Doing Business with the UW

Topics Covered

Getting Started

  1. Complete Registration - US based companies who wish to do business with the University of Washington are required to complete a Supplier Registration Form (SRF). (Estimated time to process – 2 business days)
  2. Verify Taxpayer ID Number – UW verifies Tax ID number with IRS. (Estimated time to process – 7 business days)
  3. Electronic payment enrollment - Supplier must complete the enrollment process for electronic payments. (Estimated time to process – 2-4 weeks)
  4. Enable ARIBA Network access – Supplier joins the ecommerce system to access all procurement transactions. Check with your department contact for applicability. (Estimated time to process – 1-3 weeks)

Foreign Supplier Registration

Unlike domestic businesses, foreign individuals and entities do not complete the UW Supplier Registration Form. 

Foreign individuals should refer to the UW Global Operations Support page regarding Foreign National Payments and Tax for more information.

For information regarding tax forms for foreign payees, and the taxability of payments to foreign vendors, see the Tax Office webpage Tax Forms for Foreign Payees.

For more information regarding foreign suppliers, visit our page detailing the various steps required.

Getting Paid

The University is committed to paying its suppliers in the fastest and most efficient fashion possible. Below are requirements to ensure compliance with state and federal guidelines:

  • New suppliers must complete the online UW Supplier Registration Form and enroll for electronic payments before an invoice can be paid.

  • Suppliers should bill separately for each UW Purchase Order. Invoices referencing multiple Purchase Orders are not accepted.
  • Suppliers should bill the UW only for items shipped or services already provided.
  • Suppliers should provide complete and accurate information. Using your company invoice, provide the following information:
    • UW-issued Blanket Purchase Order (BPO) or Purchase Order (PO) number
    • Shipping address
    • Remit-to address
    • Invoice number
    • Invoice date
    • UW customer contact (the person who placed the order)
    • Separate line item charges and brief description for each item as listed on the Purchase Order
    • Sales tax when applicable
    • Clearly marked invoice total

How a supplier submits an invoice to the University of Washington depends on the type of order:

  • Blanket Purchase Order (BPO) - Suppliers invoice across the ARIBA Network.
  • ARIBA Purchase Order - Suppliers follow the instructions that came with the PO.
  • Catalog Order for Supplier Enabled in ARIBA- the supplier sends the invoice over the ARIBA Network.

The University’s preferred method of payment is an electronic card payment program called ePayables. It is part of a campus-wide effort to reduce paper waste and decrease the amount of time to pay to our suppliers.

All new suppliers are required to enroll for the payment card during the onboarding process. All payments to suppliers will be remitted in accordance with the payment negotiated at the time of contract establishment or during supplier registration into the University system.

Payment Types to Foreign Suppliers

Payments by Check in U.S. Funds

Unless otherwise negotiated in the contract, payment will be made by check in U.S. funds. Payment by wire transfer should be negotiated at the time the contract is established.

Payments by Wire

Requests for payment by wire transfer are not honored unless prior arrangements were made at the time the contract or order was placed. Payment via wire transfer is also not necessarily the fastest payment method.


The UW is not tax exempt, so therefore tax must be included on all invoices unless the items ordered:

  • Are indicated as being purchased for resale;
  • Are indicated as being purchased for use in doctor prescribed treatment of medical patients;
  • Are indicated as being delivered (shipped) directly to an out-of-state address;
  • Or, are otherwise specifically exempted from sales tax by the Revised Code of Washington.

For more information, consult the tax website.

Tax Forms for Foreign Payees

Foreign suppliers are encouraged to provide the appropriate IRS tax form(s) to any requesting department prior to doing business with the University.

For information regarding tax forms for foreign payees, and the taxability of payments to foreign vendors, see the University of Washington Tax Office's page Tax Forms for Foreign Payees.

Supplier Diversity

In addition to ensuring that all aspects of the University’s relationships with suppliers are held to the highest ethical and professional standards, Procurement Services is also dedicated to insuring the equality of business opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses through the UW Business Diversity Program.

Supplier Orientation

We’re pleased to offer monthly orientations for new and existing suppliers to the University of Washington.  The orientations will provide a learning opportunity to assist in navigating potential business prospects at the University. Suppliers will receive information about the University’s purchasing and payment processes. Orientation sessions are held at various locations on the Seattle Campus. Each session is limited to 15 attendees and will include a short presentation and an opportunity to network with other suppliers, UW Procurement Services, UW Business Diversity, UW Foster School Consulting and Business Development and State Department of Enterprise Services (DES) Procurement staff.

Please register for a session convenient for you if this general overview seems to be a good fit for you. The registration includes a short survey that will provide us information about your business so we can address the potential business opportunities for your company.


February 16, 2017 (closed)

March  22, 2017 (closed)

April 2017 no orientation meet UW representatives at the Regional Contracting Forum 4-12-17

May 18, 2017 (register here)

June 21, 2017 (register here)

July 27, 2017 (register here)

August 16, 2017 (register here)

All orientations are scheduled 1:00pm - 2:30pm. Specific location details are included in the registration form.

Driving Directions: You can get personalized driving directions by using Google Maps or use this link for Directions & Parking

Corporate Social Responsibility

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