Necessary Registrations for Competing in SBIR Grants

  • February 23, 2021

Many small businesses underestimate what goes into preparing a proposal for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants. It often comes as a surprise to companies that there are several required registrations that all must be completed before a company is eligible to submit a proposal with any federal agency for SBIR. Here is a list of the necessary registrations for SBIR proposal submission.


The employer Identification Number or EIN is a way to identify business entities for tax purposes. This is one of the easiest and fastest registrations to complete, taking under 5 minutes total to fill out the form with official verification of your ready-to0use EIN number arriving in as little as 1-2 hours. Applications are processed online through the IRS website.


The Dun and Bradstreet identification number creates a federal profile for each location of a business and allows potential partners and lenders learn more about businesses they may want to work with as a client, supplier, or partner. DUNS application forms are fairly straightforward, taking only about 10 minutes to complete with official registration finalizing in 2-3 business days. Applications for this necessary registration are available online at


The System for Awards Management or SAM is one necessary registration where many companies encounter a bit of stress. SAM registration is absolutely mandatory to apply to any SBIR opportunity, and it takes a long time to finalize compared to other registrations. While the application process itself only takes about 15 minutes, finalization takes 3 weeks in a best-case scenario and often much longer. Our advice: Begin your registration process with SAM just to be safe. Companies that do not have an active and valid SAM registration can not apply for any SBIR grants. Applications are available at

SBA Registry

All companies who plan to submit an SBIR proposal must register with the National Small Business Administration (SBA) through the SBIR website. This is a simple procedure and will finalize in 1-3 business days. A copy of this registration is a required attachment for all SBIR proposals.


Many SBIR proposals require a profile to apply. The application for this necessary registration takes less than 30 minutes to complete and will finalize within 1-3 business days. Make sure you designate Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) status to your account so you can prepare proposals in the platform.

Proprietary Platforms

Many federal agencies require an account on their proprietary platform to prepare and submit proposals. Examples include NSF and Fastlane, NIH’s ERAcommons, and DARPA’s eBRAP, among others. Read your solicitation carefully and learn what necessary registrations the individual agency with which you are applying expects you to register with to apply.

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