Michigan Bond Claim Guide and FAQs

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Michigan Bond Claim Overview

Michigan

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Michigan

Bond Claim Deadlines
Prime contractors cannot file a claim against their own payment bond.

Michigan

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
30 Days

If you did not contract with the prime contractor, must deliver a preliminary notice to the prime contractor within 30 days of first furnishing labor and/or materials to the project.

Send Your Notice

Michigan

Bond Claim Deadlines
90 Days

Claimants must send a bond claim with the public entity commissioning work within 90 days of last furnishing labor or materials to the project. On highway projects, claims must be sent to the department of transportation within 60 days of last furnishing labor and/or materials.

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Michigan

Enforcement Deadlines
1 Year

Enforcement lawsuit must be filed at least 90 days after the last date of furnishing labor and/or materials, but no later than within 1 year from last furnishing.

Michigan

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
30 Days

If you did not contract with the prime contractor, must deliver a preliminary notice to the prime contractor within 30 days of first furnishing labor and/or materials to the project.

Send Your Notice

Michigan

Bond Claim Deadlines
90 Days

Claimants must send a bond claim with the public entity commissioning work within 90 days of last furnishing labor or materials to the project. On highway projects, claims must be sent to the department of transportation within 60 days of last furnishing labor and/or materials.

File A Bond Claim Fast

Michigan

Enforcement Deadlines
1 Year

Enforcement lawsuit must be filed at least 90 days after the last date of furnishing labor and/or materials, but no later than within 1 year from last furnishing.

Michigan Bond Claim FAQs

Claim FAQs

What types of public projects are covered under Michigan’s public payment bond claim laws?

Michigan’s Little Miller Act applies to any public project for the construction, alteration, or repair of any public building or public work or improvement where the total contract price is $50,0000 or more.

Highway projects have slightly different requirements to successfully make a claim against a payment bond

Who is protected under Michigan’s payment bond claim laws?

The parties who can make a claim on a Michigan public payment bond are any party who furnished labor and/or materials to the prime contractor or a 1st-tier subcontractor. The term “labor and material” includes water, gas, power, light, heat, oil, gasoline, telephone service, or rental equipment.

This protection does include laborers but does not include suppliers to suppliers, and any parties below the third tier on the payment chain.

When is the deadline to make a payment bond claim in Michigan?

Any claimants who didn’t contract directly with the general contractor must make a claim against the payment bond no later than 90 days from the last date of furnishing labor and/or materials to the project.

On highway projects, any party who didn’t contract directly with the public entity (all subs and suppliers) must make a claim against the payment bond no later than 60 days after the claimant’s last date of furnishing labor and/or materials to the project.

• See: Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Michigan Bond Claim

What information must be included in a Michigan payment bond claim?

The only information required under MCL §129.207 to be included in a Michigan bond claim is the amount claimed (with substantial accuracy) and the name of the party to whom the material was furnished or supplied or for whom the labor was done or performed; however, we recommend providing as much project information as possible, such as:

• Claimant’s information

• Public entity’s information

• Prime contractor’s information

• Surety’s information

• Hiring party’s information

• Property description

• Description or labor and/or materials provided

• Total amount claimed (with substantial accuracy)

Download a free Michigan Bond Claim form here

Note: On a highway job, the claim must identify the project, identify the labor and/or materials furnished, and include a statement that the claimant intends to rely upon the bond. It is advisable to also include the amount of the claim and the party with whom the claimant contracted.

• What’s next? How to Get Paid: 4 Steps to Take After Making a Bond Claim

Who should receive a Michigan payment bond claim?

A Michigan payment bond claim must be sent to the prime contractor and the government entity who commissioned the project.

On highway projects, the bond claim must be sent in duplicate to the board of officers or agents contracting on behalf of the public entity; typically the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Note: Although not required, we recommend sending a copy of the claim to the surety who provided the bond as well to help speed up payment.

How must a Michigan payment bond claim be sent?

Bond claims should be sent by certified mail, postage prepaid, and addressed to the required recipient at any place they maintain business or residence, but any method may be used if the required parties actually receive the claim.

When is the deadline to initiate suit, or, how long is a Michigan bond claim effective?

An action to enforce a claim against a public payment bond in Michigan must be initiated at least 90 days after the claimant’s last date of furnishing labor and/or material to the project, but no later than 1 year from the date final payment was made to the prime contractor.

On highway projects, an action to enforce the claim must be initiated within 1 year of completion and acceptance of the project.

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Recent Questions & Answers About Michigan Claims

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Want to Learn More about How Michigan Contractors Pay?
EZ Erectors Incorporated
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Michigan Bond Claim Free Forms

Michigan Bond Claim Form - free from

Michigan Bond Claim Form

This is a Michigan Bond Claim form for use when a subcontractor or supplier is unpaid on a public project in Michigan and would like...

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Notice of Intent to Make Bond Claim Form - free from

Notice of Intent to Make Bond Claim Form

A Notice of Intent to Make Bond Claim is not a required document, but it can be a powerful one. By sending this notice, a...

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Michigan Bond Claim Statutes

Under Michigan’s Little Miller Act, almost every public project (i.e. funded by the state, local, or municipal government entity) the prime contractor is required to post a payment bond. If unpaid on a public works project, a party can make a claim against that payment bond. Michigan‘s Little Miller Act is codified under Mich. Comp. Laws. §129.201 et seq. and Mich. Comp. Laws §570.101 et seq, which are reproduced below. Updated as of April 2021.

Contractor's Bond for Public Buildings or Works

§ 129.201. Bonds of principal contractor on public building, work, or improvement; irrevocable letter of credit

Before any contract, exceeding $50,000.00 for the construction, alteration, or repair of any public building or public work or improvement of the state or a county, city, village, township, school district, public educational institution, other political subdivision, public authority, or public agency hereinafter referred to as the “governmental unit”, is awarded, the proposed contractor, hereinafter referred to as the “principal contractor”, shall furnish at his or her own cost to the governmental unit a performance bond and a payment bond which shall become binding upon the award of the contract to the principal contractor. However, if the principal contractor is a common carrier as defined in section 3 of Act No. 300 of the Public Acts of 1909, as amended, being section 462.3 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, or the designated operator of a state subsidized railroad, the principal contractor may provide an irrevocable letter of credit from a state or national bank or a state or federally chartered savings and loan association instead of the bonds. Neither the invitation for bids, nor any person acting, or purporting to act, on behalf of the governmental unit shall require that the bonds be furnished by a particular bank or surety company, or through a particular agent or broker, or through a bank, company, agent, or broker in any particular locality.

§ 129.202. Performance bond; amount; condition; purpose

The performance bond shall be in an amount fixed by the governmental unit but not less than 25% of the contract amount, conditioned upon the faithful performance of the contract in accordance with the plans, specifications and terms thereof. The bond shall be solely for the protection of the governmental unit awarding the contract.

§ 129.203. Payment bond; amount; purpose.

The payment bond shall be in an amount fixed by the governmental unit but not less than 25% of the contract amount solely for the protection of claimants, as defined in section 6, supplying labor or materials to the principal contractor or his subcontractors in the prosecution of the work provided for in the contract.

§ 129.204. Bond, surety, obligee.

A bond shall be executed by a surety company authorized to do business in this state. In the case of a contract of the state or a department, board, commission, institution or agency thereof the bonds shall be payable to the people of the state. In the case of all other contracts the bonds shall be payable to the governmental unit.

§ 129.205. Filing of bond.

The bonds shall be filed in the office of the governmental unit awarding the contract.

§ 129.206. Public works, contractor's bond; definitions

A “claimant” means a person having furnished labor, material, or both, used or reasonably required for use in the performance of the contract. “Labor and material” includes that part of water, gas, power, light, heat, oil, gasoline, telephone service or rental of equipment directly applicable to the contract.

§ 129.207. Enforcement of claims; notice of supplier to principal contractor or governmental unit; payment to subcontractor.

A claimant who has furnished labor or material in the prosecution of the work provided for in such contract in respect of which payment bond is furnished under the provisions of section 3, and who has not been paid in full therefor before the expiration of a period of 90 days after the day on which the last of the labor was done or performed by him or material was furnished or supplied by him for which claim is made, may sue on the payment bond for the amount, or the balance thereof, unpaid at the time of institution of the civil action, prosecute such action to final judgment for the sum justly due him and have execution thereon. A claimant not having a direct contractual relationship with the principal contractor shall not have a right of action upon the payment bond unless (a) he has within 30 days after furnishing the first of such material or performing the first of such labor, served on the principal contractor a written notice, which shall inform the principal of the nature of the materials being furnished or to be furnished, or labor being performed or to be performed and identifying the party contracting for such labor or materials and the site for the performance of such labor or the delivery of such materials, and (b) he has given written notice to the principal contractor and the governmental unit involved within 90 days from the date on which the claimant performed the last of the labor or furnished or supplied the last of the material for which the claim is made, stating with substantial accuracy the amount claimed and the name of the party to whom the material was furnished or supplied or for whom the labor was done or performed. Each notice shall be served by mailing the same by certified mail, postage prepaid, in an envelope addressed to the principal contractor, the governmental unit involved, at any place at which said parties maintain a business or residence. The principal contractor shall not be required to make payment to a subcontractor of sums due from the subcontractor to parties performing labor or furnishing materials or supplies, except upon the receipt of the written orders of such parties to pay to the subcontractor the sums due such parties.

§ 129.208. Copies of bonds and contracts; fees.

The agent in charge of the office of the governmental unit shall furnish to anyone making application therefor who submits an affidavit that he has supplied labor or materials for such work and payment therefor has not been made, or that he is being sued on any such bond, or that it is the surety thereon, a certified copy of the bond and the contract for which it was given, which copy shall be prima facie evidence of the contents, execution, and delivery of the original. An applicant shall pay such reasonable fees for such certified copies as the agent in charge of the office of the governmental unit fixes to cover the actual cost of preparation thereof.

§ 129.209. Venue; statute of limitations

An action instituted on the payment bond shall be brought only in the appropriate court in the political subdivision in which the contract was to be performed. No action shall be commenced after the expiration of 1 year from the date on which final payment was made to the principal contractor.

§ 129.210. Application of statute

This act shall not apply to any contract awarded pursuant to an invitation for bids issued on or before the effective date hereof, or to any person or bonds in respect to any such contract. The rights, duties, and obligations of parties arising under, or incidental to, bonds executed prior to the effective date of this act shall continue to be governed by the statutes heretofore applicable to such bonds.

§ 129.211. Repeal; restriction on other statute

Section 64 of Act No. 59 of the Public Acts of 1915, as amended, being section 247.464 of the Compiled Laws of 1948 is repealed. The provisions of Act No. 187 of the Public Acts of 1905, as amended, being sections 570.101 to 570.105 of the Compiled Laws of 1948, shall not apply to contracts for public buildings or other public works except construction and maintenance contracts of the state highway commissioner.

§ 129.212. Act inapplicable to contracts awarded under MCL 280.1 to 280.630

This act does not apply to a contract awarded under the drain code of 1956, Act No. 40 of the Public Acts of 1956, being sections 280.1 to 280.630 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

Public Buildings & Public Works; Bond of Contractor

§ 570.101. Building, repairing, or ornamenting public works; bond of contractor required; exceptions

When public buildings or other public works are about to be built, repaired, or ornamented under contract at the expense of the state, or of any county, city, village, township, or school district thereof, it shall be the duty of the board of officers or agents, contracting on behalf of the state, county, city, village, township, or school district, to require sufficient security by bond for the payment by the contractor of all subcontractors and for the payment for all labor performed and materials and certain supplies furnished and used in the erection, repairing, or ornamenting of the public buildings or works. However, if the contractor is a common carrier as defined in section 3 of Act No. 300 of the Public Acts of 1909, as amended, being section 462.3 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, or the designated operator of a state subsidized railroad, the contractor may provide an irrevocable letter of credit from a state or national bank or a state or federally chartered savings and loan association instead of the bond.

§ 570.102. Notice by subcontractor, materialman or laborer

In the case of a subcontractor, he shall within 60 days after furnishing the last material or supplies or performing the last work covered by his subcontract, serve a written notice in duplicate upon the board of officers or agents contracting on behalf of the state, county, city, village, township or school district as aforesaid, that he is a subcontractor for the doing of some part of such work, which he shall specify in his notice and that he relies upon the security of the bond by this act required to be given by the principal contractor, and the said board of officers or agents shall within 10 days thereafter furnish a copy of such notice to the sureties for the principal contractor: Provided, however, That if such notice is not furnished by the said board of officers or agents within the said 10 days such failure shall in no wise release or impair the obligation of said sureties, and whenever this shall have been done, the said subcontractor shall be entitled, subject to the rights of the persons with whom he has contracted for labor, materials or supplies to the benefit of the security given by the principal contractor, and to be subrogated to the liens of the persons who have performed labor or furnished materials or supplies for such building, repairs or ornamentation, whom he shall have actually paid, but the subcontractor and the persons who shall have performed labor or furnished materials or supplies to him shall not in the aggregate be entitled to receive larger sums that may be required from the principal contractor under his contract with the subcontractor, nor shall this act be construed to change in any way the contract which may have been made between the principal contractor and the subcontractor, except when such contract shall attempt to relieve the principal contractor as against the demands of those performing labor or furnishing materials or supplies to the subcontractor. All others, excepting those furnishing labor, relying upon the security given by the principal contractor, shall within 60 days after furnishing the last material or supplies, serve a written notice in duplicate upon the board of officers or agents contracting on behalf of the state, county, city, village, township, or school district as aforesaid, that such contractor or subcontractor is indebted to them in a specified amount or for the furnishing of certain specified materials or supplies on account of such contract, and the said board of officers or agents shall within 10 days thereafter furnish a copy of such notice to the sureties for the principal contractor: Provided, however, That if such notice is not furnished by the said board of officers or agents within the said 10 days such failure shall in no wise release or impair the obligations of said sureties.

§ 570.103. Bond of contractor on public works; execution, sureties, conditions.

Such bond shall be executed by such contractor to the people of the state of Michigan in such amount and with such sureties as shall be approved by the board of officers or agents acting on behalf of the state, county, city, village, township, or school district as aforesaid, and shall be conditioned for the payment by such contractor to any subcontractor or by any such contractor or subcontractor as the same may become due and payable of all indebtedness which may arise from said contractor to a subcontractor or party performing labor or furnishing materials or supplies or any subcontractor to any person, firm or corporation on account of any labor performed or materials or supplies furnished in the erection, repairing or ornamentation of such building, improvement or works: Provided, however, That the principal contractor shall not be required to make payment to a subcontractor of sums due from the subcontractor to parties performing labor or furnishing materials or supplies, except upon the receipt or the written orders of such parties to pay the sums due them to subcontractors. Such bond shall be deposited with and held by such board of officers or agents for the use of any party interested therein.

§ 570.104. Bond of contractor on public works; prosecution, recovery

Such bond may be prosecuted and a recovery had at any time within 1 year after the completion and acceptance of the project, by any person, firm or corporation to whom any money shall be due and payable on account of having performed any labor or furnished any materials or supplies in the erection, repairing or ornamentation of any such building or works, in the name of the people of this state for the use and benefit of such person, firm or corporation: Provided, however, That in the case of a suit for the benefit of the subcontractor, he shall be required to allege and prove that he has paid to all parties entitled thereto the full sums due to them for labor, materials or supplies contracted for by him: And provided further, That in no case brought under the provisions of this act shall the people of this state be liable for costs.

570.105 Bond of contractor on public works; definitions.

The words “materials” and “supplies” as used herein shall include coal, wood, form lumber, gasoline, kerosene and lubricating and fuel oils necessarily used in connection with or consumed in constructing, repairing and ornamenting public buildings and public works, and the term “labor” as used herein shall include the hauling other than by steam or electric railway to or away from the public buildings or other public works being built, repaired or ornamented, any refuse, materials or dirt accumulated or used in connection with or consumed in the construction, repairing or ornamentation of such public buildings or other public works.

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