What does RFP stand for?

Request for proposal

Ever heard of an RFP? It stands for “request for proposal.” Businesses or governments use it to invite suppliers or contractors to put forward a proposal for a project, complete with price quote. It’s a public call-out to all the qualified contractors to pitch their ideas.

But don’t confuse it with an RFQ (request for quote). While both ask for price information, an RFP goes a step further. It needs respondents to provide project specifics that meet the requirements mentioned in the RFP.

For instance, if you’re responding to an RFP, you might have to provide ROMs (rough order of magnitude) estimates along with your proposal. It’s more work, but it’s how businesses and governments make sure they’re getting the right fit for their project.

After the RFP deadline, the posting entity usually has a bunch of proposals to review. They pick out the most promising ones, and start a negotiation process to finalize the best fit for the project. So, that’s how an RFP works.

Example for using ‘RFP’ in a conversation

Hey, have you heard about this RFP thing?

Yeah, it stands for “Request for proposal.” It’s when a business or government asks suppliers or contractors to submit a price quote and proposal for a project.

Oh, got it! So, they post it publicly for anyone to submit a proposal?

Exactly! They want to give a fair chance to all qualified contractors. But responding to an RFP requires more work than an RFQ, as it has specific project requirements.