External Sales

A Business Process Managed by the Internal/External Sales Office

External Sales business process facilitates the review of, and gives approval for, all external sales related, activity, contracts and documents. University colleges and departments are encouraged to utilize academic expertise and institutional resources to generate additional sources of revenue from external customers in a commercial and competitive manner.

University colleges and departments are encouraged to utilize academic expertise and institutional resources on an ongoing basis that are unique, convenient, or are not readily available from external resources to other internal customers.

Is your activity an External Sale?

Does it meet the following criteria?

  • The funds are in exchange for services performed by the University and any tangible goods produced as a result of such services, use of laboratory equipment, or a license to use information on University maintained databases;
  • The transaction is not a Sponsored Project, Gift, or an excluded transaction; and
  • The transaction is consistent with the scope, guiding principles, and criteria set forth in Board of Regents Policy: Direct Sales of Goods and Services. (pdf)

Definitions of Gifts, Sponsored Projects and External Sales (pdf) appear in an appendix to the policy Selling Goods and Services to External Customers.

  • If additional clarification is needed regarding the classification of the activity, contact classification@umn.edu.
  • A transaction classification group with representatives from SPA, External Sales, and both University Foundations has been established to provide rapid input to faculty and administrators who are uncertain how to classify a given transaction. This group also has ready access to University counsel when needed.
  • To obtain input from this group, send a copy of the proposed statement of work, budget and performance dates, contact information for the person most knowledgeable about the proposed transaction, and any other background information the requestor feels is pertinent to: classification@umn.edu. A classification decision or a request to obtain clarifying information will be provided to the requestor within three working days.

Steps to Obtain Approval for External Sales

Step 1: Verify that the activity is an external sale. See criteria outlined above.

Step 2: Complete the Internal/External Sale Approval form and send to extsales@umn.edu for review. See Administrative Procedure: Obtaining Approval to Conduct External Sales Activity.

Step 3: Complete the Internal/External Business Proposal Outline and sent to extsales@umn.edu for review. See Administrative Procedure: Obtaining Approval to Conduct External Sales Activity.

Step 4: Complete a Rate Development Template and sent to extsales@umn.edu for review. See Administrative Procedure: Establishing External Sales Rates.

Step 5: After the External Sales Compliance Office has completed review, obtain administrative approvals.

Step 6: Establish an accounting structure. See Administrative Procedure: Establishing an External Sales Accounting Structure.

Step 7: Complete activity and invoice.

Print the External Sales checklist (pdf).

Policy and Procedure

Most Common Audit Findings and Recommendations

  • Ensuring contracts are in place where appropriate to support external sales.
  • Verifying sales tax collected and remitted are appropriate and accurate.
  • Establishing policy and methodology for pricing of goods and services sold.
  • Reporting external sales to External Sales Office.

External Sales Training (recommended)

The External Sales training modules are highly recommended for RRC managers, business managers, and anyone in the department involved with the external sales activity. Each module takes about 30 minutes. After completing each module, the training record of the individual will be updated to show course completion.

Resources, Forms, Job Aids, for External Sales



Risk Assessment

Take this risk assessment to assist in detemining where your risk level is.



Job Aids

Need to sell high-value equipment?

The ReUse Program will partner with you to sell high-value items to the public and profit share from the proceeds back to your department. The ReUse Program has established relationships with buyers and secondary markets and they are experts in finding homes for surplus or no longer needed materials. More information is available on the ReUse website.


Internal Sales
227 WBOB
1300 S 2nd St
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Fax: 612-626-3969
Email: extsales@umn.edu

Standard & Non-Standard Contracts
Russell Bakke

Internal/External Listserv

Request to join:
Email: extsales@umn.edu
List members receive announcements regarding upcoming Internal/External Sales events, communication on significant topics, ability to ask questions of other University staff involved in internal or external sales.

Internal/External Sales Advisory Board

About the advisory group (pdf)

Frequently asked question about the board (pdf)

Application to join the board (pdf form)