CAGE Code and CAGE Code Lookup
A CAGE Code is actually a NATO CAGE Code (NCAGE).
In the USA, a CAGE Code was originally called a Federal Supply Code for Manufacturers (FSCM) or a National Supply Code for Manufacturers (NSCM).
With the creation of the NATO Codification System (NCS) in 1954, Cage Codes were replaced by the NATO Cage Code system which is used universally in NATO Countries and Non-NATO NCS Sponsored Countries.
The Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code is a 5-character unique identifier assigned to suppliers and consumers of products or services; and recipients of financial assistance.
CAGE Code LookupSearch for NATO Products by Source CAGE
What is a CAGE Code?
Commercial and Government Entity Code; a 5-character unique identifier assigned to suppliers and consumers of products or services; and recipients of financial assistance.
In fact, there is no official term 'CAGE Code' in NATO and this is really only used as a 'slang' in the USA. The official term is NCAGE (NATO Commercial and Government Entity) Code. NATO maintains a central database of NCAGEs with each participating company contributing to the database as they do for NSNs. We use CAGE and NCAGE interchangeably in conversation on Government Procurement and this article will as well (for the edification of Google).
The definition of an Entity by NATO is two-fold; at organizational level for Government Agencies but for Commercial Organizations, an NCAGE Code is assigned to each "Place of Performance". A place of performance is a physical location from which supplies or services are supplied to a NATO Agency. Companies with multiple NCAGE Codes indicate in the database the hierarchy of the NCAGE Codes leading to one parent Entity.
CAGE Codes are the primary key to an entity's business profile which includes location, Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS) file, business size, business capabilities, business financial data, contract payment methods, past performance and ownership among other facets.
As of 2022, the USA as well as some other NATO Nations have begun to phase out the reliance on Dun and Bradstreet's Business Database and are phasing in the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). On April 4th, 2022, the USA's System for Award Management (SAM.gov) changed from the DUNS Number to the Unique Entity ID as the primary identifier for contract tender parties and contract award recipients. This change was reflected in the NATO NCAGE Database structure and most member nations are in the process of updating their business practices to use the UEI.
- How do I find out my CAGE Code?
- You can perform a CAGE Code Lookup by Company Name by following the link to our CAGE Code Search Tool.
- How does a company get a CAGE Code?
- In the USA, Companies can register for a CAGE Code at SAM.gov.
- How long does it take to get your CAGE Code?
- If the application data is accurate it can be as soon as the same day and up to 7 days.
- How do you get a CAGE Code assigned?
- A NATO Government must assign a CAGE Code. Each government has an office to process assignments or the main tool at NATO can be used to apply for cage code assignment.
- Is CAGE code the same as Duns?
- A Duns Number is assigned by Dun & Bradstreet for Company Credit Reporting, a CAGE Code is Assigned by NATO as a unique identifier for financial transactions with NATO Countries. To obtain a CAGE Code used to require a Duns Number, but now in the USA and some NATO Countries, a Duns Number is not required and these countries assign a UEI (Unique Entity Identifier) instead.
- How do I get a DUNS and CAGE code?
- A DUNS Number may be obtained by registering with Dun & Bradstreet. A CAGE Code' can be obtained from SAM.gov.
- What is the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)?
- The Unique Entity ID is a 12-character alphanumeric ID assigned to all entities (public and private companies, individuals, institutions, or organizations) by a National Codification Bureau (NCB); in the USA it is obtained through the System for Award Management at SAM.gov.
The letters “O” and “I” are not used in UEIs to avoid confusion with zero and one.
How Do I Get a CAGE Code?
Organizations Registered in the USAAny commercial organization (company) registered in the USA can request a CAGE Code by registering to do business or receive financial assistance at SAM.gov. During the registration process, you can search to find if you have an existing CAGE Code or request a CAGE Code be assigned. A CAGE Code is free and assignment is usually completed within 10 days.
Click Here to Register with SAM.gov
Organizations Registered Outside of the USAAny commercial organization (company) registered outside of the USA can request a NCAGE Code by registering to do business or receive financial assistance at the NSPA. During the registration process, you can search to find if you have an existing NCAGE Code or request that a NCAGE Code be assigned. A NCAGE Code is free and applications usually take 1-2 Days to be processed.
Click Here to Register with NSPA
CAGE Code Format
NCAGE Codes are formatted as five alphanumeric characters with an uppercase convention. This allows a maximum of 60 Million NCAGE Codes to be generated, but certain characters are skipped to minimize reading errors such 'O' so that is not confused with zero and 'I' so it is not confused with one allowing a practical maximum of around 20 Million NCAGE Codes. As of January 2023, more than 3,720,000 NCAGE Codes have been assigned.
CAGE Codes have a logical format with five alphanumeric characters. The NCB (National Codification Bureau) assigning the CAGE Code can be identified by the first and fifth (last) characters of the NCAGE. The table on our NATO page shows these variations together with the email contact for each responsible agency's NCAGE helpdesk should you need assistance.