Checklist for participating in national and European tenders

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, EZK
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, EZK

If you want to participate in a tender, you must first register on a tendering platform. Dutch government organisations publish their tenders on the tendering platform TenderNed. Below, you can read about how to participate in a tender.

What are the steps for participating in a tender?

There are 7 steps:

  1. Register your company on TenderNed and/or TED
  2. Search for suitable assignments
  3. Review the tender documents and assess the criteria
  4. Ask questions
  5. Register for the tender
  6. Wait to see if you win the contract
  7. Enter into a contract with the client

1. Register your company on TenderNed and/or TED

In the Netherlands, all government contract tenders are published on, much like an online advertisement. The TenderNed system is only available in Dutch, but the TenderNed website has several explanatory pages in English. Tenders from governments in other EU member states can be found on the platform TED (Tenders Electronic Daily).

Register with TenderNed

To participate in tenders from the Dutch government, you must register your company on TenderNed. You need eHerkenning for this. As soon as your company is registered, you can complete your company file. You can then invite employees of your organisation to the platform and participate in tenders.

Watch the video: How TenderNed works

2. Search for suitable assignments on TenderNed

Search for interesting tenders on TenderNed. See how to find suitable tenders and announcements (in Dutch). You can set up a profile with your interests (in Dutch). That way you receive interesting assignments in your message box on TenderNed. You can also have this forwarded to your email address.

Tendering also for small entrepreneurs

If an assignment is too big for you or your business alone, you can work together with other businesses. For example, by submitting a quote together.

Smaller contracts (below the European tendering threshold) may be tendered privately by a government organisation. This means that the government organisation invites one or more entrepreneurs and asks them to submit a tender.

3. Review the tender documents and assess the criteria

You can view tender documents via the tendering system used by the client.

The tender documents include:

The documents state who the ultimate client(s) will be. And what exactly the assignment entails.

In some procedures you can register in one round (public procedure). In other procedures, there is an extra round (restricted procedure). You register your company in the 1st round. The client then chooses who may participate in the 2nd round.

There are also specific tender procedures (in Dutch) that may only be used in European tenders. The government organisation must then explain why the standard tendering procedure is not appropriate for the contract. For example, because the contracting organisation wants to purchase a design or an innovative solution.

Does a tender procedure consist of 2 rounds? In that case, the client assesses all entrepreneurs who have applied. And then determines which entrepreneurs are allowed to register. The selection criteria describe how that choice is made.

The tender documents state what conditions you must meet in order to participate in the tender. For example, how to execute the assignment (performance conditions). Or conditions your registration must meet. There may also be requirements your business must meet (in Dutch). For example, you must show that you have experience with the same types of assignments. Or be insured against professional risks.

The award criteria (in Dutch) state which topics the client wishes to see reflected in your tender. As a standard, the client looks for the best price and quality. You elaborate the award criteria in your tender. In the award criteria, the client describes how price and quality will be assessed. Based on your answers, the client gives scores for each answer. This way they determine who wins (is awarded) the contract.

Sometimes a client only looks at the lowest price (in Dutch) or lowest costs (in Dutch). The client must then signal and explain (justify) this in the tender documents.

4. Ask questions

Is anything unclear in the tender documents? Then you can ask the client questions until a certain date. Check in the tender documents what the deadline is for your questions.

Notice of information

The client answers the questions in a 'notice of information'. This notice contains all the answers to questions asked by participants. All participants can see the questions and answers. This means everyone has the same information. And the procedure remains fair. You cannot see who submitted the questions.

You can also suggest adjustments to the assignment or procedure. Explain why you think the change is important. The client is free to accept or reject the proposal.

5. Register for the tender

First check whether you have to register via TenderNed for the tender you want to participate in. Sometimes clients use a different platform (in Dutch) for the registration process.

Will you register via TenderNed? Then follow the steps in the tender dashboard to register. Answer the questions about the requirements and criteria. And upload the requested documents. You must always complete a European Single Procurement Document (ESPD). That is a self-declaration about your financial situation and your ability. In this case, 'ability' means having the right knowledge, skills, and experience to complete the assignment.

When you submit the registration, your registration will be placed in a digital safe. The client can only view the registrations after the closing date. You can still improve your registration until the closing date.

6. Wait to see if you win the contract

After the closing date for submitting the tenders, the client chooses the company that receives the assignment. This is called awarding (gunning, in Dutch). The client must notify all participants of the award. This is done via a notification of the award decision.


Did you not win the tender? And do you disagree with the client's decision? You can ask questions or object during the objection period. The objection period starts when the notification of the award decision has been submitted:

  • In a European tender procedure, the objection period is (at least) 20 calendar days.
  • In a national procedure, the client is free to determine the duration of the objection period.

During the objection period, you can:

7. Enter into a contract with the client

Did you win the tender? Then you enter into an agreement with the government organisation and carry out the assignment. This is only allowed after the objection period.

Tips for bidding for a tender

Save time with these tips.

It may take a few days for your registration to be completed.

Start preparing your registration on time. This can be a lot of work.

Submit your digital registration well before the deadline. Should there be a technical failure, you will not miss the deadline.

Make sure your organisation has multiple accounts on TenderNed to submit a tender. This way, you can be sure that you can register, even if a colleague is on vacation.

Make sure that the documents are signed by the right people. Signatories must be authorised to sign and registered with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK.

Such as the maximum number of pages and the requested documents. If you do not meet a requirement, you cannot participate. Sometimes you may provide additional explanation afterwards, but it is not possible to change something after submitting your registration.

Only answer the questions and requirements the client asks for. The client will not take any other information into account when assessing a company.

Do not set any conditions (in Dutch) for your registration. Do you disagree with a certain requirement? Then ask questions about this during the notice of information.

Some supporting documents have a limited validity. Such as a Declaration of Conduct for Procurement or an extract from the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK. Before registering, check how long they remain valid and request new supporting documents if necessary.

This webpage is part of an EU quality network

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK