Welcome! Let's get you GATA pre-qualified so you can receive the state grants you need to better serve the people of Illinois.

For more information, visit the GATA website 
Need assistance? Email OMB.HelpDesk@Illinois.gov

Just click Next in the lower right to proceed...

Getting Started

What to expect

Don't worry if it seems intimidating, because we're here to help break it down! It's easy-peasy.

Note that you won' be able to complete the entire process in one day, as some steps are contingent upon others, but you can come back to this guide as often as you need.

But remember: Your grant application cannot be processed until you are pre-qualified, so don't put this off!


  • Use the Next and Back links at the bottom to skim through the steps.
GATA Pre-qualification Flowchart

  1. Register your organization with the State of Illinois. (Turnaround time 2-6 weeks)
  2. Obtain a FEIN/EIN number. (Turnaround time: Immediate)

    You can do steps 2-3 at the same time!

  3. Obtain a DUNS number. (Turnaround time: 7-10 business days)
  4. Register for a SAM.gov account. (Turnaround time: Up to 6 weeks)
  5. Sign up for an Illinois.gov account. (Turnaround time: Immediate)
  6. Link your GATA account with your Illinois.gov account. (Turnaround time: Immediate)
  7. Create an organization profile on the Grantee Portal. (Turnaround time: 1-3 days)
  8. Complete the Internal Controls Questionnaire.
    Complete steps 8 & 9 before the award is granted.
  9. Complete the Programmatic Risk Assessment.


Step 1. Register your organization with the State of Illinois

First, you'll need to register your organization with the Illinois Secretary of State and receive a Certificate of Good Standing.

This step is the only one with a cost, the remaining steps are free. Organization registration cost: $100 - $150, or $125 - $250 expedited. Certificate of Good Standing cost: $25 (corporation) or $5 (not-for-profit corporation).

Turnaround time: 2-6 weeks


  • You must maintain Good Standing annually, so make sure you revisit the registration every year.

Step 2. Obtain a FEIN/EIN

Next, you'll need to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN/EIN) from the IRS if you don't already have one.

Turnaround time: Immediate


  • Make sure you use the exact same organization name that was approved by the State of Illinois in the previous step.

Step 3. Obtain a DUNS number

You will need your organization's legal name, address (exactly as entered above), phone number, name of CEO or owner, legal structure (e.g., corporation, partnership, etc.), year established, type of business, number of employees (full and part-time).

Turnaround time: 1-2 business days


  • Don't delay applying for your DUNS number; you can't complete the remaining steps without it!
  • Your DUNS number can be linked to anyone; it does not have to be an authorized representative of your organization. Make sure you consider who has long-term access to the account.
  • By April 2022, the SAM-generated Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) becomes the official ID for doing business with the U.S. Government. Request new UEIs through SAM.gov before starting your entity registration. (See the next step.)

Step 4. Register for a SAM.gov account

Once you have both your FEIN and DUNS numbers, you can register for a SAM.gov account. In addition to these numbers, you will need your organization's legal name, address, entity type, and banking information to set up electronic funds transfer (EFT).

Turnaround time: Up to 6 weeks


  • For points of contact in your organization, you can put the same person for multiple roles (ie. CEO, CFO).
  • Do not mark your SAM.gov account as "private" until after you have been GATA-prequalified or the system won't be able to sync your accounts.
  • Allow up to 10 days for your account to be activated in SAM and another 24 hours to be available in other systems.
  • You must re-register for your SAM.gov account annually.

Step 5. Sign up for an Illinois.gov account

If you already have an Illinois.gov account, you may not need to create another one.

Turnaround time: Immediate

After you register, you will need to verify your account by clicking the link in the email message that was sent to you from IdentityManagement@Illinois.gov


  • Make sure you use your business email when registering.

Step 6. Link your GATA account with your Illinois.gov account

Turnaround time: Immediate


  • You will need your organization's 9-digit DUNS number.

Step 7. Create an organization profile on the Grantee Portal

Turnaround time: 1-3 days


  • This information should match the information used for your EIN, DUNS, and SAM.gov account.
  • Your fiscal year in the "IMPORTANT" box must match the fiscal year in SAM.gov.

Great job!

You've finished all the steps to get GATA pre-qualified! Now sit tight while the State of Illinois reviews your application.

Estimated turnaround time: 1 day

Check the grantee portal to see if each status requirement has been approved ("Good") or is "Pending" and/or requires action. Make sure you check the email you registered with for notifications about these changes.

Once you have been approved, you can start applying to state grants. Before you are awarded a grant, make sure you complete the next two steps.


Step 8. Complete the Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ)

Before your grant can be awarded, you must complete the ICQ, which consists of about 70 questions, in 10 sections. You will need to enter the names of the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer (or equivalents) to complete the form.


  • The ICQ must be completed every state fiscal year, which begins in July.

Step 9. Complete the Programmatic Risk Assessment (PRA)

Before your grant is awarded, you will need to complete the PRA.

Your awarding agency will send you the information on how to complete the Programmatic Risk Assessment (PRA) for each award received.


  • A PRA must be completed every fiscal year.



You are now GATA pre-qualified and you've completed the pre-award requirements. We're excited to see the change you'll bring to the state of Illinois.

If you are applying for IDHS grants, see How to Sign Up for CSA and CRV.

Questions? Email OMB.HelpDesk@Illinois.gov