Skip to Content Skip to Content

Doing Business with the City

Purchasing’s guide to selling your products or services
The Purchasing Service Center provides the most cost effective method of procuring materials, products and services for the City of Memphis while adhering to the procurement laws of the State of Tennessee and the City Charter.

The City maintains an open door policy for all potential bidders and encourages the participation of minority and women businesses in the purchasing process.

What does the City of Memphis buy?
The City buys a variety of goods, miscellaneous services and construction; see Partial listing of goods purchased.

What is the potential in dollars?
The City spends millions of dollars each year for goods, miscellaneous services, and construction.

How does the Purchasing Service Center operate?
City procurement is prescribed by both the City Charter and City Codes, which require that awards be made on the basis of the lowest and best bid. Purchases are made as follows:

  • 0 to $5,000 discretion of division.
  • $5,000 to $50,000 by telephone and written bids mailed to firms listed on the city’s bidders list.
  • $50,000 and up by written bids after advertisement in the Daily News which is published and available in Memphis. CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS generally require a minimum of a $25 deposit for plans and specifications, which are available from building Design & Construction, room 558, City Hall, or from the Architect responsible for the project.

How does one become a bidder?
Refer to Supplier Registration for details.

What is my obligation once I am on the bidders list?
Bidders must remain active, returning bid requests, notifying the Purchasing Service Center of an address change, and advising us of any changes in the products offered. Three consecutives failures to return bid requests may result in your removal from the list.

How do I appeal bid decisions?
If a bidder wishes to object to the city’s bid award recommendation, he may request a formal hearing. This request is to be made in writing and delivered to the City Purchasing Agent within five calendar days (excluding city holidays) after the recommendation is publicly announced.

Do I need a City business license?
Generally speaking, any business located inside the city of Memphis must have a minimum Business Tax License. This License number must be recorded by the Purchasing Service Center before the issuance of any purchase order or contract. This applies ONLY to those businesses located inside the Memphis corporate limits. Please contact the Shelby County Clerk’s Office, (901) 222-3059 for complete details.

Opportunities for buying surplus property from the City of Memphis:
The City Purchasing Service Center has the responsibility of disposing of all surplus personal property, abandoned, stolen and recovered property. These sales are conducted either by auctions or by sealed bids. Click to Search for and/or bid on Surplus Items.

Approximately 150 unclaimed vehicles are auctioned at noon each Tuesday, at 465 Klinke Avenue. Surplus office equipment and unclaimed miscellaneous items are also sold at these auctions. Brochures listing the items to be sold each week, are available in the office of the Purchasing Agent, City Hall, Room 354, 125 North Main Street, and at the Vehicle Storage Lot, 465 Klinke Avenue.

Occasionally, surplus property is sold by sealed bids. Notice of these sales is mailed to those listed on the appropriate bidders list.

For Additional information regarding City of Memphis Procurement, please contact the City Purchasing Agent at (901) 636-6683.