The Federal Government is Transitioning from the DUNS Number to a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). What You Need to Know – in Plain English

DUNS to be Replaced in SAM as Unique Entity Identifier

The DUNS number will be dead by April 2022. Businesses will no longer be required to get a DUNS number, and UEI is coming to replace it. What exactly is changing, and what do you need to do about these changes? Learn the answers in plain English in this article.

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What is a DUNS number

The DUNS number is the unique identifier of a business entity. An entity is required to get a DUNS number in order to register at SAM.gov, and to sell to the government. The DUNS number is a “profile” or your organization that allows the government to quickly check your company profile.

Why abandon the DUNS number?

Historically, a D.U.N.S. number was issued by a third-party organization, namely the “Duns & Bradstreet”. This creates unnecessary complexities for entities that are willing to register at SAM.gov. Not only do they need to register both on the governmental and third-party websites, but they can also have hard time resolving potential issues with the DUNS number. Replacing the DUNS number with the Unique Entity Identifier also makes validation processes more predictable and straightforward. Another advantage is the non-proprietary character of the new identifier.

What is UEI

This is simply a numeric sequence that is used to identify your business. Very similar to the DUNS number, actually. Introduction of the Unique Entity Identifier will streamline the entity identification and validation process, and will allow entities to do business with the federal government easier.

What exactly is changing

The Integrated Award Environment (IAE) systems such as SAM.gov, FPDS.gov, eSRS, FSRS, FAPIIS, and CPARS will not accept a DUNS number and will require your UEI after April 4, 2022.

Here is what changes, exactly:

  1. UEI will be used instead of the DUNS number.
  2. The process to get a UEI is different and does involve third-party organizations.

The government will put all IAE systems to the UEI rails by April 4, 2022. During the transition period, the DUNS number still receives support and functions as usual.

What is NOT changing

The way to determine uniqueness of entities remains the same: unique entity is a separate legal entity associated with a separate physical address.

What do I need to do?

If you are already registered at SAM.gov, you will automatically receive a new UEI. No need to do anything.

If you plan to register at SAM.gov before April 2022, you are still required to receive a DUNS number from Duns & Bradstreet. After transition, your entity will be assigned with an UEI automatically.

If you plan to register your entity after April 2022, you will not need a DUNS number for registration. The UEI will be assigned to your entity automatically upon registration.

If you are a sub-contractor not registered at SAM.gov and you currently use your DUNS number for sub-award reporting, you can request a new Unique Entity Identifier on SAM.gov without registering there.

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