Doing Business With the Great State of Texas

*In order to qualify for contracts with this state, a business must be in good standing and its Franchise Tax Account status, must be ACTIVE. An active status usually means the business is on file with the Secretary of State and has no outstanding debts or exclusions. Be sure to check your status on the Texas Comptroller’s website, before seeking a bidding opportunity.

*Once you’ve established your business is active, you’ll want to setup an account at MyCPA. This account will give you access to apply for the Centralized Bidders List or a HUB certification (explained below). Before beginning your account registration, review The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) Commodity Book. This is where you’ll find information on how your goods and/or services are classified with the state (and federal) agencies. The code numbers in this book are how purchasers find what they’re looking to buy. It is imperative that you code your goods correctly – other wise, you will not appear in the desired search results. You will be asked for these codes during initial account setup. 

*HUB stands for “Historically Underutilized Business” This certification was created for anyone who is of Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, or Native American descent. It is also for Women and Service-Disabled Veterans, with a service-related disability of 20% or greater. You must be a U.S. Citizen and Texas resident, along with a few other eligibility criteria. There is no cost for the certification, but there is an application process. The application must be printed, notarized, and mailed. Upon approval, your business will appear in the HUB directory, which state agencies (and prime contractors) use to solicit bids. You will have unique opportunities to participate in supplier diversity programs, as well as being contacted Directly for purchases of $5,000 or less. Keep in mind, over 200 state agencies use this database to search for prospective vendors. Non-profit organizations do not qualify for HUB certification. 

*After your CMBL and/or HUB has been approved, you should begin to receive bidding opportunities. At this point, you can decide whether to sit in the marketplace and hope to be chosen – or – you can start searching for opportunities and cultivating relationships. Familiarize yourself with the system by viewing bids on the ESBD (Electronic State Business Daily Search). Decide which type of contract or procurement you would like to be involved in. Look into the different state agencies, their spending habits, and quality expectations. Become acquainted with current primary contractors in your industry, and glean from them as much knowledge and favor as you can. The right relationship can get your foot in the door as a subcontractor, and if done well, you may be contacted to work on future contracts. 

***Texas uses a system called VPTS, the Vendor Performance Tracking System. This is the place where your business is graded on whether it was exceptional, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory on fulfilling the contract. Please be sure you can do the job to completion and with integrity. Your grades will become public knowledge.

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