Legal Letters – What’s an RFP?

When it comes to legal letters, one of the letters you are going to want to know about if you bid for contracts at all is an RFP. An RFP is called a “request for proposal,” and it’s how a corporation or government agency lets potential bidders know it’s looking to contract companies to provide services and/or products. RFPs are then given to potential bidders who’ve been determined to be qualified to cover the services or equipments needed sometimes these are also published in industry trade journals, where they’ll be seen.

Most often, these types of legal letters are done with government agencies, since they have to acquire equipment or services as expediently but beneficially as possible there are also strict requirements such that these are overseen by other agencies to make sure monies are spent wisely. Occasionally, an RFP will also be used by a private company, but that’s usually done only occasionally, and only with services or equipment that don’t have anything to do with the company’s own services or products in question.

What can an RFP mean for the right contractor?

While a lot of smaller companies won’t be able to supply the products or services these types of legal letters would detail, that’s not always true and in some cases, this can give a business a great way to discover a whole new client base they may not have considered previously. Before undertaking such a request, though, the company offering a bid must be sure they can fulfill the request as described.

RFPs are pretty detailed, so should tell you whatever you need to know as a vendor to determine whether or not you can take the job. In addition, even if underbidding what you would normally propose for such a job means you’ll earn less money, it may translate later into a much greater network of contacts, and/or much more work down the line, thus offsetting the disadvantages of a low bid price.

Make sure as well that you can fulfill the ENTIRE contract as detailed in the RFP, since these types of legal letters do generally spell these things out. The deadlines should be reasonable for you to meet, and you should be able to do everything the contract specifies, including providing equipment and services as requested some companies for example, may be able to provide services but not equipment, while others may be able to provide equipment but not services as detailed in these legal letters. The RFP will tell you whether or not both equipment and services are to be done by the same company – and they usually are.

Finally, agencies usually specify within RFPs whether or not you may have to sign a performance bond so that you’ll guarantee delivery of the goods or services are provided by a certain date. Again, this is much more stringent than most contracts, so make sure you can fulfill this need.

Keeping abreast of the situation

If you are in receipt of one of these legal letters and you decide that you want to bid on an RFP, make sure you stay up on the news, by reading the legal notices and local newspapers and trade magazines. If it’s determined that you are going to respond to the RFP, you or your company’s leadership will make sure you stay on the list.