Doing business with government agencies is one of the best ways to procure bulk orders and really get your company growing. This applies to doing business with the federal government, but many people aren’t aware that there are similar contracts available with state governments.

What these contracts involve and who’s available to apply for them can differ greatly from state to state. What they share in common, however, is that state term contracts can be really great for business.

What Are State Term Contracts?

When the General Service Administration (GSA) awards contracts, most of them are Multiple Award Schedules (MAS). This means that contracts are awarded to multiple companies that can supply comparable products and services at competitive costs. This helps the federal government compile a catalog of companies from which government entities can purchase vehicles, equipment, supplies, and services.

Certain states have their own version of MAS, called state term contracts, for which businesses can apply.

How Is a State Term Contract Different From a GSA Schedule?

GSA Schedules are notorious for being incredibly complex and time-consuming, sometimes involving applications that can run as long as 30 pages. Federal rules and regulations regarding pricing and sourcing can easily be terms for disqualification. This leaves a lot of room for error, which could result in time wasted applying for contracts for which your company isn’t eligible or being put out of the running for making a simple mistake on an application.

Although they’re not as tedious as GSA applications, applying for a state term contract can still be wildly confusing, as the terms differ from one state to the next. While GSA Schedules clear a business to sell to federal entities, state term contracts make a company eligible to do business with the government in that state.

Who Can Apply for a State Term Contract?

State term contracts are available in a wide range of industries, from IT consulting to sales of agriculture and lawn equipment. The State of Florida, for example, offers contracts to businesses who sell mail processing equipment and office supplies, bulk fuel, motor vehicles, and construction equipment, among others. They also have contracts available for service providers in the pest control industry, mail services, management consulting, and many more. No matter what business you’re in, it’s likely that there is a state term contract for which you could apply.

Eligibility requirements differ from state to state, so it’s important to do the appropriate research and check with the procurement office in the state you’re considering. This will help you determine if a state term contract is right for your business.

What Are Some Differences From One State to the Next?

Before beginning the application process, it’s important for a company to fully understand the regulations and restrictions governing their state’s term contracts. In Ohio, for example, contractors are required to have an average of $50,000 in annual sales to be considered for what they call their state’s Cooperative Purchasing Program. The State of Florida requires that vehicles sold through its state term contracts program be discounted to approximately 70 percent off of the list price. It also specifies certain vehicle brands that are eligible for the program. It’s key that interested businesses know the rules in a specific state to be sure that manufacturing or pricing requirements don’t rule them out.

How Government Contract Services Can Help You Navigate It All

Are there state term contracts available in your field? Is your company even eligible for a state term contract? Navigating the rules and regulations can be confusing. Even more, moving through the application process can be frustrating, and one small error could disqualify your business.

That’s where Government Contract Services comes in. We can help determine in which states you’re eligible to apply, as well as seek out available contracts in your specific field. We can also help guide you through the application process, making it as pain-free as possible.

If you have questions along the way, we’ll give you accurate answers that will help you make the best decisions. We’ll also give you our expert opinion on what kind of contracts are best for your business.

Cristi helps you understand the government market place. She specializes in assisting our marketing, advertising and staffing clients achieve government sales success. Her advanced knowledge of training and human-resource related functions as well as her Bachelor’s in Marketing gives her the ability to manage your important business partnerships.