A South Carolina Notice of Commencement is both familiar and different. Just like other commencement notices, it formally designates the beginning of a project. Its core function is to provide key information to contractors, material suppliers, equipment lessors, and other hired parties working on a construction project. Sounds pretty informative, right? It is! But it’s a great tool for general contractors, too – making it a little unique. Plus, it’s completely optional.
South Carolina Notice of Commencement: How it Works
A Notice of Commencement is optional in South Carolina. When the notice is filed, it’s filed by the general contractor who is receiving some protection by filing the notice. Whether or not the notice is filed effects which parties subs and suppliers can file liens against – and for how much. When filed, sub-subcontractors and suppliers to subcontractors will only have rights equal to the amount that the general contractor owes to the subcontractor.
When and Where Should a S.C. Notice of Commencement be Filed?
In South Carolina, Notice of Commencement must be filed within 15 days of starting work on a project. It should be filed with the clerk of court or register of deeds for the county in which the project is located. It also should also be posted conspicuously on the job site. Because it’s posted on the job site, it should be easy to identify whether the GC filed one at all.
Filing a Notice of Commencement in South Carolina does not affect any notice requirements or deadlines. However, if the GC fails to file it on time, his payment to a subcontractor will not reduce the amount recoverable by a lower-tiered party. Having to pay twice is a scary proposition, so that’s a big plus.
A Notice of Commencement Allows Lower-Tiered Parties Help You, the GC
While a Notice of Commencement is good for the party filing it, it’s also a positive for down the chain parties. The information needed to accurately fill out a Notice of Furnishing is present in the Notice of Commencement. It makes everybody’s life a little bit easier.
While it is not mandatory, filing a South Carolina Notice of Commencement will better protect the rights of a general contractor and acts as an informative tool for other parties to the project. Plus, it sets the tone for a transparent, communicative project from day 1. That’s what we like to call a “win-win.”