By Kiyon Brandford
If you’ve ever done business or explored doing business in the federal marketplace, then you know having a SAM registration is mandatory. The SAM registration process can be tedious but completing it with the appropriate information and keeping that information accurate and up to date is of utmost importance when doing business with the federal government. The registration process is free, and you want to avoid letting third parties anywhere near your company’s proprietary information so do it yourself! Being familiar with the process of submitting and updating your registration will help you in the future when the time comes (annually) for you to renew your registration. There are three critical reasons why you should be updating your SAM registration at least once a quarter (that’s right, once every 90 days). Let’s take a look at them one by one:
- First impression: Having an active registration in SAM is a prerequisite for a decision-maker as they do market research to identify contractors who can provide the products and/or services they need. Decision-makers use SAM to verify that your business is eligible to participate in the performance of federal contracts. They can search for entities using various criteria like entity name, CAGE code, unique entity ID, keywords, etc.
- TargetGov Tip: You want to make it as easy as possible for them to find your company in the database so include your SAM Unique Entity ID and CAGE code on all relevant marketing materials. Your unique identifiers should be everywhere that your company name is displayed. That way there’s no confusion as to which SAM registration belongs to your company.
- Legal Implications: Another essential element of doing business with the federal government is knowledge of the Federal Acquisition Regulations or FAR. In FAR clause 52.204-7 states, “An Offeror is required to be registered in SAM when submitting an offer or quotation, and shall continue to be registered until time of award, during performance, and through final payment of any contract…” In a recent court case, Myriddian LLC v. USA, it was determined that ANY lapse in keeping your SAM registration active when you are in the process of bidding or while performing a government contract can result in your company being ineligible for award or in violation of the contract.
- TargetGov Tip: To avoid this issue, log in to your SAM registration and make an update at least once every 90 days. In the “Business Information” section of your profile there is a submission date that displays the last time your registration was submitted. Making an update once every 90 days will keep this date recent, letting decision-makers know the information they are seeing is accurate and up-to-date.
- Artificial Intelligence: Across the federal government, artificial intelligence tools are being used to help decision-makers do market research. These AI tools typically rely on a combination of NAICS codes, company data, and keywords and phrases to provide decision-makers with companies that match their search criteria. In these tools they can search for specific products and services that match the SAM registration profiles that include the relevant NAICS codes and keywords and phrases.
- TargetGov Tip: Do some research on the NAICS codes and keywords and phrases decision-makers use to purchase your products and services. When you’ve identified what those are, make sure they are included in your SAM profile for the artificial intelligence tools to find. This will provide you with the opportunity to get involved early in the acquisition process with the ability to shape that opportunity for your company.
If you’re having trouble completing or updating your SAM registration, don’t panic, there are resources to help you. Go to https://www.fsd.gov/gsafsd_sp to search for user guides, FAQs, training videos, and more. The Federal Service Desk is the official service desk for SAM.gov. In addition to using the resources available, you can open a ticket with the service desk if you weren’t able to figure it out on your own.
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