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Local Business Entity Certification

The City of Philadelphia’s Procurement Department allows for a 5% bid preference for certified local vendors. Here’s how it works:

  • As part of a bid evaluation to determine the lowest bidder, the City reduces local vendors’ bids by 5%.
  • If the local vendor receives the contract as a result of the 5% preference, the vendor will still receive the stated price on the vendor’s bid document.

To qualify for local preference in a bid submission, a bidder must be certified as a Local Business Entity. To become certified, you must:

  • Possess a valid Commercial Activity License
  • Have filed a Business Privilege Tax return in the past 12 months
  • Have continuously occupied an office within the City, where the company’s business is conducted, for the past eighteen months

Your business must also satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

  • More than half the business’s full-time employees work in the City at least 60% of the time
  • More than 50 of the business’s full-time employees work in the city at least 60% of the time
  • More than half of the business’s officers work in the City at least 60% of the time
  • The principal place of business is located in the City.

To apply for certification:

  1. Read the regulations
  2. Apply online
  3. Fill out the Local Business Entity Continuing Eligibility Affidavit

Once the application is completed and submitted, you will receive an e-mail with either a certification number or a request for additional information. You are not certified until you receive your number.