Timeline for grant registrations

  • January 19, 2023

When it comes to grant proposals, we have learned over the years – that those with the best outcomes begin early. (Early Bird Gets the Worm) We strongly recommend that registrations begin at least 60 to 90 days before the application deadline with the idea that your accounts will be active and ready to go 30 days before it is due.


To begin the registration process, the first step is creating a SAM.gov account. SAM.gov is the master account that ultimately enables all other required registrations. Unfortunately, SAM.gov is the lengthiest application process, with a best-case scenario of approval in three weeks and a worst-case scenario of 6 weeks or longer to approve. Until SAM is active and valid and a client’s CAGE code and UEI number have been assigned, they are prevented from creating the additional accounts needed to apply to NSF SBIR/STTR. SAM.gov is critical not only to the lead applicant but also to any subaward or consortium partners. Any business or research entity listed in the budget must have an active SAM registration at the time of proposal submission.


Once SAM approves, the next step is to register with Grants.gov. Grants.gov is a multi-step process. First, applicants must create an organizational, administrative account. Once the organizational account is approved, the applicant must make an individual account.

Grants.gov is the application portal for several of the 11 agencies participating in SBIR, many EDA or equipment grants. It is also required to submit a signature on proposals prepared on other agencies’ proprietary grant application platforms (research.gov, eRA Commons, eBRAP). Grants.gov requires an organizational (called EBIZ POC) and an individual account (PI and AOR) and must be linked to an account with login.gov for two-step verification.


After the two grants.gov accounts have been successfully created, the applicant must make an account on login.gov and link it to grants.gov as part of a two-step verification system for security. Login.gov is a 5-10 minute application process, and account approvals resolve in less than one business day.

SBA Registry

An SBC ID is required before the submission of the proposal. SBA maintains and manages a Company Registry for SBIR/STTR proposers to track ownership and affiliation requirements. Approval time is typically the same day.

Proprietary portals

Some federal agencies have their own grant application portal applicants are required to use to prepare and submit grant applications, receive awards, and submit reports. NSF, NIH, and DOD each have one. Many require a two-step process (e.g., eRA Commons, which requires an organizational and individual account) or require certain credentials on the account (research.gov requires PI and AOR credentials to prepare and submit proposals).

The solicitation will always have information regarding the necessary registrations to submit an application, which is one of the many reasons it is crucial to thoroughly read and understand the solicitation before applying for any grant or contract.

Failure to complete required registrations on time can cause unnecessary delays in the application process and causes some applicants to miss the application window altogether.

If you are interested in learning more about required registrations or proposal preparation in general, please schedule a call to chat with us about how we can help your small business prepare and apply for non-dilutive federal funding.

We work with high-growth startups and organizations that support the startup and innovation ecosystem. We build highly specific non-dilutive funding menus, provide proposal preparation services, and measure outcomes of funding through evaluation. Schedule a consult call with us HERE.