How to sell to UW-Madison

Resources for businesses who wish to sell their products or services to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

UW-Madison does not keep a vendor list or an “approved vendor list”.  There are only on-contract, or not-on-contract vendors. 

We recommend following these steps to become aware of procurement opportunities available in your commodity areas. For invoicing or payment questions, refer to Making Payments.

Steps to take

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Be aware of all statewide contracts in your market sector

A list of all statewide contracts is available on the State of Wisconsin Procurement Contracts site, also known as VendorNet.

Register with the state VendorNet program

This will allow you to receive automatic notice of any new procurement efforts.

Register on VendorNet

  • When registering you must know the various NIGP commodity codes that are applicable to the items your company can provide.
  • When a bid is posted for that commodity code you’ll get an automatic e-mail alert that the bid has been posted and you can then bid on the item/contract.

Review the Wisconsin Public Notice website

The state maintains a  Public Notice website which lists available bid opportunities. This service provides links to Vendornet bid announcements.

Know UW-Madison purchasing procedure

  • Purchases under $5,000 are typically placed by people from the various campus departments as a best judgment transaction (not visible on Vendornet).
  • Purchases of $5,000 – $50,000 require three quotes (not visible on Vendornet)
  • Purchases of $50,000 and more require official sealed bidding (which you would see and receive notice of via being registered for Vendornet).

Consider becoming a Wisconsin certified Minority Business Enterprise

  1. If you qualify, consider becoming a Wisconsin certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE). There is a goal that all state agencies spend 5% of their purchases with certified MBE firms.

Pursue Small Business Administration registration

For national exposure to other state or federal agency buyers, firms that qualify can pursue Small Business Administration (SBA) registration. This is increasingly more important for the University as we receive certain federal funds that come with requirements that we spend dollars with certain small businesses (SB, SDB, WOSB, VOSB, SDVOSB, HUB Zone).

Construction or remodeling

If your business focuses on construction or remodeling we recommend that you also monitor the WisBuild website for bid postings related to large construction projects in the state. Depending on the project type and the overall cost, many university building projects are managed entirely by the Dept of State Facilities (DSF).

Please be aware that bid solicitations for these projects will not be visible on Vendornet, but rather are only posted on WisBuild.

Scams, Phishing and Fraudulent Purchase Orders

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Previous activity

Fradulent email phishing scams have been reported involving purchase orders and request for product quotations that claim to originate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While the university cannot prevent this illegal activity, we are actively working with law enforcement to investigate these fraudulent email contacts.

Learning the common traits or themes of phishing emails that may help reduce risk to your company in becoming a financial victim of this scam.

How to report

To report phishing emails that appear to be from within the UW-Madison campus, forward the email to or report the incident to the UW-Madison Office of Cybersecurity. You can also submit offending email using the report spam feature within the web or desktop email client.

If you are ever unsure whether an email message is legitimate, DO NOT RESPOND to it! Instead, contact the DoIT Help Desk (608) 264-HELP (4357) and ask for advice.

Purchasing Services and the University of Wisconsin-Madison value our partnership with you and appreciate the very important role you play in providing goods and services to our faculty, students and staff in support of their academic, research, and patient care endeavors. Please know that we are assisting to the fullest extent we are able with the investigation of this illegal activity by reporting all fraudulent emails to appropriate authorities.


Purchasing Services
Suite 6101, 21 North Park Street
Madison, WI 53715