Doing Business with the City

The City of Santa Ana welcomes new vendors and encourages businesses to offer products and services to us. The following information will be helpful for registering, bidding, IFBs, RFPs and viewing bid results.

Register as a Vendor

The City utilizes an online bid management and publication system. You may register as a bidder online, view current bid opportunities, search for bid requests, bid electronically, and review the list of commodity codes currently used by the City of Santa Ana at no cost.

Become a Vendor

Supporting Local Vendors

The City supports Santa Ana and Orange County businesses during the bid evaluation process by offering one of the three incentives below. The local preference program is applied as follows:

  • A 7% preference is given to "small" Santa Ana businesses on all qualifying bids for materials, supplies, labor, equipment, or services.
  • A 4% preference is given to "small" Orange County businesses that reside outside of Santa Ana on all qualifying bids for materials, supplies, labor, equipment, or services.
  • A 1% preference is given to "medium/large" Santa Ana businesses for all non-public works construction bids.

City employees are prohibited from accepting gifts or gratuities from current or potential vendors and remain fair and transparent in procurement decisions. The application of the Local Preference is for award evaluation purposes only and does not reduce the vendor's actual bid amount.

To be eligible for Santa Ana's local preference program, your business must be registered with the California Department of General Services. Registration is free and can be completed online.  Registering the with State Department of General Services also allows your business to be eligible for requests for goods and services from the State. Please contact Finance and Management Services at (714) 647-6941 with any additional questions.

View Bid Opportunities

Getting Notified

Once you register through the City of Santa Ana’s PlanetBid website, you’ll receive a notification for upcoming projects. As a registered and approved vendor in the system, you will be automatically notified of Bid Alerts that match the categories you have entered in your vendor profile. Be the first to hear about new bidding opportunities or notice of addendums by signing up now.

Learn How to Submit Bids and Proposals for City Projects

Your company is invited to watch a virtual workshop that explains how easy it is to submit bids and proposals to the City of Santa Ana. Find out how to win contracts and more by watching the virtual workshop recording on the City's YouTube channel.


Frequently Asked Questions


How do I register as a potential vendor with the City of Santa Ana?

Vendors wishing to do business with the City must register in order to receive electronic notifications of bid opportunities. Notification of informal RFQ’s (Request for Quotes) and formal competitive IFB’s (Invitation for Bids) and RFP’s (Request for Proposals) are sent out automatically via email, to registered vendors. There is no cost to register as a vendor when it is done through the City’s public website.

The web address used to register as a potential vendor or to check for our listing of current bids is:

What does the City Purchasing Division buy?

Office supplies to equipment, computers and vehicles. Services utilized, but not limited to, include janitorial services, security services, landscaping and facilities maintenance. Staff is assigned by commodities or services. You may contact the Purchasing Division at (714) 647-6941 to obtain the name of the appropriate Buyer responsible for the commodities and service groups you are interested in.

How does the Purchasing Process Work?

All purchases begin with some form of written quotation, bid or proposal. Purchases of less than $5,000 require that we contact only one vendor and determine that the price is fair and reasonable. Purchases of more than $5,000 require three vendor quotations.

Formal bids and requests for proposal are used for purchases above $25,000.  Formal bids are awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder meeting the City’s specifications.

What are the Bid & RFP Options/Procedures?

Purchases of $25,000 or more require formal competitive bidding and are posted here:

All vendors who are registered and have expressed an interest in a particular category are sent an automatic email notification of the new bid or RFP. Addenda, Q&A, and other notifications pertaining to the bid or RFP are posted here as well.

Instructions and requirements for each Bid & RFP are outlined in the posting.

What are the qualifications needed to bid?

Each bid specification includes any relevant supplier qualifications. Examples of some general requirements that may be included in our bid specifications are:

  • Santa Ana Business License – Not needed to bid. However, a license must be obtained if you are awarded a contract.
  • California State Contractor’s License – The type of license required will be indicated in the bid specifications. If the labor you will provide is covered by prevailing wages, the supplier must also have a valid Department of Industrial Relations (“DIR”) registration number.
  • Client References – Verification of your company’s experience providing comparable services.
  • Insurance Coverage – Suppliers performing work on city property are required to have general liability, auto and worker’s compensation insurance.
Does the City offer a preference to local Santa Ana businesses to bid on City contracts?

       Yes. The City offers a preference to Santa Ana / Orange County businesses when bidding on City projects. The small local preference program is applied as follows:

  • 7% preference for "small" Santa Ana businesses is given respectively on all qualifying bids for materials, supplies, labor, equipment or services
  • 4% preference for "small" Orange County businesses is given respectively on all qualifying bids for materials, supplies, labor, equipment or services
My Quote/Bid has been accepted, what do I need to provide next?

To receive a purchase order, a contract, or an agreement from the City of Santa Ana, vendors are required to complete and provide:

  •  IRS W-9 Form
  •  IRS 587 form or 590 form (out of state vendors)
  •  Insurance (Necessary when providing delivery and setup of products, or are contracted for   installation and any purchase providing services on-site at a City property or facility).


Is insurance required to do business with the City?

Yes. Except for very small contracts, there are insurance requirements.  Each RFP/RFB/RFQ has specific insurance requirements, so make sure you take into account the related insurance costs before putting together a bid or proposal.  Please pay attention to the additionally insured requirements.  You do not need insurance to submit a bid or proposal, but once you are selected as a vendor, the insurance will be required for a contract with the City.

Why is insurance required to do business with the City?

Insurance requirements are established to protect the City from damages (bodily injury, property damage, and other potential losses) arising out of the contractor’s work on behalf of the City.

What type of insurance is required?

There are many different types of insurance policies; however, at minimum a contractor performing work on behalf of the state will need to have the following insurance coverages:

  • Commercial General Liability
  • Automobile Liability
  • Worker’s Compensation

In most cases, a contractor’s insurance policies will need additional language and/or endorsements, which could cause additional costs for a contractor.

What are minimum insurance requirements?

Insurance requirements are dependent on scope of services that the City wishes to receive, and is established by Risk Management.  The insurance limits are specified in each of the RFP/RFB/RFQ.

In general, the minimum insurance requirements are:

  • Primary & Non-Contributory Endorsement
  • Commercial General Liability: $1,000,000 per occurrence / $2,000,000 aggregate
  • Additional Insured Endorsement (Note: not required for workers’ compensation
  • Automobile Liability: $1,000,000 combined single limit per occurrence (Note: required only if auto is used in performance of work)
  • Workers Compensation: statutory limit of $1,000,000 per accident for bodily injury or disease (Note: required only if contractor has employees)

Note: minimum insurance requirements are based on the scope of work for each RFP/RFB/RFQ and the above minimum insurance requirements do not apply to all projects and/or purchases.

Questions may be directed to Risk Management at

Labor / Prevailing Wages

What is prevailing wages?

Prevailing wage typically refers to the rate of pay that contractors and vendors must offer their employees when doing business with a government agency. For example, contractors performing road construction, for instance, pay their workers a base level determined by California’s Department of Industrial Relations.

A prevailing wage requirement reduces the ability of vendors to “low ball” their proposed costs for government contracts to the detriment of their workers. One of the key components to the development of the modern prevailing wage was the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, a federal law which mandated that all laborers, contractors and subcontractors be paid a prevailing wage.

What is the prevailing wage rate?

The prevailing wage rate is the basic hourly rate paid on public works projects to a majority of workers engaged in a particular craft, classification or type of work within the locality and in the nearest labor market area.

How does the prevailing wage affect me?

California's prevailing wage laws ensure that the ability to get a public works contract is not based on paying lower wage rates than a competitor. All bidders are required to use the same wage rates when bidding on a public works project. California law requires that not less than the general prevailing rate of per diem wages be paid to all workers employed on a public works project.

What is a general prevailing wage determination?

When the director of the California Department of Industrial Relations determines that the general prevailing rate of per diem wages for a particular craft, classification, or type of worker is uniform throughout an area, the director issues a determination enumerated county by county, but covering the entire area. General determinations are issued twice a year on February 22 and August 22.

What is an issue date?

The date upon which copies of the determination of the director are deposited in the mail. Determinations are issued twice a year - Feb. 22 and Aug. 22.

Why is there an expiration date for each prevailing wage determination?

The expiration date indicates when the determination of the director of the California Department of Industrial Relations is subject to change.

What is the effective date of a prevailing wage determination?

The date upon which the determinations of the director of the California Department of Industrial Relations go into effect. This date is 10 days after the issue date of the determination.

Where may I find out more about Prevailing Wages?

Please visit the California Department of Industrial Relations website at:


Do vendors get charged to receive bid notifications or respond to bids?

No, access to agency Vendor Portals are always completely free. PlanetBids doesn’t charge for registration, access to bids, or even bid notification emails. However, some agencies themselves may charge for bid plans.

Does the PB System™ check a vendor’s classification or registration with the different certifying agencies?

The PB System™ provides tools for real-time verification of certifications and licenses.

How do I find bids and receive bid notifications?

There are two different ways that you can search and receive bid notifications from PlanetBids.

Free: Register directly with the Agency that you wish to do business with by visiting the Agency’s Vendor Portal. Based on the categories that you select during registration, you will automatically receive an email notification when a bid is issued.

Fee Based: Register with VendorLine. VendorLine is a service that will notify you of new bids based on Categories, Keywords, and States selected. On a nightly basis, the system will cross reference your notification criteria against the Project Title, Invitation Number, Categories, and Description and Scope of Services of every new bid issued by all Agencies using PlanetBids. If there is a match, you will receive a notification first thing in the morning. For more information on VendorLine, please go to

How does the PlanetBids Vendor Portal work?

PlanetBids is a web-enabled procurement and electronic bidding system, implemented by agencies to provide better service and convenience to their vendors. In order for the system to work effectively, you must register with the agency online. As a registered and approved vendor in the system, you will be automatically notified of Bid Alerts that match the categories you have entered in your vendor profile. You may, at any time, search for the latest contracting opportunities available, request and download documents, and bid electronically (if applicable) on all open requests up until bid closing. Best of all, this service is offered to vendors for free

How do I view an Agency's bid?

To view an Agency’s bid, go to the agency’s official website and find the link to their PlanetBids Vendor Portal. You may then register and/or select Bid Opportunities to view bids.

Do vendors need to register for each individual agency separately?

Yes, each agency manages their own vendor database and questions/requirements may differ for each agency. Vendors interested in doing business with multiple agencies can benefit from VendorLine. Please see for more information.

Do you have a list of all the Agencies that you do business with?

For a partial list of Agencies using the PlanetBids System, please select About Us in the navigation bar. A comprehensive list is available when you sign up for Vendorline. What is VendorLine? VendorLine is a service provided for vendors who wish to simplify the process of registering, updating profiles and finding opportunities across multiple agencies all in one place.

Do you need VendorLine to access bids?

VendorLine is a service offered by PlanetBids that simplifies the registration process and allows vendors to receive bid notifications from all PlanetBids Agencies without manually registering with each agency. However, you can register with an agency directly from their Vendor Portal at no cost.

Are you (PB) in the cloud?

Our applications are all available over the web and are on secure dedicated servers. We do not utilize shared servers managed by a cloud hosting provider.

Important Tips to ensure you bid includes necessary costs:
  • Review the insurance requirements in the solicitation.
  • Prior to bidding or providing a quote, contact your insurance provider to ensure your insurance policies satisfy insurance requirements.
  • Upon notice of an awarded contract, send contractual insurance and endorsement(s) requirements to your insurance provider to obtain proof of coverage.
  • Send certificate of insurance and policy endorsement(s) as directed by the City representative.
  • Delays or failure to comply with insurance contractual requirements may have significant negative consequences and will cause additional delays.
  • Significant delays in providing the necessary insurance documentation may result in the loss of the contract award altogether.
  • Failure to provide updated insurance documents throughout the term of the contract could delay payments and, in some cases mean a breach of contract.
  • Your labor costs should be based on the hours you determine at the wage rates you are required to pay.