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Wyoming Business Tips for Oct. 12-Oct. 18

October 3, 2014

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Alyssa Lozier, Wyoming Procurement and Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) procurement specialist

“I’ve been told to complete a SAM (System for Award Management) registration before I can work with the government on projects that I’m looking to bid on. What exactly is SAM, and what is its purpose?” Dwayne, Pinedale

The System for Award Management is the main database for the U.S. federal government to collect, validate and store data from suppliers and then make that data available to various government agencies. Both civilian and military agencies use the database, in addition to some state and local governments. It is a requirement and essential to be registered on SAM -- -- especially if you’ll be pursuing government contracts as a prime or subcontractor. In order to receive federal payments and disbursements from contracts and/or grants, the business or nonprofit must have an active registration in SAM.

General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Government-wide Policy developed SAM to consolidate nine different databases and platforms that were previously being used for business registrations. The integration process was created to eliminate redundancies and work more efficiently than previous processes.

Completing a SAM registration can take some time, so it’s best to plan ahead and begin gathering information in advance. Note: It can take up to five-plus days for your SAM account to switch over to being active after submitting. Don’t wait until the last minute to start your registration.

Some of the information you’ll be entering into SAM consists of:

--DUNS number -- If you don’t have a DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System), contact your local PTAC for assistance.

--Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) -- Typically a Social Security number or employer identification number.

--Banking information -- Routing number, account number, bank contact information.

--Average sales over a three-year period -- Used by the Small Business Administration in determining if your business meets the small business standards.

--Average number of employees in a year.

--Legal structure of the business -- Corporation, LLC, sole proprietor, etc.

--IRS Information for the business -- The registration will go through an IRS validation and must pass to become active.

--Business references -- Contact information of any previous/past work completed to be used as a reference.

In addition, once a registration is submitted and becomes active, the registration will expire exactly one year from that date. The updates you make also ensure that agencies you may be working with have your most recent, up-to-date information on file.

To save yourself time and stress, I recommend that you contact your local PTAC to assist with the registrations and to ensure everything is filled out carefully and accurately. This is definitely a registration you do not want to rush into.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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