Blog Published: Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Doing Business with the County
Steps on how to contract with Miami-Dade County
Conducting business with your local government can provide a steady flow of income. If you operate a small business, taking advantage of local government contracts can be lucrative, especially since doing business with the county is relatively recession-free. Many small businesses do not take advantage of the numerous contract opportunities that Miami-Dade has available and miss out on the hundreds of millions of dollars the county awards every year.
For your company to enter into a contract with Miami-Dade County, you must complete a new registration application. The free application is available at www.miamidade.gov/localvendor. After completing the registration, you may bid on any project including goods, services, architecture, engineering, etc. To bid, you will have to register through www.BidSync.com.
Before you begin doing business with the local government, you should know your market. This means researching current funding, procurement, and government plans. This information is publicly available. Another thing you may want to determine is the county’s budgetary process and calendar. This information will give you an advantage when introducing your product or service.
If there isn’t a specific project available that you would like to bid on, you may sign-up to be a part of an event pool. For example, if you own a landscaping company, you can put your company in a pool that will be the first to be contacted after a hurricane. There are pools for several situations/events and your company will be prioritized if the county needs services relating to the situation or event. To enter a pool, you will need to visit www.miamidade.gov and locate the person in charge of the pool you would like to participate in. If you need additional assistance, you may contact 305-375-3111.
If you are a small business, you may be eligible for the county’s Small Business Development (SBE) certification program. As a small business, you will have an advantage in the county’s procurement process. Last year, Miami-Dade County awarded over $133 million to certified small businesses. To obtain eligibility, you must (1) have an actual place of business in Miami-Dade County; (2) meet the size standard for a three-year average (varies among industries); and (3) obtain a local business tax receipt one year before certification. The size standard is calculated based on your ownership of the company and your personal net worth.
As a participant of the SBE, you will have an advantage in selection. This is because every project in the county has a certain percentage that is to be completed by a small business. Once you are part of the SBE, you will be eligible to receive free project review and analysis. In addition, the county has financial professionals that will assist you with bonding and financial assistance if you need help with tasks such as obtaining capital or surety bonds.
Another program that you may be eligible to participate in is the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). This provides minority-owned businesses in Miami-Dade with an advantage in the procurement process. This program may be beneficial to a new business because it does not require a year of having been in business, unlike the SBE program. The requirements are (1) for your business to be 51% minority-owned; (2) under $1.3 million personal net worth; and (3) gross receipts not exceeding $22.4 million. You may apply for the DBE here.
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