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Required Company Registrations

If your company has not worked with NIH before, you must complete multiple registrations prior to preparing an application and applying for funding.

Start now! It can take 6 weeks or more to complete the registration process.  

  • SAM (System for Award Management) – required to do business with the U.S. government 
    • SAM will issue a 12-character unique entity identifier (UEI) used to complete your full SAM registration and which serves as the official organization identifier in other federal systems
  • eRA Commons – required to do business with NIH and some HHS agencies 
  •– required to submit grant applications through the federal-wide grant portal 
  • SBA (Small Business Administration) – required to participate in SBIR and STTR federal funding programs   

Note: Different systems may use different terminology – “organization”, “institution”, “company”, and “entity” can be used interchangeably. 

System for Award Management (SAM) 

SAM Registration

Processing Time: 3 weeks or more for initial registration and 2 weeks for yearly renewal

Company registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) is required to do business with the U. S. government. Your company (referred to as an “entity”) must have a valid and active full SAM registration at the time of application and award.  

  • On April 4, 2022, the federal government transitioned from a DUNS number issued by Dun & Bradstreet to a 12-character unique entity identifier (UEI) created in as the official entity identifier. If your entity is registered in today, your UEI has already been assigned.
  • You must identify an electronic Business Point Of Contact (EBiz POC) who is often the chief financial officer or authorizing official in the company. The EBiz POC is integral to the registration and administration process.
  • You must identify an entity administrator (chief financial officer or other authorizing official) to own and manage your organization's information and authorize additional users.
  • The entity administrator must complete a yearly renewal process to verify entity information and retain the ability to apply for or receive an award.
  • Please accurately report your company's demographic characteristics. Note that this information will not be shared or used during the review process.

After your SAM registration is approved and active, you can register with 


Next steps

eRA Commons

eRA Commons Registration

Processing Time: 2 weeks or more

Company registration in eRA Commons is required to do business with NIH. eRA Commons is the NIH-managed system that allows applicants, recipients, and HHS staff to securely access, share, and transmit information. eRA Commons credentials are also used to access ASSIST, NIH’s online system used to prepare and submit grant applications.

  • Registration must be done by a business official with the authority to legally bind your company in grants and contracts.
  • A signing official (SO) and an optional account administrator (AA) account are created as part of the organization's registration. Signing officials have the overall responsibility for managing accounts for their organization, including the creation of additional accounts with the SO or other eRA Commons roles.
  • NIH considers beginning your eRA Commons registration at least 10 business days prior to an application due date a "good faith effort" to register on time. If your registration is not completed in time to submit due to NIH delays (you have allowed at least 10 business days and have quickly responded to all NIH inquiries regarding your registration), then you may be allowed to submit a late application.

Resources Applicant Registration

Processing Time: 1 business day or more (depends on the responsiveness of your EBiz POC) 

Company registration with, a federal-wide portal to find and apply for federal grant funding, is required for application submission. All grant applications submitted to NIH flow through  

  • Your company information is automatically sent from SAM to within 24 hours of the approval and activation of your SAM account. 
  • The entity registration Electronic Business Primary Pont of Contact (EBiz POC) established during registration is responsible for authorizing roles for accounts.  
  • Any individual that will be authorized to legally sign off on and submit an application will need a user account with an Organization Applicant Profile.
  • Each user can establish an account and profile. Submitting an account request with a profile triggers an email to the EBiz POC who can then assign the AOR (Authorized Organization Role) to the account to enable the ability to submit an application. 


SBA Company Registry 

SBA Company Registration

Processing Time: 1-2 business days 

  • Registration in the Small Business Administration(SBA) Company Registry is required to participate in SBIR and STTR federal funding programs.  
  • Post-registration, you’ll receive an SBC Control ID (e.g., SBC_123456789) which must be included in the SBIR/STTR Information section of your grant application.