Applying for any grant, especially government grants, is no simple task. There are a hefty amount of requirements to consider before you even begin the grant writing process. For SBIR especially, it is important to be aware of all of these requirements and get them taken care of in the early stages to ensure you will not run into any roadblocks at the end of the grant-writing journey. One requirement for SBIR that you should be wary of is the SAM registration requirement.
SAM, otherwise known as System for Award Management (SAM), is the system that is required by the federal government for organizations that apply for federal grants or contracts. In other words, if you want an SBIR, you have to use it. Before you can even submit your grant application, your organization must be registered in SAM, and your credentials must be active before you can submit a grant application.
So you just have to register online, right? Not quite. There are a couple of steps that you have to take to register with SAM, and not all of them are easily done online.
- First, you will need to provide a DUNS number, or a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. DUNS numbers are free to get; you just need to request one from the federal government.
- Once requested, it will take about 1-2 business days to get your number. You will also need to provide your Taxpayer Identification Number, which is usually the same as your Employee Identification Number, as assigned by the Internal Revenue Service.
- Lastly, and most importantly, you will need to provide an official, signed, notarized letter to the Federal Service Desk within 30 days of activating your account. It is critical that you are aware of this step, because this is the most time-consuming.
Please note, once you submit all of the requirements, it can take 12-15 days for your SAM registration to become active. All of the time devoted to these steps can really add up, and if you do not get them done in time, your SBIR is in trouble. So, be sure to give yourself plenty of time register (60 days minimum), and best of luck with your SBIR!
For more tips, check out the SAM Quick Start Guide here: https://www.sam.gov/sam/transcript/Quick_Guide_for_Grants_Registrations.pdf
Let us help you meet your M/WBE utilization goal. We can help you locate funding, apply for funding, and help organizations measure & report on outcomes. See our experience with grant writing and evaluation services HERE.