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.
For most businesses and organizations, the following three categories will apply to you:
- You have a DUNS number and it’s 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. If you have an existing DUNS number, the physical address must match exactly. You can look up your DUNS number here to find the listed address.
- You have a DUNS number but it is 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 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.
- You do not have a DUNS number. To register for a UEI, you will need to set up an account for your organization. Create an account on Sam.gov and follow the steps outlined in the Guide to Getting a Unique Entity ID.
If you need assistance, contact one of our Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACS). These are official government contracting assistance offices for small businesses and they can help you with your UEI. Find your local PTAC to get free help completing registration in SAM.gov.
- 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 GOV. This may be because your name and address need to be a perfect match in the system. Remember, you can look up your DUNS number here to find the listed address, and be sure to copy it exactly. 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.
- UEI registration is always FREE; do not pay for any registration services that appear to be associated with UEI (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?
It may take several weeks to get a UEI after registration. 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
- Live Chat
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACS)
PTACs are an official government contracting assistance resource for small businesses. Find your local PTAC to get free help completing registration in SAM.gov.