Doing Business with Local Governments in Pennsylvania

Selling to and purchasing for local governments in Pennsylvania poses unique challenges because local government in Pennsylvania is very local. The Brookings Institution has calculated that Pennsylvania has 2,566 municipalities: 56 cities; 962 boroughs; 91 first class townships, and; 1,457 second class townships. This does not include Pennsylvania’s 501 school districts, 29 intermediate units or 67 counties. Each type of these political subdivisions is bound by specific procurement requirements. Although these laws generally require that all public contracts for non-professional services in excess of $10,000 be awarded through a bidding process, each can be subject to change and has its own wrinkles.

Although this purchasing regimen may seem daunting to both the buyers and sellers, the laws governing purchasing are similar and may be navigated by an experienced practitioner. Furthermore, Pennsylvania allows certain local governments to participate in purchasing collectives. However, both purchasers and sellers must be sure to strictly comply with the laws regarding collectives. For the vendors, obtaining prequalification from a collective is important, and for purchasers they must assure that they pass and comply with the required resolutions and that the collective from which they are purchasing complies with all aspects of the law.

If you would like more information about purchasing from these collectives or selling goods and services to Pennsylvania’s municipalities and other political subdivisions, please contact our West Chester office.

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