Norcal PTACNorthern California Procurement Technical Assistance Center

Federal Contracting

In Fiscal Year 2020, the federal government exceeded its small business federal contracting goal for the eighth consecutive year, awarding 25.6 percent in federal contract dollars to small businesses totaling $143.4 billion, an increase from the previous fiscal year of nearly $14 billion.

System for Awards Management (SAM)

Any entity wishing to do business with the federal government under a contract or applying for federal grants must be registered in the System for Awards Management (SAM). Completing the online registration can take some time depending on the size and complexity of your company.

Going in to do a renewal after March 28, 2020 will require your company to enter the business DUNS, name and address as it appears in SAM just like when you did the initial registration.

Check out these helpful guides HERE.

Download Recent (2021) presentation on the current environment and the future state of SAM HERE.

The Norcal PTAC (and all PTAC's nationwide) can walk you through your SAM registration and help you understand the complex language. Apply Now for our no-cost services!



Before you begin registration you will need required information about your business available for reference:

1. DUNS Number/Unique Entity Identifier

If you don't have already one, you will have to register for a DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet. You can get your DUNS Number here, or apply to be a PTAC client and we can typically expedite your DUNS number request. In most circumstances, we can request a DUNS number for you and get it to you the same day.

Ensure your information for your company is up to date in the Secretary of State business listing where you registered your company before applying for a DUNS number. Check the company name and physical address for accuracy. If there is an error, update your information with the Secretary of State. Sole Proprietorships are not listed with the Secretary of State and therefore do not need to be verified.

The Unique Entity Identifier ( UEI) will be replacing the DUNS number requirement by Dec 2020. The UEI will be assigned when a business is registered in A UEI will automatically be assigned for current registrations.

2. Tax ID Number

A Taxpayer or Employer Identification Number (TIN or EIN) is an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws.

For sole proprietorships, we recommend a unique EIN for your company, not your social security number. If you have a DBA (doing business as) name for your sole proprietorship it will not be used for tax purposes. All businesses domiciled in the U.S., including sole proprietorships, are eligible to request an EIN from the IRS here.

3. NAICS and FSC Codes

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) categorizes products and service codes by industry sectors. These are mandatory 6 digit codes that identify what type of activity an entity performs, as well as the type of product or service offered. Your NAICS codes are also used to determine if you are a small business (see #5 below). To find your NAICS code(s), visit: or apply for PTAC services for assistance.

FSC Codes are optional 4 digit codes included in the Product Service Code (PSC) list found in the Assertions section of a SAM entity registration. To locate the right one for your entity, go to FSC Codes.

4. Other business information

Including your Bank Account and Routing numbers.

5. Business Size

Determine whether your business is considered to be a small business:



Will become one-stop for Federal related procurement functions. Requires a login – same process as SAM –

Current functions:

  • Federal Business Opportunities. Same basic information as FedBizOps,, with updated search and display functions
  • FPDS-NG –Federal Procurement Data System. Same information, contract awards for five years, different look.
  • DOL Wage Determinations. Same information to determine federal minimum wage, benefits, etc.
  • SAM registrations will transition in CY 2020-21
  • Other functionality and improvements TBD


Learn more about Federal Certifications here.


Learn more about contracting with the Federal government:

USA Spending

GSA e-Library

DPC | Defense Pricing and Contracting

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

Small Business Administration

System for Award Management (SAM)


ASSIST (Database for Military Specifications)

Homeland Security | Home

Federal Procurement Data System

Department of Defense (DoD) Warning and Consent ~ DIBBS

Integrated Award Environment (IAE) | GSA

Made in America Office (MIAO) | GSA

Get free guidance from our specialists

To receive one-on-one counseling, complete our online application and a member of Norcal PTAC will follow-up with you and help you achieve your procurement goals.
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This procurement technical assistance center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Defense.

Funded in part through a Grant with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

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