Do you know the difference between an IFB, RFP and RFQ? Each is a type of government solicitation, but they differ significantly in what's requested and required of you:

Invitation for Bid (IFB)

This competitive method of awarding government contracts is used for procurements of more than $100,000 in value. The agency knows exactly what and how many of everything it needs in the contract, as well as when and how the products and services are to be delivered. The award is generally based on price.

Writing a government proposal for an IFB seems simple enough — all you have to do is fill out the government bid-package forms. However, you must be extremely careful when completing these documents. The government will be reviewing the package closely, as if you've put it together yourself and they’ve never seen the documents before.

Next Steps - View Our Article: Invitations for Bid: The Basics of IFB Submissions

Request for Proposal (RFP)

This approach to contracting occurs when the agency isn't certain about what it wants and is looking to you to develop a solution and cost estimate. So in addition to the standard forms that the government provides, you'll have to submit your own proposal with the necessary management plans, drawings, personnel information, and any other documents that will demonstrate your business' capabilities to complete the contract. This type of procurement can be either competitive or non-competitive. Because government proposals can be costly and time-intensive to put together, make sure you thoroughly consider whether responding to the RFP makes sense for your company.

Next Steps - View Our Webinar: Smarter ways to respond to bids and RFPs

Request for Quote (RFQ)

This type of solicitation is often used to determine current market pricing. The quote you submit is not a binding offer and can't be accepted by the government. A Standard Form 26, which requires the signatures of both the contractor and the contracting officer, would be required to make the offer binding.

Next Steps - View Our Article: Master the Art of Pricing for Government Agencies