Washington Resident Bidder Preference

Revised September 10, 2020

Title 39: Public Contracts and Indebtedness
Chapter 39.04: Public Works
Section 39.04.380: Preference for resident contractors.

(3) In any bidding process for public works in which a bid is received from a nonresident contractor from a state that provides a percentage bidding preference, a comparable percentage disadvantage must be applied to the bid of that nonresident contractor. This subsection does not apply until the department of enterprise services has adopted the rules and procedures for reciprocity under subsection (2) of this section, or has determined and announced that rules are not necessary for implementation.

(4) A nonresident contractor from a state that provides a percentage bid preference means a contractor that:

  • (a) Is from a state that provides a percentage bid preference to its resident contractors bidding on public works contracts; and
  • (b) At the time of bidding on a public works project, does not have a physical office located in Washington.

(5) The state of residence for a nonresident contractor is the state in which the contractor was incorporated or, if not a corporation, the state where the contractor's business entity was formed.

(6) This section does not apply to public works procured pursuant to RCW 39.04.155, 39.04.280, or any other procurement exempt from competitive bidding.

Title 39: Public Contracts and Indebtedness
Chapter 39.26: Procurement of goods and services
Section 39.26.260: Preferences—In-state procurement.

The legislature finds that in-state preference clauses used by other states in procuring goods and services have a discriminatory effect against Washington vendors with resulting harm to this state's revenues and the welfare of this state's citizens. Chapter 183, Laws of 1983 is intended to promote fairness in state government procurement by requiring that, when appropriate, Washington exercise reciprocity with those states having in-state preferences, and it shall be liberally construed to that effect.

Title 43: State Government – Executive
Chapter 43.19: Department of enterprise services.
Section 43.19.748: Public printing for state agencies and municipal corporations—Exceptions to in-state requirements.

All printing, binding, and stationery work done for any state agency, county, city, town, port district, or school district in this state shall be done within the state, and all proposals, requests, or invitations to submit bids, prices, or contracts thereon, and all contracts for such work, shall so stipulate: PROVIDED, That whenever it is established that any such work cannot be executed within the state, or that the lowest charge for which it can be procured within the state, exceeds the charge usually and customarily made to private individuals and corporations for work of similar character and quality, or that all bids for the work or any part thereof are excessive and not reasonably competitive, the officers of any such public corporation may have the work done outside the state.

Washington Administrative Code
Title 200: Department of Enterprise Services
Chapter 200-300: Contracting for goods and services
Section 200-300-075: In-state preference bids.

The department of enterprise services shall make available a list of each state, relating to state purchasing practices, whose statutes or regulations grant a preference to bidders located within that state or goods manufactured within that state. This list shall be updated on an annual basis. The department of enterprise services shall notify agencies when the list is updated. In determining whether to assess a percentage increase against a bidder, and the amount of that increase, the purchasing agency will consider only the business address from which the bid was submitted. The purchasing agency will add the appropriate percentage increase to each bid bearing the address from a state with in-state preference rather than subtracting a like amount from Washington state bidders. This action will be used only when evaluating bids for award. In no instance shall the increase be paid to a bidder whose bid is accepted.

This WAC section applies only to competitive solicitations in accordance with chapter 39.26 RCW.