By NC PTAC Counselor Clark Fields
One emerging trend in state and local contracting has been a greater emphasis on providing preference to local bidders. In North Carolina, this has taken the form of Executive Order 50. Most contractors are familiar with its rule that allows North Carolina companies whose bids are within 5 percent or $10,000 to match an out-of-state low bidder. However, beyond this, many businesses are not familiar with additional provisions that make up this law.
NC Preference Does Not Apply to All Contracts.
North Carolina’s contracting preference only applies to the procurement of goods. Construction, service contracts, and IT contracts for computers or software are exempt from receiving consideration for North Carolina preference. In addition, some goods are exempt including the procurement of aggregates, plant-mix asphalt (bituminous concrete), and plant-mix wet concrete.
What does it mean to be a North Carolina Resident Firm?
In order to be eligible for North Carolina preference, a company must pay taxes in North Carolina and have its principal place of business located in North Carolina. Principal business location is determined by examining the Corporation Search feature of the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office located at www.secretary.state.nc.us/Corporations/CSearch.aspx .
How Does NC Preference Change the Bidding Process?
In order to participate, companies must complete a form included in the solicitation and request consideration per the Executive Order as a North Carolina firm. If participating North Carolina firms are within 5 percent or $10,000 of an out-of-state bidder, they will be provided the opportunity to match in the order of bid ranking.
For more information about Executive Order 50 please visit www.pandc.nc.gov/Documents/NC-Preference-FAQs.pdf