Can the county restrict its bids to local businesses?
Generally, no. The Attorney General has opined that a requirement that a bidder be located within the county would be an illegal restriction on competition. However, the Attorney General also conceded that circumstances may exist where the proximity of the bidders determines who the lowest responsible bidder is. See Tex. Atty. Gen. Op. No. H-1086 (1977). For more information, see our Basics of the County Purchasing Act and Competitive Bidding handbook.