If you have only ever attended an event with vendors, it’s easy to imagine that people are ‘just allowed’ to take up spaces and offer their goods or services as they please, especially at larger events where crowds make the organization system look less formulaic. While that was how shopping districts worked in ancient times, we now have stores, kiosks, and event coordinators. If you are looking to break into the world of vending, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes for you to learn about. The best place to start is with a new vendor form. Organizations and coordinators keep a database of regular vendors, and as a new addition, you will need to go through a few extra hoops before you can join those ranks. Don’t worry. We’ll explain everything.
What Is a New Vendor Form?
Event coordinators and organizations use a new vendor form to collect necessary information from vendors who are not yet registered and haven’t previously conducted business with the organization. It is a simple way to gather essential details about the vendor’s company, offerings, compliance, and references. The form facilitates new vendor evaluation and smoothes the onboarding process, ensuring they meet the organization’s requirements and qualify to establish a business relationship. This document often comes before or simultaneously with a vendor application form.
Why Is New Vendor Form Important?
New vendor forms are important for a number of good reasons. Here are some of the most critical:
- Vendor Screening and Due Diligence: It lets organizations screen and conduct due diligence on potential vendors by collecting essential details, references, and compliance information.
- Risk Mitigation: The form helps organizations mitigate risks associated with new vendor partnerships by gathering compliance and certification information. Organizers must ensure legal compliance, financial stability, insurance coverage, and adherence to industry-specific regulations.
- Supplier Diversity and Classification: The form may include vendor classification questions, allowing organizations to assess supplier diversity initiatives and ensure fair representation of diverse suppliers in their procurement processes.
- Product/Service Evaluation: Organizers use the form to gather details about the proposed products or services offered by the vendor, enabling evaluation and alignment with the organization’s needs and aesthetics.
- Reference Verification: Including reference contacts allows event coordinators to validate the vendor’s capabilities, performance, and reputation through direct feedback from previous clients or business partners.
Essential Elements of a New Vendor Form
The essential elements of a new vendor form function like an introduction by demonstrating who you are and what you do and establishing your credentials and reliability. Here’s what to expect from a professional New Vendor Form Template:
- Form Title: This establishes the document’s purpose for easy visual identification and recordkeeping.
- Vendor Information: The first section captures basic vendor details, such as company name, address, contact information, and a primary point of contact.
- Business Details: Here, the form collects information about the vendor’s business structure (e.g., corporation, LLC, sole proprietorship). It also requires the Federal Tax ID (EIN) and date of establishment and may inquire about details such as the number of employees, annual turnover, and a brief description of the vendor’s nature of business or industry.
- Vendor Classification: This category allows organizations to classify vendors based on relevant criteria. For example, keeping track of minority-owned, women-owned, or small businesses can help them support diversity and ensure equal opportunities.
- Proposed Products or Services: The next area has space for vendors to provide details about their products or services. Understanding key features and how they align with the organization’s needs or the event’s purpose is important.
- References: Vendors are typically required to provide a minimum number of references. These should be other businesses or clients who can vouch for their capabilities, quality of work, or past business relationships.
- Compliance & Certification Information: This section gathers compliance-related information. It includes questions about licenses, permits, certifications, insurance coverage, or any other regulatory requirements specific to the vendor’s industry.
- Declarations: The declarations confirm the accuracy of the provided information, compliance with laws and regulations, and agreement to the organization’s terms and conditions. New vendors sign and date below these statements to create a legal document out of their form.
- Submission Instructions: At the bottom, the new vendor form should have clear instructions on how and where to submit the completed form, including any required supporting documentation.
There are two primary ways that a new vendor form is different from a vendor application form:
Target Audience- A new vendor form is intended for vendors who have not previously conducted business with the organization and are registering for the first time. Meanwhile, a vendor application form is more broadly used to collect information from potential vendors who are interested in doing business with the organization.
Depth of Information- A new vendor form normally requires essential information to evaluate and onboard new vendors. It often requires details specific to compliance, proposed products or services, references, and vendor classification. A vendor application form, on the other hand, may have a broader scope, requiring information about the vendor’s history, capabilities, capacity, and financial stability.
The primary purpose of a new vendor form is to collect comprehensive and standardized information about potential vendors who have not conducted business with you. In short, it’s like a new vendor introduction.
Although not all organizations and event coordinators keep databases or require new vendor forms, every new vendor must fill one out upon request. It’s important to note that coordinators and organizations who ask for new vendor forms must do so consistently with every new applicant to avoid showing favoritism or violating any fairness or equality standards or laws.
After the new vendor form is submitted, the process is very similar to how an employee application would be processed. It varies based on who is handling it and their business’s relative size or organization. Here are a few of the most common steps:
Review: The organization reviews the submitted form to ensure all required fields are completed, and any necessary supporting documentation is provided.
Qualification: The recipient assesses the vendor’s qualifications, capabilities, experience, compliance, and how well they would fit in at the event.
Reference Checks: They contact the provided references to gather additional feedback and verify the vendor’s statements.
Evaluation: The form and accompanying documents may be evaluated by various departments like procurement, finance, legal, or vendor management teams.
Negotiation and Contracting: If the vendor meets the organization’s needs and requirements, they’ll be contacted to discuss vending opportunities.
Vendor Onboarding: Once an agreement is reached, the organization proceeds with the vendor onboarding process. This often involves setting up vendor accounts, additional documentation, and any necessary training and orientation.
New vendor forms are like an introduction and an employee letter of intent combined. They are a great way for existing organizations or event coordinators to learn about businesses and individuals who want to vend at their events or locations. Using this simple document, you can gain initial insight into what type of products or services are being presented, how established a business is, and other important details. New vendor forms are typically less in-depth than vendor application forms since they are a jumping-off point for establishing a professional connection rather than a full invitation to vend. We strongly recommend using our professionally designed, customizable, and versatile New Vendor Form Template to craft a high-quality new vendor form for your applicants.