If you want to subcontract for a prime contractor, you may be asked to submit a proposal. Prime contractors usually have specific information they want to see. You'll likely receive a request for qualifications (RFQ) or request for proposal (RFP) explaining these requirements. Below you'll find an explanation of the information you might be required to include:


In addition to the basics -- your company's name, address, ownership status, length of time in business, DUNS number, tax identification number and the name of a principal contact – you should include your company's history, management strategy, and any qualifications that set it apart from other subcontractors. Also be sure to incorporate details about the company's relevant experience on similar jobs. The prime contractor may also want to know if your company is a minority- or woman-owned business or has been certified as a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE). You'll probably be asked to include information about licenses and industry certification, as well.

Statement of Work

The statement of work should accurately describe the products and services the prime contractor needs for you to provide. It may be a short letter or a detailed report. In the statement of work, describe the contributions you'll make to the project, along with deadlines for the start and completion of work. Also include particulars about design review, testing, training or any other necessary tasks.
The prime contractor will also want an assurance of accountability. Your statement of work should identify the person in charge of the project, whether inspections or facility tours are possible, reassurance that the job will be completed on time, and your plans for auditing the project as part of this accountability.

The Budget

Your budget explains how much the contract will cost and why. Explain all the job's components and direct costs, such as salaries, supplies, materials, insurance, and travel and legal fees. Also explain all the indirect costs of your overhead and infrastructure, such as rent, human resources, equipment, and management. Be prepared to clarify why certain costs are included. For example, the prime contractor may question the travel budget and have you break it down into the number of necessary business trips. Or you may need to justify an equipment purchase.

Obviously your proposal must include a great deal of information to present a compelling case to the prime contractor. Before you plunge into your proposal, find out everything the prime contractor wants to know. Then strive to provide it, and be willing to offer more information upon request. Above all, make sure to stress why your company is the best subcontractor for the job.