Registering With a State To Find Contract Opportunities? It’s Not All One Stop Shopping.

Just because you register with a particular state government vendor portal, don’t expect to see all of the contract opportunities there. A growing number of states (driven by local laws) have indeed setup up agencies and portals to handle (meaning manage the process of issuing requests for vendor proposals then finding, selecting and managing those) contracts across all state agencies.

But that in no way is a guarantee that you will see all contracting opportunities for that state. From state to state, certain agencies are empowered to manage their own vendor contracting opportunities and associated processes- transportation departments (DOTs) being a notable example.

So be on the lookout for those exceptions to a state’s bidding process if you want to ensure you get notifications of all contract opportunities. Scan the state’s FAQ section for hints and pointers to see if you also need to register with other public entities within that state. For example, Washington State’s vendor contractor portal FAQ tells us that: “Not all public agencies in the state are required to post bid notifications in WEBS [that’s Washington Electronic Business Solutions- vendor registration, etc. portal], so you may want to register with other government entities to receive notice of their bid opportunities.” Other examples where agencies manage their own bid contract opportunities include New York State’s Power Authority.

Get Ready, Get Set . . . Go Register Your Company

Thinking of registering your company in a federal or state vendor portal to find business opportunities?

img_0793The good news is you can register your company on-line.  The bad news is you will have to do it over 50 times to cover all the Federal & US states and agencies.

And like doing your taxes, it is best to be prepared. If not, you may be subject to website timeouts, lost information and other maladies if you are not ready with the requested information.

Here is a list of registration information the great state of Indiana requires of companies wanting to bid on state contracts there. And why would you even want to do business in Indiana? Well that’s another blog post.  Indiana’s requirements is by no means a complete list of the things you need to answer, which to be frank, is rather small compared to other states.  But this will give you an idea of the basic pieces of information you should have at the ready:

  1. Legal Name
(and it better be the same as what’s on your W9 form)
  2. Owner’s Gender
  3. Owner’s Ethnicity
  4. Taxpayer ID Number (TIN)
  5. Signed W9 form
  6. CEO Name
  7. Submitter Name
  8. Valid Email Address
  9. Receive orders preference (email, mail or fax)
  10. Indiana Veteran Business Enterprises status
  11. Minority/Women Business Enterprises status
  12. Small Business Information status
  13. Secretary of State Registration Information
  14. NAICS Codes
  15. Mailing Address information
  16. United Nations Standard Product and Services Codes (UNSPSC) information

For more information and helpful hints, follow this blog or click here to contact me.