CAGE Codes 101: What Is A CAGE Code and Why Is It Important?

Posted By: Matt Gilmore Industry, Technical,

blue banner with the words "CAGE code"The Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code is a unique, five-character, alpha-numeric identifier assigned to the suppliers of various government or defense agencies, as well as to government agencies themselves and various organizations. CAGE codes provide a standardized method to identify a legal entity at a specific physical location. This code is managed by the System for Award Management (SAM) at The CAGE code works similar to a company’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) when engaging in government contracting. If you want to sell your products to or do business with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) or the Department of Defense, you must have an active CAGE code.

Once you submit your Entity Registration in SAM, The Department of Defense assigns the CAGE code, which SAM then applies to your registration. No further action is needed unless additional information is requested by the Department of Defense. For non-US registrants, an entity requires a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE), which is equivalent to a CAGE code. This code is part of the NATO codification System and is necessary for foreign entities before completing a SAM registration.

There are no costs associated with obtaining a CAGE code. Applications are typically processed within five business days, but it can take up to twenty-five business days to receive formal approval. CAGE codes expire every five years based on the last time entity registration was updated on If you update your profile annually, you will automatically renew your CAGE code. 

CAGE codes have been required for government contractors since 2014 replacing the Federal Supply Code for Manufacturers (FSCM) and the National Supply Code for Manufacturers (NSCM). Unlike your social security number and EIN, you can proudly and broadly share your CAGE code publicly. That way federal buyers can research you to see if you are “procurement ready” and evaluate any of your past performance.

If you have specific questions about CAGE codes, you can contact the DLA Customer Interaction Center at or (877) 352-2255.  Currently, CAGE codes are not required to register and use the Integrated Casting Order Network (ICON).

If you would like to know more about CAGE codes and doing business with the government, please feel free to contact ICON support at or you can reach out to Matt Gilmore, at