The State of New Jersey has many contracting opportunities – everything from requests for goods (envelopes, paper, etc.) to services (information technology, building trades, design).
All businesses bidding for projects or other work with the state must be registered with the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services (DORES) in the Department of Treasury.
Ways to Identify State Contracting Opportunities
There are numerous entities throughout the State that issue solicitations for various types of goods, services, and construction contracts. Below we highlight some of the entities that issue a substantial number of the State’s procurements, but vendors should be aware that other entities, including Colleges and Universities, can also provide contracting opportunities. Each state agency may also list its own specific procurement opportunities.
Goods and Services Related Contracts
The Division of Purchase and Property (DPP), within the Department of the Treasury, serves as the State's central procurement agency for goods and services contracts. To find and be notified of goods and services bidding opportunities administered through DPP, we suggest registering at NJSTART (DPP’s eProcurement system). NJSTART provides:
- Direct notifications about new bidding opportunities emailed to vendors, based on the commodity codes they select during registration
- An online repository for vendor forms, eliminating the need to prepare forms repeatedly
On NJSTART, vendors can:
- View their remittance and email addresses to ensure their accuracy and select their preferred form of payment
- See which certifications they need to do business with the State, which certifications they have, and which are missing or expired.
DPP’s goods and services procurement brochure provides guidance on the procurement process and may also offer information that is common to other State entities that issue contracting opportunities. New Jersey’s Division of Enterprise and Revenue Services provides specific business registration information according to your legal structure.
Register with NJStart
Property Management and Construction Related Contracts
The Department of Treasury’s Division of Property Management and Construction advertises their bidding opportunities on their website.
Construction Related Contracts
Contractors or subcontractors who bid or engage in the performance of any state-funded construction- projects need to be registered as “Public Works Contractors” with the Department of Labor (DOL), in addition to their DORES registration.
The Division of Property Management and Construction procures most state-funded construction projects. Contractors who wish to do business with the State must be classified while engineers or architects must be pre-qualified. You can start the application process by looking at DPMC’s website.
Other State Contracting Opportunities
While NJ’s Department of Treasury leads many of the State’s contracts, most agencies share opportunities or release requests for proposals (RFPs) for work unique to their agency’s mandate. The list below links directly to each agency’s page on contracting opportunities.
- Casino Reinvestment Development Authority
- NJ Dept. of Banking & Insurance
- NJ Dept. of Community Affairs
- NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection
- NJ Dept. of Health
- NJ Dept. of Human Services
- NJ Dept. of State
- New Jersey Economic Development Authority
- New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority
- New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency
- NJ Transit Corporation
- New Jersey Turnpike Authority/Garden State Parkway
- New Jersey Schools Development Authority
- Port Authority of NY & NJ
- South Jersey Transportation Authority
- Sports and Exposition Authority
Recent Regulations and Resources
Making Your Business Competitive for State Contracts
The State currently has two "set-aside" programs for contractors. Set-aside programs direct a percentage of State contract purchases to specific segments of the business community:
- a 25% set aside for certified Small Business Enterprises
- a 3% set aside for Disabled Veteran Owned Business Enterprises
Also note that the State offers minority and woman owned business certification services. Certification provides state-backed documentation of your business status, which can be beneficial in pursuing contracting opportunities at the local and federal level, as well as in the private sector.
Support and Advice on Government Contracting
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) provides free counseling in addition to training and technical resources to New Jersey-based businesses, including those looking to successfully identify and bid on government contracts. Its resources help clients navigate the procurement process.
Frequent Requirements for State Contracting
- Proper Registration with the State
- Capability Statement - This is a representation that your company has performed contracts that are of equivalent scope to what you are bidding on
- Surety Bonds - A surety bond ensures your completion of a job by creating a financial guarantee that another organization makes on behalf of your business. A surety bond is required for many government contracts.
- A Business Registration Certificate from DORES, which will be required during any state bidding process.
Surety companies want to work with businesses that have the necessary capital to support expected project costs, are in good standing with a bank, and are well managed. Because a surety bond is a type of guarantee, obtaining one is similar to obtaining a bank line of credit - the surety companies want to know a business well before committing their own assets.
For example, if you offer construction services, a client might ask you to have a surety bond. In the event they think the work is insufficient, the client could file a claim with the surety company to pay for the cost of a new contractor to do the work.
There are a few types of surety bonds:
- Bid bonds: Provides financial assurance that the bid has been submitted in good faith and that the contractor intends to enter into the contract at the price bid.
- Performance bonds: Protects the owner from financial loss should the contractor fail to fulfill the contract requirements in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract documents.
- Payment bonds: Guarantees that the contractor will pay certain labor and material bills associated with the project.
Basic steps to obtain a bond include:
- Identify a bonding agent (preferably one who specializes in your particular industry). Start by speaking with your insurance agent.
- Ask people in your industry which agent obtains bonds for them.
- Visit at least three bonding agents. Find out what they offer and explain your firm’s marketing goal.
- Select your bonding agent and provide them with a business plan and organization chart (including resumés of key principals with a description of the largest completed jobs, including names and telephone numbers of owners, financial statements, tax returns, and bank relationships).
- Select an independent Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Bonding agents will require financial statements of your company prepared by an independent accountant. Fiscal-year-end and six-month financial statements will be submitted regularly to your bonding agent.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority runs a program that helps small businesses prepare to apply for surety bonds.
Small contractors who require surety bonds to perform on construction or service contracts, can apply to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for bonding under the Surety Bond Guaranty program. The SBA can guarantee surety bonds on contracts up to $2,000,000. The fee charged by the SBA for the guaranty is $6 per $1,000 of the contract amount.
Stay in the Know on Existing Contracts
Notice of Awards
NJ Division of Purchase and Property publishes a list of vendor awards that shows which companies have contracted to provide products and services to the State of New Jersey.
Looking to Identify Existing Construction Contractors
Classified Contractor Search is a search tool for classified contractors designed by specific trade or specialty from the Division of Property Management & Construction (DPMC).
Contractors that wish to compete for DPMC public works construction contracts must be classified by the DPMC. (View the relevant forms here or call 609.984.6979.)
Once Awarded A State Contract
If you wish to familiarize yourself with the types of forms that may be required to become a State contractor, you may visit the DPP forms page. However, vendors should be aware that these are the forms required for goods and services contracting with DPP and are likely not the totality of the forms required by other contracting State entities.
The federal government has several contracting programs that may be of interest to small businesses, especially those that may be in specific locations or be owned by veterans, minorities, or women.
U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Government Contracting Program
The Government Contracting Program of SBA ensures that small businesses receive their fair share of federal contracts. SBA’s programs include the establishment of small business set-asides, certification of small businesses to perform on federal contracts, and opportunities in subcontracting to large business prime contractors.
The Government Contracting Program of SBA works to make sure small businesses get at least 23% of all federal contracting dollars.
Additionally, the government tries to award a certain percentage of all federal prime contracting dollars to small businesses each year called Set-asides, that meet certain socio-economic conditions. They include Minority-owned, Women-owned, Service-disabled veteran-owned and HUBZone-certified small businesses.
SBA also provides information and assistance to firms who are interested in obtaining federal contracts.
SBA staff can be contacted for additional information at the following locations:
- Lakehurst, NJ: 732-284-8064
- Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, NJ: 973-724-6574
- Washington, DC: 202 205 6459
Minority Small Business & Capital Ownership Development (MSB/COD) 8(a) Program
The 8(a) Program is SBA’s effort to promote equal access for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals to participate in the business sector of the nation’s economy.
Socially and economically disadvantaged individuals include Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and others designated by the SBA.
The program recognizes the historical lack of equal access that minorities and other disadvantaged individuals have had to the resources needed to develop their small businesses. The program assists 8(a) approved firms to participate in the business sector and to become independently competitive in the marketplace. The assistance available includes access to federal government contracts as well as management and technical assistance programs.
The Small Business Administration provides additional details on the benefits and eligibility for each certification. You can also contact them at 973-645-2531
Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zones
The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. These preferences go to small businesses that obtain HUBZone certification in part by employing staff who live in a HUBZone. The company business must also maintain a “principal office” in one of these specially designated areas. Here is a map of HUBZones in New Jersey.