Each of the 11 agencies that participate in the SBIR/STTR funding programs has its own registration requirements; some are the same across agencies and some are altogether different. Instructions about registration requirements are provided in every solicitation, but in the excitement of getting started, most people tend to go for dessert first and avoid the vegetables (reading the instructions).
First Timers: You need to get busy; there is a lot of work to do before you can submit an SBIR/STTR proposal to any of the federal agencies.
Old Pros: Don’t rest on your laurels. Certain registrations must be renewed annually.
Right out of the gate, there are four critical registrations that must be completed for all agencies.
EIN – Employer Identification Number – issued by the IRS
DUNS – Data Universal Numbering System – issued by Dun and Bradstreet. DUNS verifies the existence of a business entity. D&B assigns DUNS numbers for each physical location of a business.
SAM – System for Award Management – the official US Government system for collecting any and all organizations receiving funds from the government via grants, contracts, procurement activities, etc.
SBIR.gov – An official U.S. Government website managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Technology
There is no cost for any of these registrations, not counting the investment of time, which can be anywhere from 2 – 6 weeks for successful completion.
A couple important tips:
- There can be as many as seven log-in IDs and passwords, depending upon the agencies to which you are submitting. Keep a record of this information as the devil’s in the details, and starting over is a major hassle.
- Start early and don’t rely on the registration site to contact you if there is a problem. You must be patient, as getting things set up takes time, but also proactive if don’t get confirmations in a reasonable amount of time. (We never said it made sense!)
Visit BBCetc’s website for a handy grid of required registrations by agency and web links for each.
Kris Bergman is BBCetc’s Grants and Contract Management Consultant.