Registrations and certifications with the federal government are always free!!  For many of you who have been in the government contracting game for a while, this is no surprise. Unfortunately, between aggressive for-fee consultants and recent incorrect postings on, small business are registering for SAM through a 3rd party providers who charge the small business hundreds of dollars. While there may be a time and place to hire consultants, make sure you know your requirements, and use your free resources and options first! Beware of websites that look and feel like official government websites, but their addresses end in “.com” rather than “.gov”

Registration in System for Awards Management (SAM) at is FREE. This profile requires annual updates. We suggest semi-annual updates. SAM links to the SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) with its own profile for your company. This profile should be completed/ updated while you are in SAM.

CAGE codes are also FREE. They are automatically generated through your completed SAM profile.

DUNS numbers are FREE to businesses getting into government contracting. Use the iUpdate to register. This is the only website you need to use which website address ends in “.com”. Just remember to mark that you are interested in government contracting or receiving government funds. You do not have to purchase any other services.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes are FREE. These are the standard codes used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. Find your codes with the U.S. Census Bureau.

Here is an example of a  mistake PTAC counselors recently found in FedBizOpps, directing business to a for-fee site: “FAR 52.212-3 – Offeror Representations and Certifications – Commercial Items (Nov 2015) to include Alt I (Oct 2014). These certifications must be included with quote and can be accessed and downloaded via FedBizOpps with this RFQ. Contractors are encouraged to submit through” from RFP# F16PS00171”

As a community, the PTACs across the country are reaching out the the contracting community to ensure correct information is being released. In this circumstance, PTAC counselors alerted the agency of the mistake and we hope that these occurrences will become less and less frequent.

The Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) and its centers (PTACs) were created in an effort to expand the number of businesses capable of participating in the Government Marketplace. All PTACs are staffed with counselors experienced in government contracting and provide a wide range of services including classes and seminars, individual counseling and easy access to bid opportunities, contract specifications, procurement histories, and other information necessary to successfully compete for government contracts. FREE OF CHARGE!


Use these official sites

Registration For Government Contracting is FREE