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How to apply for your Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)

UEI (Unique Entity Identifier) number is required to receive grants from federally funded programs.

The federal government recently changed its requirements for businesses and organizations receiving federal funds in the form of grants. It no longer uses the DUNS (Data Universal Number System) and has shifted to a new system known as the UEI (Unique Entity Identifier).

As of April 2022, recipients of grants using federal funds are required to have a UEI, which replaces the DUNS Number. If you don’t have one yet, you may want to apply now. You may apply for grants without one, but cannot receive funds until you have an UEI. Click here to apply now.


Video Tutorials & Resources



For most businesses and organizations, the following two categories will apply to you:

Are you registered on Sam.gov? If so, you have already been assigned a UEI. To view it, log into your account on SAM.gov and follow the steps. Note: SAM.gov will require a physical address

Not registered on Sam.gov? If you aren’t already registered on SAM.gov and need a UEI, you will have to first set up a new SAM.gov user account. You can see if you already have an account or create one here. To complete the UEI application, you’ll need to follow the steps outlined in the Guide to Getting a Unique Entity ID.


Important Tips

  • When you reach the “Purpose of Registration” page, select “Unique Entity ID Only.” This will let you fill out your application with less information.
  • You might see a validation error on the fourth page of registration on sam.gov. This may be because your name and address need to be a perfect match in the system. Even a small difference can cause an error. If this happens, click “Create Incident”. Attach documents that prove your information. You can describe the problem in the text box.
  • It is very important that you check your email during the entire process. Please note that emails will come from the General Services Administration (GSA), not SAM or the Federal Service Desk (FSD). If you get an email from GSA, you need to respond within three business days or the incident may close. If you don’t see an email, check your Junk or Spam folders to see if they are there. You can also check FSD.gov, login with the same user as sam.gov, and review my incidents for communication. DO not upload documents to FSD.gov.
  • UEI registration is always FREE; do not pay for any registration services that appear to be associated with UEI (sam.gov).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a UEI?

The UEI is a Unique Entity Identifier. It is a 12-digit alphanumeric number that the federal government uses to identify your business or organization. You need an UEI to get federal funds—which includes grant funds through federally funded programs.

How do I get a UEI?

Apply for a UEI through the sam.gov website at: sam.gov/content/entity-registration

When will I get my UEI?

UEI’s can take a few minutes to several weeks if you have to validate your business information. You cannot receive federal funds until you have a UEI. Now is the best time to start your registration.

How can I get help with UEI registration?

Federal Service Desk

For technical issues, you can search for your question or submit a web form anytime at the Federal Service Desk.

Hours of Live Help Operation: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET

Available Services:

Live Chat

Additional troubleshooting and resources are available at https://washingtonptac.org/uei-for-state-grant-applicants/