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If you have bid for government tenders, then you know that it is a long and arduous process of preparing a tender response that requires submitting a list of tender documents, quoting a suitable tender price, and filling in the specified forms for the eTender. Not to mention battling the staunch competition from other companies for winning the tender. Winning a tender bid depends on a convincing response to the tender and all documents attached in order. Documents required for government tender applications are used to check a company’s track record in the industry and whether or not the bidder is competent enough to carry out the project contract.


List of documents required for government tender

Government tenders ask for technical documents and financial documents to determine your eligibility to participate in the tender. These records indicate the company’s industry performance, to determine whether the business can complete the project on time and deliver the expected quality. Since these are a key point of evaluation, preparation of tender documents is a key step in the tender process.

Here is a list of tender documents that businesses are usually asked to submit:

  • Scanned copy of Tender Fee and Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) – though most tenders come with a tender fee, EMD is optional and in most cases, it is exempted for MSEs (micro and small enterprises) provided they can submit the MSME certificate
  • Scanned copy of Tender acceptance Letter
  • Copy of PAN card
  • Address proof of the business
  • Proof of turnover for the specified period
  • Scanned copy of Registration and Authorized Dealer/Registered Supplier Certificate, Partnership deed, if any
  • Scanned copy of GST returns for the specified period
  • Scanned copy of completed orders for a specified period (in case of projects that require machinery/equipment)
  • Scanned copy of proof of Original Equipment Manufacturer, if applicable
  • Detailed project plan/ response to tender specifying products, materials, and work required
  • Tender pricing document mentioning the tender price quote

These are the common documents that are requested in the invitation for a government tender. All these documents are supposed to be signed by an authorised signatory to prove their authenticity.

Carefully go through the tender invite to find out which documents are being requested. Make sure you have all these documents before preparing the response to the government tender. You can refer to some tender document examples to avoid confusion.

Documents required for tender application – Overview

All documents mentioned in the tender notice need to be attached along with your tender response. Tender documents vary with the project requirements. For example, a construction project tender will ask for a design plan while a railway department tender will ask for documents proving your production capacity. This is because, tender documents are requested as per the scope of the project. And the right documents will enable the tendering authority to take an informed decision on your business’s ability to complete the project by validating your credentials, references, and capabilities.

Usually, when you download the tender document PDF from the CPP portal or GeM portal or related government tender portals, all details regarding the list of documents required for tender application will be available. Some government departments even include a checklist for documents that have to be filled in and submitted along with your tender application. This checklist helps the department know whether all the documents requested have been submitted by the company.

Do note that an incomplete tender bid will be rejected. There might also be a sample tender document pdf that is published by certain departments to help you with the process further.

So, if you find a relevant government tender for your business, and you meet the tender application eligibility criteria, this article will help you to learn how to prepare tender response documents and take the process ahead.

Bid document vs Tender document vs Tender Notice

Before we take a look at the components of a tender document in detail, let’s understand the key differences between a tender document and bid document and a tender notice.

  • Tender Notice: This is the tender proposal announced by the government. When you view the tender notice invite on the CPP Portal, it comes with the key details of the tender (e.g., type of tender, category, contact details, payment details, requirements, etc.) and the downloadable PDF/excel/zip files for e-tendering.
  • Tender document: This usually refers to the PDF file that can be downloaded and contains end-to-end details and T&C related to the particular tender. It contains details on the scope of work, qualifications, special requirements, tender fee and EMD details, etc. This is however, not to be confused with the list of documents required for eTender. Note – In many cases, the tender response is also known as the tender response document or tender proposal document.
  • Bid document: Simply put, this refers to the Request for Proposal document or RFP, that is, a proposal when there is an idea/requirement but there’s no strategy or plan yet for execution. (Read more on the differences between RFP, RFT, RFQ and RFI in tendering).

Documents required for tender application on government e-Tendering portal

While we discuss the documents required for tendering, let’s also take a look at some of the documents required for government tender portal registration.

You can check for government tenders on GeM portal and Central Public Procurement (CPP) portal. Both these portals require you to sign up and register your business to get access to government tenders. The portals also ask for digital signature certification at the end of the registration process.

Here are some documents that are required to register on these procurement portals:

  • Udyog Adhaar or Company Registration or LLP Registration
  • PAN Card
  • Aadhaar card
  • Bank Account details
  • Address proof
  • Cancelled cheque copy

Note: The registration process for CPP portal and GeM portal registration is fairly simple and can be done online. You will also need an active email id and mobile number for all communications.

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How to prepare tender documents for submission?

All details related to the format and structure of documents to be submitted with the application will be provided. In many cases, there is a specific form or online format where bidders have to submit the tender application. Though there might be minor differences between tender application submission between portals, here’s a quick look at how to prepare the tender response document for submission.

  • Read the tender notice thoroughly to identify (a) if you are eligible (b) if you have the capabilities, qualifications and resources to complete the contract in time (c) if it will be a profitable option for your business
  • Create a list of documents required and check to ensure if you have all the documents requested in the specified format and file size
  • Check the format given for uploading the documents (for example: PDF, png, jpeg, xls)
  • Make a folder on your computer and paste all the required documents in the folder (Alternatively, on the CPPP you can also have the commonly asked for documents stored in the My Documents section)
  • Check whether all the documents pasted in the folder are in the prescribed format; if not convert them into the given format
  • Upload the documents on the tender portal

An important thing to keep in mind is that a tender application requires a quotation from your end, i.e., an estimated price or bid for the tender. In most cases, a BOQ (excel) is required to be submitted with the tender application documents for evaluation/consideration. Note – The BOQ file should not be modified.

Things to keep in mind while applying for government tenders

To win a government tender bid it is necessary to prepare a tender response that can beat the tenders bids of your competitors. You can either study the tender bidding process thoroughly and do it yourself or hire bid consultants who are experts at preparing bid proposals.

There are a few things to keep in mind before applying for government tenders:

  • Keep a check on new tender notifications from relevant cities, industries, work categories etc. to have time to filter the relevant ones, collate the requested list of tender documents, and prepare a compliant tender proposal
  • The tender form must be error free and therefore should be filled with great care
  • Download tender document and carefully study all the requirements posed
  • Perform a complete cost analysis of the project before quoting a price
  • If you are beginner at applying for tenders start with small projects