Public tenders and contracts

Public authorities as customer

Every year, the public sector grants contracts worth hundreds of billions of euros to private companies. Public procurement is thus a significant economic factor. There is a demand for services, construction work, and goods from almost all economic sectors.

Supply contracts (Lieferaufträge) mean contracts relating to the procurement of goods, in particular purchase, lease, rental or tenancy agreements with or without the option to buy. Public works contracts (Bauaufträge) concern the execution or simultaneous planning and execution of construction projects. Service contracts (Dienstleistungsaufträge) refer to contracts relating to neither construction nor supplies.

The contracting authorities are municipalities and regional administrative organisations, federal state institutions, the German Federal Government (ministries, administrative bodies), social insurance providers, and other public sector organisations. In addition to these public institutions, procurement law also applies to certain private companies in the transport, drinking water, and energy sectors.

Rules and regulations for public procurement: Procurement law

Procurement law determines how the Federal Government, federal states, and regions must proceed when purchasing goods and services and awarding concessions. Depending on the state, the contracting authority, and the relevant procurement law, tenders have to be published in certain media. These notices (Bekanntmachungen) also inform you where you can find details relating to the respective tender, such as a description of the service to be provided, as well as application and contract conditions.

The City of Munich, like many contracting authorities, uses electronic procurement (E-Vergabe). This means that the entire procedure, from notification of tender and provision of relevant documents, to communication with bidders and applicants, and official submitting of bids, can all be done via a dedicated procurement platform.

Procurement law, like many other legal sectors, has its own special vocabulary which is not always easy for non-specialists to understand. For this reason, the Bundesverband Deutsche Startups e.V. (German Start-ups Association) has teamed up with a law firm to create a practical guide which explains the basics of procurement law to entrepreneurs. The Auftragsberatungszentrum Bayern e.V. advisory centre provides leaflets and guides on public procurement.

Finding work

How can companies find the relevant information on tenders? Notices of public tender are published in and on various media. There is no single, pre-determined national medium where all aspects relating to tenders are published. This is in contrast to EU-wide tenders, which must be published in TED (Tenders Electronic Daily).

City of Munich tenders

The city’s contracting authorities procure the goods and services that Munich’s various service providers and departments require. The majority of tenders are published on Munich’s own procurement platform and the entire process is digital. You can discover all the departments’ and city-owned companies’ current tenders at a glance on the platform. In addition to notices of tender you can access the relevant procurement documents there and manage and submit your bid.

Tenders in Bavaria

You can find tenders in Bavaria and from public contracting authorities in Bavaria on the Free State of Bavaria’s dedicated platform. In addition to notices of tender you can access the relevant procurement documents there and manage and submit your bid.

Other places to search

The “” platform lists all tenders of the Bavarian State Building Authority, Water Management Authority, and numerous Bavarian regions.

The “BayVeBe – Auftragsvergaben aus Bayern” portal lists notices subject to obligatory publication for national tenders from the Free State of Bavaria. These include notices about contracts, information about intended future procurement, as well as announcements about awarded contracts.

The Federal Government publishes tenders directly on its own website.

The Federal Procurement Office makes all German- and Europe-wide tenders available on its “e-Vergabe” platform. Accessing and managing procurement documents and submitting bids can all be done fully via this platform.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community (BMI), the Procurement Office of the BMI and the City of Bremen developed the platform “Datenservice Öffentlicher Einkauf”. It is the central portal for searching for notices of public contracting authorities from the Federal Government, the Länder and local authorities.

Find open calls for startups from public authorities looking for solutions to solve specific challenges at the KOINNOvationsplatz platform. This service is backed by the Competence Center for Innovative Procurement (KOINNO) and carried out by the Association for Supply Chain Mangement, Procurement and Logistics e.V. (BME).

The European Union publishes around 2,600 public tenders each day on its TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) platform.

Germany Trade & Invest – Gesellschaft für Außenwirtschaft und Standortmarketing mbH also publishes European and international tenders on its website.

The Auftragsberatungszentrum Bayern e.V. advisory centre has compiled a list of databases for international tenders.

There are also many semi-state or private database platforms on which to search, though some or all of their services may involve a fee.

How can I make myself known to public contracting authorities in Munich and Bavaria?

The practical possibilities range from entry in the database of bidders of the Auftragsberatungszentrum Bayern e.V. (ABZ) as well as various platforms, to using the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (IHK) database for prequalified companies.

Events and contests, including the City of Munich Innovation Challenge, give companies with innovative ideas and concepts the chance to engage with practical challenges facing the Munich public authorities and make contact with public contracting authorities. The Innovation Contest winners are also invited to work with the city administration on developing their submitted idea and putting it to the test.

In experimentation spaces for start-ups and local government bodies initial contact can be made, mental barriers and prejudices overcome, and new innovation potential discovered. In this spirit the City of Munich and UnternehmerTUM, Europe’s largest start-up centre, launched the Munich Urban Colab in the Creative Quarter in 2021. (Future) start-ups, established companies, scientific and academic minds, as well as creative talents all get together here alongside the city government and Munich citizens to jointly work on Smart City solutions. The aim is to use the vibrant Munich Urban Colab network to develop innovative approaches that help create a more environmentally and socially sustainable way of life. Key areas include mobility, IoT, energy and environmental technology, as well as health and medical technology. The city government authorities also contribute with their own challenges and projects. Examples include the InnovationLab and WerkSTADT (IT Department), the Munich City Lab and the Virtual Skills Lab – Care work (Department of Labor and Economic Development), the SWM/MVG Mobility Lab (run by Munich’s city utilities and transport companies), and the Digital Twin Munich (Municipal Services Department). Further projects are planned.

Where can I get advice?

The Auftragsberatungszentrum Bayern e.V. (ABZ) can answer your questions concerning public tenders relating to supplies and services. There is usually no charge. Staff there can give you professional information on procurement procedures, deadlines, and sources of information, regardless of whether your questions concern German or European commissions or tenders from the World Bank, United Nations, and other international organisations. The ABZ is funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, and the EU Commission.

The ABZ offers seminars with information on legislation, where to find tenders, and typical mistakes in the tender process, as well as new laws and developments on public markets.

Are you looking for a suitable cooperation partner in other European countries? The ABZ will publish your profile in the Enterprise Europe Network’s “Partnership Opportunities Database” (POD) and help you find business partners.