A tender is an offer, usually in response to a published advertisement, for the supply of specified goods or the performance of specified work at prices and under conditions set out in the tender. Unlike other types of quotation, a tender may be an offer in the legal sense and therefore capable of acceptance by the person inviting it (as where it is made in response to an invitation to supply goods stated to be definitely required, but not otherwise); but it becomes a legally binding agreement only when it is accepted and up to that time the tender may be withdrawn.
It is usual for tenders to be made on the advertisers’ own forms, which include a specification where necessary and set out the terms in detail.
Sample of a public invitation to tender
THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF LANCASHIRE
Count hall 11, Preston. PR 1 2R L
Tenders are invited for the supply to the Council’s power station at Bamford, during the year 2010.., of approximately 2,000 tonnes of best quality furnace coke, delivered in quantities as required. Tenders must be submitted on the official form obtainable from County Hall to reach the Clerk of the Council not later than 12.00 noon on Friday, 30th June.
The Council do not bind themselves to accept the lowest, or any, of the tenders submitted.
Clerk to the Council