DUNS is Done: Time for the UEI

If your nonprofit applies for federal funding, take note of a small but significant change in the application process. Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) numbers are no longer being used; you now need a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) when applying for funding.

UEIs came about due to a 2014 realization that Dun & Bradstreet held ownership of all information associated with DUNS numbers. This prompted the federal government to create its own system to bypass a third party and streamline the identification and validation process. The UEI system was implemented on April 4, 2022. With applications for federal funding in full swing this fall, however, some nonprofits are just now learning about the change.

If your nonprofit is registered with the System for Award Management (SAM), you have automatically been issued a UEI — even if your registration is inactive or needs to be updated. You can view your number from the system while you’re logged in.

Your UEI will never expire even if your membership does. (That said, it’s recommended you maintain updated information and renew membership annually.) You also don’t need a full entity registration in SAM to obtain a UEI; the system has a UEI-only option. Regardless of which option you choose, new SAM memberships can take at least 24 hours to be processed. So if you’re applying for funding and the deadline is near, you might not get your UEI in time.

The U.S. General Services Administration has issued an FAQ about the new UEI (as well as a separate FAQ for subawardees). We also recommend you reach out to your nonprofit CPA if you have any questions.


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