Since October 1, 2003, any entity receiving funding from the federal government through grant awards or by contract has had to have an assigned DUNS number – the 9-digit Data Universal Numbering System that identifies each entity as a unique business.
It was necessary to obtain the DUNS prior to registering in the government’s System for Award Management (SAM) in grants.gov. Once the business received their DUNs, they then could register in SAM and apply for grants and contracts.
A new designation will be required as of April 4, 2022, that takes the place of the DUNS. The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) will be issued in a one-step process when registering with SAM. The UEI will be 12 characters long – both numeric and alpha.
So, what do you have to do? Maybe nothing. Any business that currently has a DUNS will automatically be assigned a UEI. You will be notified of the change when it is made so you can start using the new identifier in your federal application documents. In fact, if you recently submitted an application for federal funding, you may have already seen the change.
For those who are new to federal funding and never had a DUNS, this will be a one-step process done directly as part of your SAM registration request. Understand that it may take a while to be approved (the business must first be verified and validated), so don’t wait until an application is due to start the process.
It’s important to note there is absolutely no charge to receive a UEI or to register in SAM. If you go online you will see businesses ready to do this process for you – at a cost. Absolutely no need to click that link since this is now, and always has been, a very simple and free process.
The website will be down from April 1 to 4 for the changeover. You can keep track of updates or find additional information on the US General Services Administration website – gsa.gov/entityid