Office fo the State Comptroller
Thomas P. DiNapoli, State Comptroller
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New York State spends tens of billions of dollars annually on goods and services. State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli believes it is important for businesses to have a level playing field to compete for these opportunities. Last fiscal year, his office reviewed more than 38,000 contract transactions valued at $37 billion.

Presented below is a step-by-step process providing information on how to establish a business, understand the State’s procurement process and grow your business.


Step 1:      Form a Business

To form a business in New York State or to register a foreign entity to do business in New York State, visit the New York State Department of State.

Step 2:      Obtain Appropriate Licenses

Certain types of businesses are required to obtain licenses or permits to conduct business in New York State.  New York State's Online Permit Assistance and Licensing (OPAL) is a service provided by the Permit Assistance Unit of the New York State Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform. The New York State Department of State’s Division of Licensing Services is responsible for occupational licenses.

Step 3:      Find Business Opportunities

State agencies are required to notify the public about procurement opportunities. These notices are published in the New York State Contract Reporter, also known as The Procurement Opportunities Newsletter. This publication is a centralized place where businesses can find out about procurement opportunities with State agencies or public authorities valued at $15,000 or more. The Contract Reporter is available only by subscription. The notice of procurement will provide specific instructions on how to apply for a particular opportunity.

A number of New York State agencies and public authorities also post their bid opportunities on their websites.


Step 4:      Are You a Small, Minority- and/or Women-owned Business Owner?

New York State has a variety of programs to support the efforts of small businesses and certified minority- and/or women-owned businesses. For example, State agencies can, in some cases, award contracts to these types of businesses without a formal competitive bidding process.

In addition to watching the New York State Contract Reporter for opportunities, you can write to State agencies that may need the goods or services you provide, and ask that you be placed on their solicitation list for future opportunities. The Office of the State Comptroller publishes a Directory of Frequently Purchased Commodities and Services by New York State Agencies.

New York State’s Division of Minority- and/or Women-Owned Business Development (MWBD) helps the State’s minority and female business communities to access the services offered by Empire State Development (ESD) and provides information on accessing capital, becoming a certified MWBE, and more.

New York State Empire State Development provides information on starting and growing a small business in New York State, including information on developing your business plan, financing and marketing, licensing, seminars, and training. 

Step 5:      Become a Vendor

Bid on a procurement:  Once you locate a procurement opportunity that’s right for you and submit the required response to that opportunity, the State agency conducts a selection process. Be aware that New York State’s Procurement Lobbying Law imposes restrictions on communications during a procurement, and the penalty for a violation can be severe.

If you are awarded a contract:  If you are the selected vendor, you will be notified by the State agency and a formal agreement will be developed. If the formal agreement is over a certain dollar threshold (generally $50,000 or more), the contract requires approval by the New York State Attorney General and the Office of the State Comptroller before it becomes an effective contract.

Searching active contracts:  You can search active State contracts and download valuable information on particular State agencies, contract types or vendors. The ability to search for both already-awarded and in-progress contract awards is available to registered vendors at the New York State Vendor Responsibility System.

Vendor responsibility:  For most procurements, State agencies will require a vendor to complete a vendor responsibility questionnaire. The New York State Vendor Responsibility System allows business entities to enter and maintain their Vendor Responsibility Questionnaire information in a secure, centralized database. 

Procurement protest guidelines:  The Office of the State Comptroller reviews and approves contracts for all State agencies and a few public authorities. Businesses that have a dispute as to how a contract was awarded can challenge a contract awarded by a State agency with the Office of the State Comptroller

Receiving contract payments:  New York State vendors have an opportunity to receive contract payments through convenient, secure ACH, or e-payments. You can easily register for e-Payments or check on the status of an e-payment.


© New York State Office of the State Comptroller