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State Tips & Resources

This page includes information about types of state contracts and ways to increase your opportunities to do business with the State of Washington.

Types of Opportunities

There are three (3) ways to get contracts with the state:

  1. Direct buy: sell directly to purchasers for goods and services of less than $10K ($13K limit for small businesses).
  2. Agency contracts: single agency follows a bid process toward contracts over $10K/ $13K.
  3. Master Contracts: follows a bid process for contracts used by multiple agencies.

Direct Buy

Agency Contracts

Master Contracts

Size of Opportunity

Size of Opportunity

Size of Opportunity

Must be under $10k ($13k for small businesses) prior to taxes.

Higher than direct buy amount ($10k/ $13k)

Overall contract sales per business ranges from $0 - $120 million per year. There may be multiple businesses awarded for one contract.

Business Requirements

Business Requirements

Business Requirements

• Must be able to accept a credit card OR set up as a statewide vendor (payee desk) which is Net 30.

• The product/service is not on an existing contract OR the contracts do not meet the customers’ needs.

• Must be registered in WEBS (no-cost statewide bid system).

• Must bid and meet the stated requirements (insurance, geographic coverage, etc.).

• Must be awarded through a competitive process (all bids must be posted in WEBS).

• Set up as a statewide vendor (payee desk) which is Net 30.

• Must be registered in WEBS (no cost statewide bid system).

• Must bid and meet the stated requirements (insurance, geographic coverage, etc.).

• Must be awarded through a competitive process (all bids must be posted in WEBS).

• Set up as a statewide vendor (payee desk) which is Net 30.

• Must report sales quarterly and pay management fee (1.5% of sales).

Accessing customers & competition

Accessing customers & competition

Accessing customers & competition

• Many employees have authority to make direct buy purchases.

• There is no centralized list of contacts for buyers.

• Many buyers have a primary focus outside of purchasing (i.e. human resources, leading training, running programs, etc.).

• Purchases are transparent by agency, business, and dollar value. Information about the purchasers and items purchased is not as easily accessible.

• The staff developing solicitations are more centralized and all solicitations must be posted on WEBS.

• Contract reports can be found on data.wa.gov and be filtered by agency, awarded business, and value.

• All contracts must be publicly posted on the agency website. This includes:

• Contract specialist contact information.

• Awarded businesses.

• Contract with price details.

• Contract usage reports can be found on data.wa.gov and be filtered by agency, awarded business, and value.

Assistance with State Contracting

ORIA – Contact a liaison at the Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance to confirm your business is set up correctly and ready to do business with the state.

DES – Contact a Washington State Department of Enterprise Services customer service representative for assistance on the following:

  • Agency and master contracts.
  • Register in WEBS with the correct commodity codes.
  • Attend agency business training sessions and outreach events.

PTAC - The Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is a statewide program headquartered in the Thurston EDC. PTAC offers no cost, confidential, one-on-one technical assistance in all aspects of selling to federal, state and local governments.

WSDOT Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) – ADA and DBE programs including free business services for qualifying DBEs.

Tips to Remember

Take advantage of the state’s online bid notification system. Use Washington’s Electronic Business Solution (WEBS) to help you increase access to contract opportunities. State agencies are required to post contract opportunities on WEBS. Other public entities can use WEBS to increase the reach of their solicitations.

Tips for using WEBS,

  • Conduct simple keyword searches to view a more comprehensive list of related commodity codes.
  • Try multiple searches using different keywords to ensure all related commodity codes appear in your search results.
  • Use “AND” to search for commodities containing both words.
  • Use quotes to search for an exact phrase.

General tips on how to sell to the state,

  • Understand how the state buys the goods or services.
  • Know your firm’s capacity to:
    • Reach different geographic regions.
    • Receive payment – Net 30.
    • Meet insurance and other requirements.
  • Determine the appropriate contract approach for selling to the state.
  • Know your competition.
  • Review key areas of each contract type to identify your target strategy.

For businesses that sell goods and services to neighboring states, we encourage you to learn more about Oregon and Idaho, too.

Resources

MBDA Business Center - Tacoma

The MBDA Business Center located in Tacoma, Washington is operated by the City of Tacoma. The center is part of a national network of funded centers located in major cities throughout the United States. The center works with minority business enterprises to generate increased financing and contract opportunities and to create and retain jobs.

The program's objective is to provide ongoing, quality assistance to minority businesses with rapid growth potential so that they can achieve greater participation in the development of the nation's commerce. The center provides technical assistance and strategic business consulting to minority business enterprises to generate increased financing and contracting opportunities.

The Procurement Technical Assistance Center assists Washington State businesses in selling to federal, state and local governments. Finding opportunities to bid Interpreting solicitations and regulation Certifications & registrations Marketing to government byers and much more

Your Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to promoting Veteran/Service member Owned Businesses. This Registry is one way that our state and its citizens can honor you by promoting your business and its products and services statewide.

The Washington SBDC promotes economic vitality within Washington communities by providing expert business advising, demand-driven training, and applied research to existing businesses and entrepreneurs. The SBDC is a cooperative effort of Washington State University, other educational institutions, economic development organizations and the US Small Business Administration.

Providing technical assistance to Washington State businesses, the Washington State Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) works to give businesses the opportunity to thrive in the government-contracting marketplace. Washington PTAC's mission is to increase the number of government contracts awarded to Washington firms so that those firms can grow. We provide no cost, confidential, one-on-one technical assistance in all aspects of selling to federal, state, and local governments. PTAC advises businesses on bid reviews, marketing assistance, contract performance, small business designations, and more. PTAC hosts procurement training classes and seminars, and helps businesses register with the correct databases in order to compete for government contracts.

Washington State's Business Portal - Business Status, Do Business with the State, Grow a Business, Grants and loans, Business counseling, Licenses, Permits, Inspections.

  • Procurements that are in the planning phase and are going to be put out for bid.
  • Contracts that have been awarded within the last 12 months.
  • Contracts due to expire in 12 months or less.

We are a part of the Construction Office, responsible for the administration of highway construction projects, including:

  • contract advertisement
  • issuing plans, specifications and bid documents
  • distributing addenda
  • bid opening
  • bid verification
  • contract awards
  • advertisement and award of Design-Build projects
  • contractor prequalification
  • maintaining the Small Works Roster
  • This site is hosted by the Department of Enterprise Services (DES). WEBS is an internet-based bid notification system that many state agencies and educational institutes use to notify businesses of opportunities. It takes approximately 5-10 minutes to sign up. Your firm will receive email notifications of bid opportunities that match commodity codes you select.

The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) manages and monitors the Washington State Department of Transportation's External Civil Rights Programs. These programs include:

  • Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE)
  • Minority & Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE)
  • Small Business Enterprises (SBE)
  • On the Job Training (OJT)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Contract Compliance (EEO CC)
  • Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance (TERO)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) / 504 Rehabilitation Act
  • Title VI
  • Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
  • Environmental Justice (EJ)