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Registering as a vendor with Los Angeles County
A county vendor is a business or social enterprise that can be solicited and bid for county contracts. These contracts are an agreement for the provision of services or goods for an agreed upon price. In 2017, there were over 25,000 such contracts totaling more than $8.5 billion. These types of contracts can be a good way for Los Angeles social enterprises to grow their business and build their capacity. In order to be eligible to bid for these contracts, social enterprise must first be registered as a vendor with the county.
REDF is encouraging all social enterprises in Los Angeles County to register as vendors. Your social enterprise should register as a vendor with the county so that:
- LA County can contact you when a solicitation is relevant to your business. This is especially important for social enterprises that have smaller capacities since most county contracts below $10,000 are directly solicited.
- You are invited to exclusive networking events for vendors to talk with prospective department contractors and learn about upcoming contract opportunities.
- You can apply to be certified as a social enterprise with the county, which could increase your advantage in the bidding process for contracts.
Vendor Registration Process
Step 1 – Go to the LA County Vendor portal
You can access the Los Angeles County Vendor portal here. Click “new registration” to start your registration.
Step 2 – Enter vendor registration information
To start your registration you will need to provide basic information about your social enterprise so that the county can verify that it is located in Los Angeles and understands what your business is and how it operates.
Step 3 – Enter contact information
Entering accurate contact information is important because it is what purchasers will reference when contacting potential vendors. In most instances, purchasers will contact potential vendors via email, so it is particularly important that you provide them with a regularly checked email account. Additionally, ensure that the box below the email address line is checked, as that is verification that your social enterprise wants to be solicited for bids.
Step 4 – Choose vendor codes
Vendor codes are the indicators for what products or services you provide; they are the search terms by which contractors will find you. In this step, you will choose the vendor codes that reflect the services offered by your social enterprise. You do not have to know specific codes in advance and can search for codes based on keywords.
Department level purchasers find vendors by searching for vendor codes in the county directory. There is no penalty for vendors that are solicited but cannot provide the service or good requested, so it is a good practice to liberally select vendor codes. Social enterprises can modify vendor codes as they see fit at any point. If your social enterprise is not receiving solicitations for months at a time, it may be helpful to select more vendor codes in the vendor portal.
Now that you have registered as a vendor, you can now be solicited and bid for county contracts. Next, you’ll want to certify as a social enterprise so that you can receive preference while bidding for county contracts.