Registering an Organization

The instructions below are for new organizations or organizations that have never applied for a federal grant before. Most applicants work for organizations that already completed these steps to do business with the federal government.

Before your organization can apply for a federal grant, there are several steps an organization must complete outside of prior to submitting an application through An organization is an entity that submits grant applications on behalf of the group, such as a state government, nonprofit organization, or a private business. Once you form a legal entity with a Employer Identification Number (EIN), you are ready to complete the steps below.

Below are the main steps and links to more information to complete this process. The process below can take between three business days and five weeks, so please make sure to begin early. If you do not complete these steps by the submission deadline, you are unlikely to be allowed to submit an application. Contact the federal agency point of contact listed in the grant opportunity to discuss that agency's policy.

1. Obtain a DUNS Number

How do I get a DUNS number?

Call 1-866-705-5711 or access the Dun & Bradstreet website to View Exit Disclaimer



How long does this step usually take?

1-2 business days

2. Register with SAM

How do I register with the System Award Management (SAM)?

Access and complete the online registration process. You also need the authorizing official of the organization to send a notarized letter to SAM and an EIN.


How long does this step usually take?

After SAM receives the notarized letter, up to 2 weeks (up to 5 more weeks to acquire EIN)




3. Register with

How do I register a account?

Click the Register link in the top banner and complete the on-screen instructions.


How long does this step usually take?

Same day



NOTE: Passwords expire every 60 days. Accounts inactive for 1 year or more result in removal of all account roles. For more account management information, review the Applicant FAQs.

Help: Online User Guide

Find registration, search, and application instructions for all users in the Online User Guide.


For detailed applicant information, review the Applicants section of the online user guide.

Help: Support Center

Contact the Support Center to get help from a representative.


Email us at or visit our Support page.