What Is a Bid Package?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2019
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A bid package is term used to describe all the documents that are necessary in order to respond to and participate in what is known as an invitation to bid. The range of documents involved in a given bid package will vary, based on the requirements set by the entity issuing the bid. Failure to comply with the requirements of the issuing entity by not including all the documentation requested will normally result in being denied the privilege of participating in the bid process any further, or at least not being considered until an amended and complete package is submitted.

One of the more common examples of bid packages is found in the contracting business. A typical contractor’s bid package will include several documents, including a completed bid form that is supplied by the entity issuing the bid. Along with the bid form, a range of documents that support the information contained on that main form will also be included. These will include documentation such as sketches and drawings relevant to the project, timelines for completion, pricing for each type of expense associated with construction, and even background information on the bidder in terms of years of operation and any expertise with similar construction projects. As with any type of bid package, the idea is to provide all the information necessary for the prospective client to make an informed decision.


The concept of a bid package is also used in a number of other business settings. Companies may forward an invitation to bid on various types of services, including information systems or telecommunications. Here the goal is to provide the potential bidders with the opportunity to provide specific information requested, and in a format that makes comparison and qualification of the various bids received somewhat easier to manage.

What happens with a bid package after it is received will also vary. Some companies choose to use invitations to bid as a means of identifying several potential vendors, who upon submitting bid packages that are in compliance with the customer’s request for information are then invited to submit formal proposals for consideration. When this is the case, at least three of the packages are selected based on factors such as pricing, the timeline for the project, and the completeness of the response to the invitation to bid. Those three are then invited to submit a formal proposal with one eventually emerging as the selected vendor. At other times, the packages themselves are used as the basis for establishing the working relationship, using the pricing quoted in the bid package as the basis for creating a contractual agreement between the customer and the vendor who is selected.


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Post 1

There ought to be a widely accepted rule that bid packages are sealed until they are presented to the person or committee who will make the final decision about which bid to accept. Why? It's the old brother-in-law problem -- more than one bid package has been accepted so that an insider can open it and modify a competing bid for a friend or family member so it is more competitive.

It is in the best interest of an organization to have neutral parties review and accept bids. Having an insider modifying one bid to make it more competitive -- and possibly receive a kickback -- is a terrible abuse of authority.

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