If you are one of the many businesses hoping to receive federal money from the Coronavirus Economic Relief Transportation Act, you’ll need to make sure you have a DUNS number, a SAM number and a CAGE Code. Don’t know what that means or how to start? Here’s some useful information for you from On Your Mark Transportation, LLC, President and CEO, Mark Szyperski.
A DUNS number, or Data Universal Numbering System number, is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses assigned by Dun & Bradstreet. According to Dun & Bradstreet’s website, the DUNS number is used as a company’s Live Business Identity and is often referenced by lenders and potential business partners to help predict the reliability and/or financial stability of the company in question.
Most businesses already have a DUNS number, but if you don’t have one, you will need one in order to get your SAMs number.
You can check whether one has already been created for you at dnb.com; however, if you don’t already have one, it will be much faster, and I highly suggest, if you go directly to fedgov.dnb.com/webform/ to make the request. Here, you should receive your number within 48 hours. This process is free for businesses.
SAM, or System for Awards Management, is a federal government website, sam.gov/SAM/, where a business can go to register all of their basic information, including its business name, address, EIN, bank account information and more.
“The system checks to make sure you have paid your taxes to the IRS, that you are a real entity and essentially performs a basic background check to make sure your business is legitimate,” Szyperski explained.
Once you have entered all your information on the website, you will receive a SAM number, which also generates a CAGE code. This system is how you will be able to directly receive money from the Federal Government.
A CAGE code is a Commercial and Government Entity code which is assigned to suppliers to government or defense agencies, as well as government agencies themselves and other various organizations. The code provides a standardized method to identify a given facility at a specific location.
You will need these numbers for your grant applications or anytime you sign up to do work or receive money for the government directly.
“I suggest that every business should get a SAM number/CAGE code since they don’t cost anything and you never know if you might need them,” Szyperski said.
And Szyperski suggests doing so sooner rather than later, since it can take at least a month for the entire process to be completed.
Some other things to keep in mind: Once you receive your SAM number, you will need to renew it each year.
And once you receive your SAM number, you will need to submit a letter to the Federal Service Desk in order to formally appoint an Entity Administrator and complete the process. You can find a template for that letter here.
Finally, remember to be consistent when applying for these numbers and your grant. In order for the government to recognize you as the same business on multiple platforms, you need everything in your name, address, etc. to be exactly the same. For instance, On Your Mark Transportation, LLC has a comma in front of the LLC. If you apply on one site using the comma in front of LLC, be sure to always include that comma. You don’t want to slow the process down due to a technicality.
The application process will take you about two hours, Mark said. But the entire process can take up to a month to complete the verifications due to COVID-19, so act now. You want to make sure you have everything you need to apply for the grant when funds are available.
The application process is something you as a business can do for yourself, but call On Your Mark Transportation, LLC at 615-669-0107 if you need help.
On Your Mark Transportation LLC is a consulting firm to the ground passenger transportation industry.
This article was written by Amy Nixon, who writes press releases and blog content for their clients. With experience in transit, school bus, luxury transportation and motorcoaches, OYMT can bring a full range of extra services to an organization. Contact them at OnYourMarkTransportation.com or 615.669.0107.