About Clerwood Business Legal Services Edinburgh

Recent Awareness Articles

Pre Trading

Domain Names
Published on 12-Aug-12 12:45
By Gavin Tosh

Getting Business

Collaborative Tendering: the Unsolicited Proposal
Published on 30-Jul-12 12:25
By Gavin Tosh

Managing Contracts

'Clairvoyant Correspondence'
Published on 27-Aug-12 13:25
By Gavin Tosh

Growing the business

Why have a Shareholder Agreement? Part 5
Published on 11-Jun-12 13:15
By Gavin Tosh

More Awareness articles

Contact us

Email address:
Phone number:


Home » Awareness » Getting Business » Collaborative Tendering: Part 1

Collaborative Tendering: Part 1

What is collaboration?

‘Collaboration’, ‘collaborator’......words with a certain negative connotation deriving from the Second World War. However collaboration appears to have gained a new acceptance more recently...

There are dozens of possible definitions of collaboration.  One is: “two or more parties working together to achieve a common goal which would be difficult to achieve individually.”

That definition applies very well to the context of tendering, where two or more parties collaborate to bid for a tender which either/any of them on their own would have less or indeed no chance of winning. This approach  is something very common with large corporates in certain sectors and in fact has long been a requirement for tenders relating to certain EU funded work packages on some programmes. But for smaller organisations collaborating to compete for tenders is still relatively rare. So the idea of this series of article is to provide an introduction to the idea of collaborating with others to win tenders, from the viewpoint particularly of the SME.

Forms of collaboration

The main forms of collaboration in the context of tendering for business are the following:-

  • JVC (Joint Venture Company) – a limited company incorporated to bid for and run a particular large project (like the Edinburgh trams)
  • Partnership – traditional partnership but formed specifically for a particular project
  • LLP – limited liability partnership, again formed specifically for a particular project


  • Contractual
  • Informal 

Unlike the first three, these don’t involve forming a separate legal entity with all the tax, cost and other implications. In practice collaborations start as being informal and become contractual at a later stage. The scenario explored in this series of articles envisages a mixture of the two.

Subsequent articles will look at:-

  • Why collaborate?
  • The Customer perspective
  • Developing a formal agreement
  • Key agreement provisions
  • Threats to the relationship
  • Strategy for success
  • Getting started

Nothing in this awareness article is intended as legal advice. If you have a specific legal requirement or query you should consult a solicitor directly.