a grant.
If your business or nonprofit is already registered in SAM.gov— then you already have a Unique Entity ID. You can find it by logging in at SAM.gov.
If you have not registered with SAM.gov, you will get your Unique Entity ID (SAM) during registration. Registration is free – SIGN UP NOW!
Is the Unique Entity Identifier the Same as my old DUNS number?
No, the numbers are not the same! – Before the UEI was launched as the ‘unique’ identifier for use in SAM, small businesses that wanted to do business with the federal government were required to obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. Now they are assigned a UEI managed by the federal government for SAM.
How Do I Locate My New UEI Number?
You will only have UEI if you’ve previously registered your business SAM. If you have, then you can log into the SAM.gov portal to view your entity registration record and locate your UEI.
Will My Business Require a UEI?
There are numerous opportunities for small businesses to grow their businesses through federal government contracting or procurement opportunities, as well as federal loans, grants, or financial assistance programs. To pursue any of these opportunities you will need a UEI.
In addition, you can search for federal grants at Grants.gov. If you decide to apply for federal government grants, then you’ll need to register with SAM.
How Do I Get A UEI Number?
If you are registering for the first time on SAM.gov, you will be automatically assigned a UEI during your registration process. New SAM registrants will see two options:
1 – Register Entity, which will allow you to bid directly on federal contracts and grants
2 – Get Unique Entity ID, which is for if you are a sub-awardee of a contract or grant
Choosing either will allow you to obtain a new Unique Entity ID.
Will My UEI Expire?
No, it will never expire – While businesses may want to update their SAM.gov account each year to avoid an inactive registration, UEIs will not expire.
Is There a Cost to Get A UEI?
No, there is no cost to switch – You can get a Unique Entity ID for free from the federal government. You can get a UEI and register your business for government grants, contracts, and federal assistance for free at SAM.gov.
How Do I Update My Business Information?
If the legal name or physical address of your business has changed, you can now update it through SAM.gov instead of going to Dun & Bradstreet as previously required.
Will the Government Call or Email Me About MY UEI?
No, the Government will never call, email, or text you - The GSA will never contact organizations directly about the Unique Entity ID (UEI). If you receive an unsolicited call or phishing email about a UEI it is a scam. Don’t provide them with any of your personal or business information; log into your SAM.gov account to manage your registration.
Where Can I Get Help with SAM.gov or My UEI?
Start at SAM.gov where you’ll find FAQs about the UEI transition. If you still need help, you can search for help on the Federal Service Desk (FSD.gov) website or request help from an FSD agent during business hours of 8 am to 8 pm ET Monday through Friday.
The Bottom Line:
The GSA has posted additional information, videos, fact sheets, and other helpful details about the transition to UEI from DUNS on its website. Including the Unique Entity Identifier Update where users can easily access the Quick Start Guide: Getting a UEI, and answer any lingering questions or learn if any additional action is required for your unique business.
Kinetek Consulting understands the government contracting world is always evolving and can help you navigate ever-changing requirements while remaining compliant. Our consulting team has years of accounting and technical expertise which they combine to meet the demanding challenges of government contractors and small businesses.
Need help replacing your old DUNS number in Costpoint? Or adding your new UEI to Costpoint? Contact our team below to learn more.