Tender for public sector contracts in Europe

How to tender for a public sector contract in Europe

If you are tendering for a contract abroad, it is important that you understand the market and the customer you are pitching to if you are going to be successful.

Researching your tender bid

Before you prepare and submit a tender bid, you should research the country you will be working in.

Once you know about the business environment in the country you wish to work in, you should check local and national legislation to see how it differs from that in the UK. This will help you identify any potential problems or costs you may encounter.

You should find out if the organisation that is procuring the services has any special requirements. It will also help your bid if you are able to speak to businesses that have worked with that customer before.

The European Commission provides the free European Single Procurement Document and e-Certis, to help suppliers identify the different certificates and documentation frequently requested in procurements, across the EU member states, and what these equate to in your home country.

Writing a tender application

When writing a tender, you should ensure that every detail is correct as you may be required to complete the work as submitted.

When writing a tender you should:

  • write clearly - do not include any ambiguous or vague terms
  • register your interest - ie explain why you are interested in the work and why your business is well suited to carry it out
  • indicate costs and timeframe clearly - be clear about what you will provide when and how much it will cost

If your research has indicated any country-specific requirements or special demands from the customer, you should show that you have understood these and are able to deliver on them.

Non-disclosure agreements in tender applications

If you include confidential information in your bid, you should consider using a non-disclosure agreement to protect your interests.


If you have any problems when tendering for work in another European Economic Area country, the UK SOLVIT centre can provide support and advice.