Any company that works for the government must have a CAGE code (Commercial and Government Entity) for each of its locations. This five-digit identifier is used in many automated government systems. Subcontractors to a prime government contractor will also probably need to obtain a CAGE code.
Obtaining a CAGE code was once a stand-alone registration process, but it's now part of the Central Contractor Registration (CCR). Companies with a CAGE code must provide it when completing CCR registration. Companies that need a CAGE code will receive one when CCR registration has been finalized.
The credit reporting company Dun & Bradstreet has developed a system of assigning company identifiers called DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) numbers to each physical location of a company. A DUNS number is needed to receive federal grant money, and for completing the CCR registration and obtaining a CAGE code. A company's customers and suppliers can pull a credit report by using the company's DUNS number.
Also known as a Federal Tax ID, the FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) is provided to companies by the IRS. It's a requirement to complete a CCR registration and obtain a CAGE code, and new businesses need it to open bank accounts, file tax returns and apply for various business licenses.