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DUNS and SAM Information

If your business or organization plans to apply for or currently has a conservation program contract through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and you use an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also referred to as a Tax Identification Number (TIN), you will need to obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM). You must have a DUNS number and an active account with SAM to enter into a program contract and receive payments. If you apply as an individual and use your social security number as your EIN, you do not need to obtain a DUNS number or SAM.

About the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)

A DUNS number is a unique nine-character identification number provided by the commercial company Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), a provider of business information reports. The information required to obtain a DUNS number includes the business/ organization name, type, location, number of employees, and contact information. The federal government uses the DUNS number to maintain consistent name and address data about organizations/businesses. This helps maintain and organize applications and contracts across federal agencies.

Who needs a DUNS Number & SAM

As required by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, all entities using an EIN and doing business with the federal government, including NRCS must have a DUNS number and current registration in the SAM database. This pertains to all financial assistance and easement programs. NRCS requires applicants to obtain the required registrations when applying for programs. Applications cannot be fully processed without this information.

There is NO cost for registration. If you already have a DUNS number, you do not need a new one for NRCS. Obtaining a DUNS number places your organization on the D&B’s marketing list that is sold to other companies. You can request not to be added to the list at the time of application. The table below can be used to help determine if your business needs to complete the DUNS/SAM process based on the business and Tax ID type.

Business Type Tax ID
0 Individual SSN No
2 General Partnership EIN Yes
3 Joint Venture EIN Yes
3 Joint Venture SSN No
4 Corporation or Limited Liability Company EIN Yes
4 Limited Liability Company SSN No
5 Limited Partnership EIN Yes
6 Estate EIN Yes
7 Trust-Revocable SSN No
7 Trust-Revocable EIN Yes
10 Churches, Charities & Non-Profits EIN Yes
17 Trust-Irrevocable EIN Yes
18 Individual Operating as a Small Business EIN Yes


1. Obtain a DUNS Number - It’s Free!

Request a DUNS number online at or contact D&B by phone at (866) 705-5711 and request a 3-page application to fax back.

When you request a DUNS number, identify yourself as a federal grant applicant or prospective applicant. After you provide the information listed below via fax or the on-line application, you should receive an email confirmation. D&B can assign a DUNS number within one business day.

Have the following information ready when requesting a DUNS number:

  • Legal name of the organization, headquarters name and address.
  • Telephone number, name of the CEO or owner.
  • Number of employees at the physical location.
  • Legal structure and primary line of business.
  • Year the organization was established.
  • SIC Code: A US Department of Labor business classification system; you may look up your SIC code online at

Remember, obtaining a DUNS number is FREE for all entities doing business with the federal government.

Managing your DUNS Number

Your DUNS number is valid for working with any federal agency and does not expire. However, be sure to update or validate the information on your current listing if your information changes.

D&B periodically contacts organizations with DUNS numbers to verify the information is still current. D&B is only checking the information you have provided (listed above). Please remain vigilant in protecting your personal information and do not provide social security, bank information, etc. to cold calls or questionable mail requests.

Also, obtaining a DUNS number may place you on D&B’s marketing list, which is sold to other companies. If you do not want your name or organization to be included on this list, simply request to be omitted from the list during the DUNS application process.

2. Register with System for Award Management (SAM) - It's Free! 

Once you have a DUNS number, you must also register with SAM. SAM is a FREE government-wide registry for vendors doing business with the federal government which replaced Centralized Contractor Registration (CCR). SAM centralizes information about federal financial assistance recipients and provides a central location for you to change your organizational information.

Upon receipt of the DUNS number, it is the participant’s responsibility to maintain current information with SAM. If you had an active record in CCR, you have an active record in SAM. Unless a change in your business circumstances requires a change in SAM in order for you to be paid or to receive an award, no action is needed.

Begin the SAM registration process at You will be prompted for the following information:

  • Type of Entity
  • If you wish to bid on contracts. Click “No” here to streamline the remaining registration process if your sole purpose for registering with SAM is to participate in NRCS Farm Bill programs.
  • Eligibility for grants and other federal assistance. Click “Yes” here.
  • DUNS number: SAM uses your DUNS number to retrieve the name and address information from D&B.
  • EIN number: If you already have an EIN number, it will take 3 to 5 business days to clear the EIN/SAM match process. For a newly assigned EIN you must wait until you receive the CP- 575 notice from the IRS confirming that the EIN is active and valid for use before registration with SAM can be completed.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): Information for payments and invoices, including the following:
  • ABA Routing number for your bank
  • Account Number and Type, or Lockbox number
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH) point of contact
  • Remittance point of contact
  • Accounts Receivable point of contact

Managing your SAM registration 

Your organization must renew their SAM registration every year as long as you have an active contract with NRCS. An expired registration will affect your eligibility for NRCS programs and delay payments until an active SAM account is on file. NRCS may have to recover any payments made after the registration expired.

References for EIN, DUNS Number & SAM

EIN Contact Information: Call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assistance for businesses at (800) 829-4933.
D&B Contact Information: The D&B toll-free request line is (866) 705-5711 and their website is
SAM Contact Information: Their Customer Service line is (866) 606 - 8220 and their website is The HELP menu includes Quick User Guides, Full User Guide, Helpful Hints, and Demonstration Videos.

Download the Maryland DUNS/SAM fact sheet. (PDF; 541KB)