DUNS Number, SAM and  Register Your Organization for Federal Grants

last reviewed/updated 8/30/2021

If your organization is interested in applying for federal government grants and your organization has never applied before, you should be aware of certain registration requirements for federal grant applicants.

DUNS Number

In many cases, applicants are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet “DUNS” number (Data Universal Numbering System) to apply for or renew federal grants, or submit plans under mandatory grant programs. (There are exceptions, such as some U.S. Small Business Administration programs during the COVID-19 emergency.) The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) uses the identifier for tracking purposes, and to validate address and point of contact information. A universal identifier also eliminates the need for separate identification numbers in different federal agencies.

Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling Dun and Bradstreet’s dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line at 1-866-705-5711. You can also apply online or search for your existing information at If you don’t yet have a DUNS number, it can be created within 1-2 business days.

System of Award Management (SAM)

Once you have obtained a DUNS number, you will also want to register your organization with (System of Award Management), the government’s repository for business information about the federal government’s trading partners in support of the contract awards, grants, and electronic payment processes.

NOTE that by April 2022, the federal government is scheduled to transition from the DUNS number to a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) created in Active registrants will have their UEI assigned automatically.

Finally, you will want to register your organization at, the online portal for federal government grant opportunities. You can browse grant opportunities on without registering, but registration (and in most cases a DUNS number and SAM registration) is required in order to apply for a government grant. 

For more information about registering for federal grants opportunities:



This article is intended for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion. For answers to specific questions concerning your situation, you should consult a knowledgeable attorney who can advise you regarding your particular circumstances.