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Federal Contracting and System for Award Management
By: Tom Linnertz
Business Opportunity Specialist
North Dakota District Office
SAM.gov, or "System for Award Management", is the website you must be registered on if you want to do business with the federal government. The System for Award Management (www.SAM.gov) replaced Central Contracting Registration almost two years ago this month.
SAM.gov gives you the opportunity to let the federal government know who you are and what products or services your business can provide. When a Federal agency is interested in purchasing a specific product or service, they will look for a vendor on SAM.gov. If you are listed and provide the product or service they are looking for, you may get the sale.
Registering your business on SAM.gov is free. Be aware that there are other websites which look almost identical, but charge for their services. SBA has reviewed some of these sites and has determined that these sites can charge for the service. Remember, however, that registering for SAM is free when you use the www.SAM.gov website.
You must be on SAM to do business with the federal government. Also keep in mind that an incomplete business profile may not provide any better results than no profile at all. Without a complete profile of your business, you will either be overlooked or passed over for another vendor. It's like having a sign on a major highway. If you sell food and people are hungry, they will look for a sign for a place to eat. If it is not there, they may drive right past your business. The more complete the sign and the more information it offers, the better your chances of securing the sale.
If you are not currently listed on SAM, please visit www.SAM.gov. If you are currently listed in SAM, make sure that your information is up-to-date. Free assistance with registering is provided by your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). In North Dakota, contact Darin Perius, Impact PTAC, at 701-356-2664 or Michelle Lenoir, Native American Development Corporation PTAC, at 701-278-9358. Minnesota residents can contact the Minnesota PTAC at 612-259-6565.
Tom Linnertz has been a Loan Officer and Business Development Specialist for the U.S. Small Business Administration since 1989. He has been the 8(a) Program, HUBZone Program, Woman-Owned Small Business Program, Veteran-Owned Small Business Program, and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program manager for the North Dakota District Office since 2002. Tom served in the Marine Corps from 1971 to 1973 and also in the Army Reserve from 1976 through 1997 when he retired as a Master Sergeant. Tom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.