Who can sell to the Lake County Board of County Commissioners (County)?
Any business that is authorized to conduct business in the State of Florida and sells products or services that the County needs.
What products and services does the County purchase?
The County purchases a variety of products and services. Review the Commodity Code list for an example of some of the products and services the County buys.
Do I need to register to sell products and services to the County? Do I need to register as a bidder to submit a bid or proposal?
No, a vendor does not need to register to submit a bid or proposal. However, the County will require certain information before a Purchase Order or Contract may be issued. A vendor may be required to submit a copy of their Lake County Occupational License (if the business resides in Lake County), a competed IRS W-9 Taxpayer Identification form and insurance certificates.
Register online using the Vendor Registration Form.
The County will always try to ensure all registered bidders are notified of any solicitation (Invitation to Bid or Request for Proposals) for a product or service they have registered for, but technology occasionally has glitches. It is solely the vendor's responsibility to remain informed as to what products or services are being solicited by the County. The County posts all formal solicitations on its Web site at the Open Bids page.
Why should I register online?
Registering online as a vendor allows the Office of Procurement Services to immediately inform the vendor (via e-mail) when a new solicitation that meets their commodity codes is issued. When a new solicitation is issued, the automated system scans through all of the registered vendors who match the commodity codes of the new bid. An automatic e-mail is sent to the registered vendor informing them of the new solicitation.
Will the County purchase my products and services if I register as a potential Bidder?
Not necessarily. Registering as a potential bidder only notifies the County that vendor is interested in selling products and services. Being registered will not automatically result in contracts or purchases from the company. The vendor must sell to the County as they would to any other customer.
Registration as a vendor will inform the County as to which products and services are available from the company and permit the County to notify the vendor IF the County has a requirement for the vendor's products or services.
How does the County purchase products and services?
The County purchases products and services from vendors through verbal quotations, written quotations, formal bids and requests for proposals, depending on the total value and type of product or service required. For more information, call the Office of Procurement Services at (352) 343-9839.
How does the County decide from which vendors to purchase products and services?
The County consistently purchases from the lowest responsive and responsible bidder for products and services procured from bids and from the highest ranked respondent for services procured through requests for proposals.
What are the County’s payment Terms? Can I ship C.O.D. (Cash On Delivery)?
No. The County has no process to pay COD and any COD shipment will be refused.
All sales to the County are NET 30 Days.
What happens at the public bid opening?
The name of each bidder and the amount of each bid is read and recorded when a bid is opened, but only the name of each respondent is read when proposals (Request for Proposals) are accepted for consideration.
When can I review the bids/proposals that have been submitted?
When an award recommendation is made or 30 calendar days after the bid proposal package is opened, whichever is earlier, the bid or proposal becomes a public record, with certain exceptions permitted by law.
What do I do if I am asked for a quotation?
A vendor may receive a request to quote by phone, mail, fax or e-mail. If they can meet the requirements of the County, they can offer their best price and delivery. Be realistic and be sure to consider all costs before a quote. Meet the quotation deadline. If a vendor is called for a phone quote, try to respond on the same day.
Can I quote, or charge, taxes for products and services I sell the County?
No. The County is exempt from paying sales or use tax by Florida statute. The County’s tax-exempt number is 85-8013874700C-1.
What about the shipping point and freight charges?
Unless otherwise stated in the solicitation document, all County purchases are F.O.B. Destination to the designated County delivery point. In other words, the County will only accept title to the product after it has been delivered and accepted.
All freight charges are solely the responsibility of the seller.
What is a PCard and how does it help me doing business with the County?
The PCard is a VISA credit card with special limitations built into it to protect both the County and the vendor. Certain County employees have the authority to purchase products directly from a vendor and pay for the purchase with their assigned PCard. Generally the maximum transaction amount is limited to $1,000, however a few employees may have a higher limit. ALWAYS obtain a VISA transaction authorization through a bank system and the employee’s signature prior to releasing the product to the employee. Always verify the employee’s identity against their photo identification.
Do NOT charge sales tax on County VISA purchases. Purchases made using the County PCard are exempt from all Florida Sales and use taxes.
What if I discover a mistake in my bid or a problem with my County contract?
Always call and discuss the mistake or problem with the Contracting Officer assigned to the purchase or contract. Often, the Contracting Officer can find a solution if the mistake or problem is discovered in time.
What are common errors made in selling to the County?
- Failure to thoroughly read and comply with the requirements of the Purchase Order or Contract.
- Failure to thoroughly read and comply with the requirements of the solicitation documents (Request for Quote/ Invitation to Bid/ Request for Proposals).
- Failure to keep the registered bidder list information current.
- Failure to contact the Contracting Officer in a timely fashion, or at all, with questions about Purchase Orders, Contracts or solicitations.
- Failure to submit pricing on the County-supplied forms.
- Failure to submit the quote/ bid/ proposal prior to the date and time required by the solicitation documents.
- Alteration of the County’s required terms and conditions.
- Submitting a conditional quote, bid or proposal.
- Failure to provide the required technical or descriptive literature.
- Failure to provide samples when required.
- Failure to provide the required insurance certificates, surety or performance and payment bonds.
Watch the Details
Does the County handle the purchases for the Lake County Sheriff or School Board?
No. Each elected official (Sheriff, Clerk of the Court, Property Appraiser, Tax Collector and Supervisor of Elections) buys through his or her own office. The Office of Procurement Services assists the Supervisor of Elections with purchases and cooperates with the other elected officials on certain types of purchases. Each elected official may utilize the County’s contracts if they desire.