The CAGE Code is a five character ID number used by the Federal Government to identify vendors. CAGE stands for “Commercial And Government Entity.”
Obtaining a CAGE Code is mandatory in order to do business with the Federal government through a GSA Schedule or any other federal contract.
The CAGE Code is used to support a variety of automated systems throughout the government and provides a standardized method of identifying a given facility at a specific location. The code may be used for
You obtain a CAGE code by registering with the System for Award Management, or sam.gov. In 2012, SAM.gov replaced older systems known as CCR and ORCA and several other government databases.
Sam.gov registration is mandatory in order to do business with the government through a GSA Schedule, or any other federal contract. It provides Agencies with information about your business, and is the central storage location for agencies to check for updates to your company information. It also enables the Agency to pay your invoices via electronic funds transfer, should you be awarded a government contract.
Registering at SAM results in a CAGE Code being assigned but does not ensure that your firm will win a contract, but it is a prerequisite to winning a Federal contract.
There is no fee to register and it is not too complicated, so there is no need to pay contractor registration firm for this service.
To find your organization’s CAGE code, you can use the “search records” function on sam.gov. Simply type in the organization’s formal name and you should find it. If it does not appear in the search results, try using just the a shorter version of the name, since the firm's legal name may be a different than you thought.
You can also search for organizations by geographic locale, such as town or zip code. Another way to search for it is to enter the organization’s DUNS number, which is unique to the firm and will cross match with your CAGE code. If you still don’t find it, your firm may not yet have registered at SAM.
We have heard reports that a few federal agencies have been asking vendors for their "SAM CODE" thereby causing confusion. There is no such thing as a SAM code and the agency is simply mistaken. What they really want is your CAGE code, so if asked for a SAM code, you can simply respond with your CAGE Code.
Obtaining a CAGE code is just one small part of the process of winning government contracts.
Before you begin bidding government contracts, the following free resources will help you understand the process of developing federal government contract bids as well as ways to shorten the time to obtain a government contract.
If you are interested in learning more about the process for winning GSA contract, please download the free "GSA Schedule Game"
If you are new to federal contracting, our FedBiz Mentor service provides you with assessments, training, and consulting/coaching. Find out more: