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What is a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)?

Want to work with the government? Consider applying for a UEI. Presented by Chase for Business.

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    If you do business with the federal government, then you need a unique identifier for your business. More specifically, you need a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). Read on to find out why and how to apply for one.


    What is a UEI?

    A UEI is a government-provided number, like a tax ID number, that’s used to identify businesses eligible for federal grants, awards and contracts.

    Note: In April 2022, the federal government replaced its old identifier of choice, the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, with a government-issued UEI. Now all the federal government’s Integrated Award Environment systems use UEI numbers instead of DUNS numbers. So any entity doing business with the federal government must register for a UEI.


    Does my business need a UEI?

    Not necessarily. If you work exclusively with private companies or individual consumers, then you don’t need to apply for a UEI. However, if you plan to pursue contracts with the federal government, then you’ll need a UEI. Businesses must obtain a UEI to be eligible to access federal grants or awards.


    Is a UEI the same as a DUNS number?

    No. A UEI is not the same as a DUNS number. While both serve as a unique business ID (like a tax ID number), they differ in a couple of important ways.

    DUNS numbers are created and distributed by the analytics company Dun and Bradstreet (D&B). And they’re more than IDs because they’re linked to D&B’s scores and ratings. This means that potential lenders can use a business’s DUNS number to pull its credit report for things like deciding whether to extend a loan. 

    UEIs, on the other hand, are generated and distributed by the federal government at And they aren’t directly linked to a business’s D&B credit ecosystem in the same way a DUNS is.


    Do I still need a DUNS number?

    While you can no longer use a DUNS number to identify your business when applying for federal grants or bidding on federal contracts, you may still find it useful in other situations. For example, a DUNS number may be helpful when applying for a new business credit card or a loan. If you’re a supplier, retailers might also request your DUNS number to learn more about your business before deciding whether to work with you. 

    Note: The U.S. General Service Administration has warned that DUNS numbers may no longer appear in any searches. This doesn’t mean your DUNS number has disappeared; it’s just no longer in the SAM database.


    How do I get a UEI number?

    If your company is currently listed in the database, the good news is that you’ve already been assigned a UEI number. Simply log in at to access it.

    If you need to register for a UEI, visit and choose “Get started” to receive a UEI. You’ll also see a button labeled “Check entity status” where you can find out whether you’re already in the website’s database.

    When filling out your application, you’ll need to provide information about your business, including your legal business name and physical address — P.O. boxes are not accepted — and the date and state of your incorporation. You may also be asked to provide a taxpayer identification number and financial banking information, as well as additional documentation if you’re intending to pursue government contracts.


    How can I make sure no one else has my number?

    You can use the government’s entity validation service to verify the uniqueness of a business. will also make sure there is no existing registration for a given business name and physical address before issuing a UEI. Users who already have a UEI can visit to validate their entity information the next time they update their information or renew their entity registration.


    Where can I find my UEI?

    To view your UEI, log in at and select the “Entities” widget to see the list of entities you have registered. The UEI is shown on the left-hand side of the list. From this list, you also will be able to see whether the entity registration record is active and up to date or if further validation is required.


    Where can I get additional support?

    Still have questions about your business and its finances? Reach out to a Chase business banker for personalized support.