Unique Entity Identifiers (UEI)

Apr 30, 2020 2:19:14 PM / by Hayden Johnson


Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

The General Services Administration (GSA) will assign all entities in the System for Award Management (SAM) a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). So what is a UEI and what should you expect? That's what this blog post is going to cover. 

Here, we'll go over: 

The Purpose of UEIs

A Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is a number that will be assigned to all entities registered in SAM. This number will only be used for your business or entity and none else, like a social security number. 

The UEI allows for a consistent "name" for your entity for the sake of verification and collecting data. 

Entities that will require a UEI include: 

  • Public Companies
  • Private Companies
  • Individuals
  • Institutions 
  • Organizations
  • Nonprofits
  • State Governments
  • Local Governments 

Benefits of the UEI System 

If the purpose and application of UEIs sound familiar, then they should. It will serve as the replacement for the Dun & Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. 

Why the change?

The federal government has used the DUNS number to verify contractors since 1978. By 1998 it became a requirement in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

For decades Dun & Bradstreet had a monopoly over government validation numbers. By switching to a UEI, there will be a larger competitive space for entity validation. 

Plus, for federal contractors and grant seekers alike, the process of obtaining validation will be simplified due to the new identifier being generated by SAM.gov. You will not have to go through an outside entity to obtain a UEI. 

Transition to the UEI

What will the transition from the DUNS number to the UEI look like?

For experienced contractors, such transitions have never been smooth. However, the UEI transition should prove to be different. 

Since July 2019, the GSA has been working on developing and implementing a transition plan. 

New SAM Registrations 

For new SAM.gov registrants, you will obtain a UEI from SAM.gov. This  will be integrated with the SAM registration process. 

The process will go as: 

  1. Requesting a UEI from SAM.gov
  2. Registering your entity to do business with the federal government. 

That's it. 

For fast and guaranteed compliance, check out US Federal Contractor Registration's (USFCR) SAM Registration service

USFCR's SAM Registration Service 
HubSpot Video


Not only will it allow your entity to conduct business with the federal government, but it also provides: 

  • Case Manager Support 
  • Registration Maintenance 
  • USFCR Verified Vendor Seal
  • Government DSBS Profile 
  • SBA Set-Aside Program Qualifications 

Existing SAM Registrations

If you are already registered in SAM, there is nothing that you will have to do. Your entity will automatically be assigned a UEI. 

You will NOT have to: 

  • Update your SAM registration
  • Get reregistered 

During this transition phase, you might notice that you will still have a DUNS number. This is for the sake of keeping records and nothing else. 

SAMMI Numbers

You may have heard about the Ernst and Young, LLP GSA contract for transitioning the DUNS number to the SAM Managed Identifier (SAMMI). How does it fit with the UEIs?

The UEI will serve as an interim number until the SAMMI is introduced SAMMI is not supposed to be finished being implemented until December 2020. 

To speak with a contracting specialist about the new UEI number call: (866) 216-5343


Originally published April 30, 2020 2:19:14PM, updated April 20, 2022

Tags: News

Hayden Johnson

Written by Hayden Johnson

Hayden is USFCR's Creative Copywriter. His goal is to help businesses navigate the federal marketplace with quick and simple guides.