Selecting Private vs. Public SAM Profile

Any business wishing to do business with the federal government must be registered on the System for Award Management (SAM).  Lately there has been some confusion on the SAM Opt-Out of Public Search function so I wanted to shed some light on the benefits and potential risks of opting out of having a public profile.

When you are registering for SAM you have the option to opt out of the public search capability. If you decide to opt out of the public search capability your profile can only be located and viewed by a person who is logged in to their SAM account with a .gov or .mil email address. If the individual with a .gov or .mil email is not logged into their SAM account, they will not be able to locate you. Similarly, no SAM account with any other email address (.com, .org, .edu, etc.) will be able to locate your profile whether or not they are logged in.

There are pros and cons of not opting out and making your SAM record searchable by the public.

The Pros of Opting In

  • Federal buyers can find you even if they have not created a SAM account or they are not logged in to their SAM account. This helps avoid frantic situations where federal buyers cannot locate your company.
  • State and Local buyers are able to find and  view your SAM record
  • Allows other companies to view and research your SAM record for subcontracting or teaming opportunities

The Con

  • Your company contact information becomes public which allows spammers to find and send you clutter of information you do not want. Devious emails may imitate a “government look” to try to sell you services you don’t need.

If you decide to allow your company profile to be public, we recommend you train your listed point of contact on how to identify official emails from the government and opportunities as well as spam or predatory emails looking to sell you services you may not need.

Not sure if your record is available for public search?

The easiest way to find out is to input your DUNS number into the SAM search bar. If your company’s profile pops up, your company is available for public search. Also, it is important to note that if your account is inactive/out dated it will not show up in the public search whether or not you have opted out so it is important to login at least once a year to update your profile and keep it active.

In order to change the status of the opt out capability you can log into your SAM account and go through the process of updating your SAM profile. Under the “Information Opt Out” section decide if you would like your company’s profile available for public search.


If you have any questions on updating your SAM profile, keeping it active or want to discuss what privacy setting is best for you, feel free to contact Coley at or directly at 210-402-6766.

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