Businesses interested in Federal contracting must, as an initial step, register in the Government’s vendor database known as System for Award Management (SAM). Registration at the official SAM web site — www.sam.gov – is free.
The good news is that SAM registration is something that any vendor can take care of by themselves. And if any vendor needs instruction, help is readily available at no charge.
Here are three important tips:
- Don’t be confused by look-alike web sites. There is only one SAM database, and it’s a secure web site operated by the Federal Government. It’s located at https://www.sam.gov. You also can navigate to SAM by simply typing sam.gov or www.sam.gov in your web browser. Either of these variations will redirect to SAM’s secure web site. The key thing to know is that the official Federal SAM website is a “.gov” website, not a commercial website, so SAM.com is not an option if you’re trying to navigate to a Government web site.
- There are helpful videos now available on-line to help you with the SAM registration process. If your business previously had a file set-up in Central Contractor Registration (CCR), you’ll need to migrate your old vendor record over to SAM; for instruction on how to do this, view the instructional video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuFGM9H0gPI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUGYKiouhiBpijT51CplQZ-w. If your business was never registered in CCR, then your starting point is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VPGVYPvch4&list=UUGYKiouhiBpijT51CplQZ-w.
- If you need advice on how to organize your records in order to register in SAM — or you need help with the SAM registration process itself – expert assistance is available free of charge to all vendors, small and large. Just contact the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) nearest you. PTACs have produced a SAM instructional video, too, and it’s available here: https://netforum.avectra.com/eWeb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=APTAC&WebCode=SAM. A complete list of all PTACs across the nation is available at http://www.aptac-us.org/new/Govt_Contracting/find.php. In Georgia, you can contact any of the nine PTAC offices located across the state — all contact information can be found at: http://gtpac.org/team-directory.
Remember, SAM registration is necessary if you want to do business with Federal agencies. Remember, too, SAM registration is something you can tackle yourself. There is never a charge to register at sam.gov, and help with the SAM registration process is readily available, at no charge, from your nearest PTAC.