A commercial contract lawyer will often prepare a request for tender. The important things that lawyers consider in a request for tender include process contracts and tender assessment criteria. If a business gets its request for tender documents wrong, it can lead to costly mistakes.
Whether you are tendering or seeking quotes, the wording of a request for tender is important. Commercial contract lawyers understand the importance of the tendering process. Because of this, many requests for tender will have very specific requirements and many terms and conditions.
A commercial contract lawyer’s guidance on a compliant tender
A request for tender is an invitation to make an offer to supply goods and/or services. Usually, a request for tender will have specific criteria that an offer must meet. If the offer does not meet those criteria, an offer may be non-compliant.
If a commercial contract lawyer has prepared the request for tender terms and conditions, they may have written what the consequences of a non-compliant offer are. And these consequences can be as serious as the offer not being considered at all. And if this happens, a business’s hard work in preparing the tender submission may go to waste.
An RFT may include the following contents:
- a description of what the client is seeking (scope of work/requirements)
- what criteria offers will be assessed against
- questions for tenderers to respond to
- a draft contract
- terms and conditions of the tender
Tender submissions can take a long time to prepare. For some businesses, it may be worthwhile consulting with a tender consultant. Further, tenderers are rarely compensated for the effort involved in preparing the tender.
Do I need a commercial contract lawyer to read the draft contract?
Requests for tender will typically include a draft contract. The draft contract will apply if the offer is accepted. However, this is generally subject to any contract deviations that a business has submitted with its tender.
There are risks associated with not having a commercial contract lawyer review and respond to a draft contract. And these include:
- being legally bound by contract terms that you cannot comply with
- being required to supply additional goods and/or services for no extra money
- causing friction in the client relationship if amendments are later requested
How will a contract be formed after the tender is submitted?
What happens once an offer is submitted is described in the request for submissions. For instance:
- a contract is formed once the client accepts an offer
- a contract is formed only once both parties sign the contract
- a contract is formed if the client orders goods and/or services
Process contracts are a common feature of tenders. Whether a process contract exists will depend upon the wording in the RFT. A process contract governs the bidding process and may create legally binding obligations on the parties. Those obligations may include:
- an obligation on the client to consider each tender fairly and not depart from the criteria
- an obligation on the tenderer to pre-agree to contract terms if the tender is successful
Many commercial contract solicitors understand that process contracts can create legal risk for both clients and tenderers.
How can Prosper Law’s business contract lawyers help?
Prosper Law is Australia’s online law firm. We provide legal advice to businesses and individuals across Australia. Our areas of legal practice include contracts, eCommerce, publishing, legal counsel and employment law.
If you need to talk to a commercial contracts lawyer, get in touch today.
Contact the team at Prosper Law today to discuss how we can provide you with contract legal advice for a fixed fee.
Farrah Motley | Director
M: 1300 003 077