North Dakota (ND) has several preference laws that must be applied when evaluating bids and proposals. The term "preference" as it relates to government purchasing means giving types of vendors or products an advantage in consideration for award. For questions, contact State Procurement Office or 701.328.4912.

North Dakota In-State Preference

  • Reciprocal Preference. In 2023, the reciprocal preference law (N.D.C.C. § 44-08-01) was repealed. See 2023 Senate Bill 2042.
  • Tie Bids or Proposals Preference. N.D.C.C. § 54-44.4-05.1 requires in the event that two or more bids or proposals contain identical pricing or receive identical evaluation scores, preference must be given to a resident North Dakota bidder, seller, vendor, offeror, or contractor as defined in section 44-08-02.

North Dakota Product Specific Preference

  • American Flags.
    • N.D.C.C. § 44-08-22 requires that any ND state entity or political subdivision may not purchase a United States of America flag unless the flag is manufactured in the United States of America. Items that are not flags, but which portrays a likeness of a flag of the United States of America, such as food, clothing, lapel pins, a paper product or other non-flag items are excluded from this law.
    • All North Dakota citizens are encouraged to purchase United State flags made out of hemp and manufactured in North Dakota (2023 House Concurrent Resolution No. 3004).
  • Coal. When purchasing coal for heating purposes, the state and all of its institutions, all political subdivisions, and all public schools, must comply N.D.C.C. § 48-05-02.1 which describes how to apply preference for bidders supplying coal mined in North Dakota.
  • Direct Manufacturer Motor Vehicle Sales Prohibited. N.D.C.C. § 39-22-25 states that a manufacturer or franchiser may not offer to sell directly or sell indirectly, any new motor vehicle to a consumer in this state, except through a new motor vehicle dealer holding a franchise for the line make covering the new motor vehicle. This section does not apply to manufacturer or franchiser sales of new motor vehicles to the federal government, charitable organizations, or employees of the manufacturer or franchiser. Any person violating this section is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
  • Environmentally Preferable Products – Bio-based Products. N.D.C.C. § 54-44.4-07  encourages the Office of Management Budget (OMB), the institutions of higher education, state agencies and institutions to purchase environmentally preferable products. When practicable, bio-based products should be specified. OMB, in coordination with the State Board of Higher Education, shall develop guidelines for a bio-based procurement program.
  • Food. 2003 Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 4018  urges all publicly supported entities that purchase food to support North Dakota producers and processors by purchasing food products grown or produced and processed in North Dakota.
  • Paper, Recycled. N.D.C.C. § 54-44.4-08, when practicable, the Office of Management and Budget and any state agency or institution that has authority to purchase paper and paper products, should specify at least twenty-five percent recycled material.
  • Printing. N.D.C.C. § 46-02-15 requires that if practicable, all state, county, and other political subdivision public printing, binding, and blank book manufacturing, blanks and printed stationery must be awarded to a resident North Dakota bidder as defined in N.D.C.C. § 44-08-02. Also see N.D.A.C. § 4-12-16-01.

Soybean-based Ink. N.D.C.C. § 54-44.4-07(1a) requires that when practicable, specifications for purchasing newsprint printing services should specify the use of soybean-based ink. The North Dakota Soybean Council and the Agriculture Commissioner shall assist the Office of Management and Budget in locating suppliers of soybean-based inks and collecting data on the purchase of soybean-based inks.

Guidelines to North Dakota Purchasing Laws