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Providing Goods and/or Services to the University

Read these guidelines to learn more about doing business with the University of California, San Diego.

Figure Out How Your Goods and/or Services will be Purchased By the University

There are two primary ways the University buys and pays for goods and/or services

1. Purchase Order:

  • Request a purchase order number before conducting business with the University
  • A valid purchase order number is an eight-character number beginning with the number 9
  • In order to issue a purchase order, your company must be registered in the University’s buying website, Marketplace
  • Information about the registration process:
    • The department you are working with issues the registration form to you
    • The form is completed online, it is secure and encrypted
    • The form requires tax identification information, include a Federal Tax ID/Social Security Number as appropriate
    • The form requests information about where to email a copy of the purchase order, where to mail checks, and if you are a small/diverse business

2. Express Card:

  • Sometimes using a purchase order to buy and pay for goods and/or services is not the best fit for the circumstance
  • An Express Card is a Purchasing Credit Card provided by the University to authorized employees
  • The University encourages departments to use their Express Cards for low-risk, infrequent, and low-dollar purchases
  • Some goods and services are restricted from being used on the Express Card – view a restricted list

3. Restricted Goods and/or Services

  • Some goods and/or services are restricted from both a purchase order and Express Card, such as:
    • Alcoholic beverages and/or bar services for a meeting or event
    • Catering
    • Gifts/Awards, including flowers for the purpose of a gift/award
    • Travel-related expenses
          View a complete list of restricted goods and services 

Note: The University of California, San Diego has a Receiving department located at 7835 Trade St., Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92121. Receiving is the primary delivery location for incoming packages to campus as required by UC San Diego policy. When addressing packages to campus please include the name of the individual receiving the package, the building name, and the room number. 

Bid & Contract Opportunities

The University of California system now executes system-wide, multi-campus, and campus-specific sourcing events through Supplier Registration and Sourcing (SRS) CalUSource. SRS CalUSource is a self-service portal to register and update supplier information and post sourcing opportunities.  Suppliers seeking to do business with the University of California and/or California State University system should self-register in SRS CalUSource. However, supplier registration does not guarantee any UC/CSU business.  Supplier registration may improve your chances to participate in bid opportunities. 

Insurance Requirements

The University of California’s policy requires that all suppliers doing business with the University carry insurance.

Certificates of Insurance: A Certificate of Insurance provides proof that a vendor, contractor, consultant, or facility user has purchased an insurance policy and that The Regents have certain rights under that policy.

The university requires insurance certificates to ensure the protection of its assets from exposure to losses created by the liability of those with whom it does business. The certificate verifies that the supplier meets the indemnification and insurance requirements in a contract or agreement.

Insurance certificates issued to the University should name "The Regents of the University of California" as an additional insured and include the required insurance limits as indicated in the contract or agreement.

Required levels of insurance vary with the type of goods or services supplied.

Standard minimum insurance requirements are:

 Commercial General Liability
 Each Occurrence 
 Products/Completed Operations Aggregate 
 Personal and Advertising Injury 
 General Aggregate


 Workers' Compensation as required by California State Law 

Workers' Compensation is required if a supplier has any employees. If a supplier does not have any employees then the supplier is exempt from this requirement.

 Business Auto Liability - specific cases only 
 Business Auto Liability is required when a vendor is operating a vehicle on university premises for purposes other than commuting.

 $1,000,000  (combined  single limit)

 Professional Liability - specific cases only
 Each Occurrence 
 Professional Liability policies are designed to cover errors and omissions and the failure to render professional services.  Therefore Professional Liability is appropriate for actuaries, architects, engineers, physicians, lawyers, environmental consultants, and other professionals.


Detailed information regarding UC insurance requirements can be found in the University of California Business and Finance Bulletins under BUS 63.

 When issuing a certificate pay careful attention to the policy expiration date. The buyer should ensure that:

  • The insurance does not expire before the end of the contract term. If it does the buyer will request a new certificate before the expiration date.
  • If the contract is extended, the buyer will ask that the certificate is current. In some cases, coverage must continue for three years beyond the termination of the contract.
The University retains certificates for at least 3 years after the conclusion of the business for which the certificate was obtained.

Options for Invoicing and Payment

  • If your goods/services were purchased with an Express Card, then you have received payment
    • Be sure to send a copy of the receipt to the specific employee who placed the order with you

Be aware of Possible Tax Implications

  • UC San Diego is subject to California sales tax, when applicable. Suppliers registered to do business in California should charge sales tax when it is due. Find out more about sales and use tax.
  • UC San Diego may be required to withhold federal or state income tax when services are provided. California nonresident withholding is required on all services totaling over $1,500 in a calendar year when the services are physically performed in California. Find out more about nonresident withholding.
  • Sales Tax: California is a seller-liability state when it comes to sales tax. A California retailer who does not collect the sales tax from the purchaser is simply electing not to reimburse itself for the sales tax. The obligation remains with the retailer and cannot be transferred to the purchaser in the event the sales tax remains unpaid to the state.

    Only the issuance of a resale certificate by the purchaser to the retailer will transfer the liability of the sales tax to the purchaser. The purchaser then becomes responsible for collecting the sales tax at the time of resale. If the purchaser subsequently decides to self-consume the item originally purchased for resale, the purchaser would be liable for use tax on the item.
  • Use Tax: If you are an out-of-state vendor who is not licensed to collect sales or use tax, the University will accrue the tax and directly pay the state. 
    Note: Any supplier doing business within the state, as defined by the California State Board of Equalization, is subject to audit by the Board on any of its transactions with California entities.

When sales or use tax applies

When  sales or use tax doesn't apply

  • Funds being used are within non-taxable guidelines of a contract or award
  • Goods or services are tax-exempt
  • Items purchased are for resale


  • Purchases of tangible personal property, such as photocopier machines or toner cartridges, are taxable.
  • Services, such as maintenance or repair, are generally not taxable. However, any consumables supplied in the course of making the service call are taxable.
  • In most cases, our purchases are not for exempt use or resale. You will need to make your tax determination based upon each purchase transaction.

Small Business Registration

In preparation of completing your application to do business with UC San Diego, please have the checklist of items completed as outlined in SBA's Register for Government Contracting resource. Suppliers are welcome to contact the Small Business Development Office to learn how to do business with us.

Additional prospects for increasing your business potential can be found through our Interest and Opportunities information.