Notice of Commencement
Guide, Forms & FAQs

Learn about how a Notice of Commencement works in construction, when it's required, and how it affects rights & responsibilities on a project.

What is a Notice of Commencement?

A Notice of Commencement is a document that formally designates the beginning of a construction project. Depending on the state, it may be called a Notice of Project Commencement, Affidavit of Commencement, or Notice of Contract.

This notice specifically exists to provide information about the job to all subcontractors, suppliers, and vendors who will work on the project. Finding job information is a big challenge for subcontractors and suppliers in the construction industry. States that have a formal notice process like this make things a little easier on these parties.

Filing & recording requirements

Typically, the property owner or GC is responsible for filing or recording this notice.

Unlike other construction notices (such as the preliminary notice), the Notice of Commencement is:

  • Recorded: These notices are filed with the county recorder offices in the county where the construction project is located.
  • Filed by the General Contractor: The general contractor is frequently excused from sending a preliminary notice, but this notice is usually the general contractor’s duty.
  • Required by Law: When these notices are mentioned in a state’s lien law, they are usually required, and general contractors will sustain consequences if they are not recorded.

How the Notice of Commencement affects construction parties

When these commencement notices are required (and properly filed), they typically have some impact on the lien rights of subcontractors and suppliers on the affected jobs. Usually, the filed notice will create an additional layer of protection for general contractors and property owners by creating additional hurdles and limits to the lien process.

A properly filed notice of commencement can, for example, require sub-tier parties to send preliminary notices when otherwise they are not required. It can also shorten the period of time that subs & suppliers may file a mechanics lien.

Since this notice can impact a company’s right to file a mechanics lien, it’s important that subcontractors and suppliers know whether a NOC is filed or not, and know the information contained on any filed notices.  Since these notices are filed in county records and are not generally accessible, and are filed with different methods of indexing, this can be more difficult than it may seem.

States where Notice of Commencement is used

In some states, filing a NoC is required. In others, the notice is optional.

States where NoC is required

States where NoC is optional

About this page

This page is a reference for everything you need to know about Notices of Commencement. Whether you’re preparing & filing these notices, looking for them, or just trying to understand them better, this information will help you understand and master this document and process. And since these notices are so sensitive to the state’s rules, this page will also help you navigate the NOC requirements in each state.

For a longer discussion about this notice generally and how it works, refer to our Ultimate Guide to the Notice of Commencement.

Map of Notice of Commencement Requirements

Some states have strict requirements for notices of commencement, and other states have this type of mechanism mentioned in their laws with some impact. A majority of states’ lien laws don’t mention this document at all. You can rely on the color-coded map below to see which states have NOC rules and which don't.

NOC Requirements Private Jobs
  • NOC Requirements Private Jobs
  • NOC Requirements State Jobs

Frequently Asked Questions about NOCs

The rules and laws on Notices of Commencements can be confusing, but it's important to get the details right if you're in a state where these documents are required. Here are some helpful questions and answers that you may have.

Who needs to use a Notice of Commencement?

Typically, a Notice of Commencement is filed by the property owner or another top-of-chain party on a construction project such as the prime contractor.

This document affects the preliminary notice and mechanics lien requirements and deadlines for subcontractors, material suppliers, and other parties down the contracting chain.

Who needs to file a notice of commencement? The owner, the GC, or someone else?

There's always a question about who actually needs to do the work of getting the notice of commencement recorded. The laws can be a little unclear on this, too. This is further complicated because construction contracts sometimes put the obligation of filing these documents on someone (such as a general contractor), when the legal obligation actually rests with the property owner, etc.

The answer to this question will depend on the state where the project is located, as each state is slightly different. We explored the requirement in Florida, for example, in this question on our expert center.

Note that while the construction contract may say one thing, the safest thing to do is to just follow the law on this point. If you are not legally required to file the NOC, but the contract puts the obligation on you, you'll want to comply with your contract just to be safe.

Does a Notice of Commencement vary according to the project location?

Yes. Whether a commencement notice is required or contemplated varies from state-to-state and even depending on the project itself (i.e. commercial & residential jobs v. public jobs). Some states have strict requirements for these notices, and other states have this type of mechanism mentioned in their laws with some impact. A majority of states’ lien laws don’t mention the notice of commencement document at all.

Here are the states where the Notice of Commencement concept exists and is used:
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana (called Notice of Contract)
  • Nebraska
  • Ohio
  • Michigan
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas (where it's called an "Affidavit of Commencement")
  • Utah (only on state projects)
Specific filing requirements vary by state, but in most cases, the notice should be recorded with the county as well as posted at the project site.

Does a Notice of Commence vary according to the project type?

For the states that have this document as either a requirement or an option, it is almost always used in conjunction with private construction projects.

One exception is in Georgia where the state's notice of commencement requirement extends to state-owned projects. Another exception is in Utah, where the notice of commencement process exists only on public jobs.

This document is not ever applicable (not as an option nor as a requirement) for federally-owned construction projects.

In what circumstances is it normally used?

As the name suggests, this notice comes at the start of a new construction project. It is typically filed before or shortly after any labor or materials are furnished on a project.

What can go wrong?

As discussed above, the main effect of a NOC is that it shortens the timelines that potential lien claimants (typically, the subcontractors and suppliers) have to complete the required steps in the mechanic's lien process, especially with regard to sending a preliminary notice.

This is important because if a required preliminary notice is sent late, then the potential claimant's mechanics lien rights may be reduced or even extinguished.

For the parties (typically project owners or GCs) that work in states where a notice of commencement is required, missing out on filing it just means that they are depriving themselves of the extra protection that the notice of commencement affords. Thus, their exposure to mechanics lien risk would be increased.

Can I record a NOC if it's not required or optional in my project's state?

This is an interesting question, and there are a few different ways to answer it.

First things first -- if you record a notice of commencement where it's not required or likely won't have any effect at all. As such, there may not be any benefit for you in doing this, other than to create a little confusion.

However, it is possible that you can record this. Recorder offices are generally required to file anything presented to them for recording. If you created a commencement notice, formatted it according to their recording rules, and presented it to them, it would likely be recorded.

Where can I find the notice of commencement for a project?

The short answer to this question is that you can find any commencement notices at the recorder's office where NOCs are typically filed. These are public records, and you can access them directly.

However, it's not always that easy. Though recording offices are managing "public" records, these records are usually behind pay walls of some sort, and may even require you going down to the county office and pulling the record manually!!

Here are a few articles about finding NOCs in a few different states:

How does a Notice of Commencement affect subcontractors?

When a Notice of Commencement is filed, it can create additional requirements or set limitations for subcontractors and suppliers. In some states, they may be required to send preliminary notice to protect their lien rights. It can also affect lien priority, or shorten the deadline to file a mechanics lien.

Learn more about how the Notice of Commencement affects subcontractors in different states.

We're Always Here To Help You With Notices of Commencement

Ask an expert for free

Construction attorneys: Courtney Stricklen, Christopher Ng, Andrea Goldman, and Peter Ryan

Ask your notice questions to payment experts for free

Should a subcontractor execute a final wavier & release of lien on a private project it has yet to furnish?

The owner is in the process of terminating it’s current notice of commencement in order to file new one. Additionally, we as the sub have...

A Non-Licensed person representing as a Licensed Contractor

We terminated contract with GC's rep that is using GC license, due to terrible workmanship & found out that he has not paid subs for...

fee simple use

Good afternoon, I am filling out an NOC. There is a tenant which pays for repairs, we are changing out an air conditioning unit, do...

View more questions & answers

Learn More about NOCs - Video

Learn more about NOCs by watching this video explaining the document in easy to understand terms.

Free Notice of Commencement Forms

The first step to getting a NOC properly filed is to get the form template right.  Many counties provide NOC form templates, and generally speaking, these are very straight-forward documents.  All Levelset forms are created and curated by construction attorneys and payment experts, and provided to you for free.  If you want more than just a simple Fill-able PDF notice of commencement form, just use our easy step-by-step document tool to file your NOC in minutes online!

Nebraska Notice of Commencement Form

Nebraska Notice of Commencement Form

This free Nebraska Notice of Commencement form is used in the state of Nebraska to formally designate the beginning of the project. A Nebraska Notice...

Get Form Now

Florida Notice of Termination Form

Florida Notice of Termination Form

This free Florida Notice of Termination form, also referred to as a Notice of Termination of Notice of Commencement,  is used in the state of...

Get Form Now

Broward County Florida Notice of Commencement Form

Broward County Florida Notice of Commencement Form

Florida’s Notice of Commencement rules requires that the property owner have this notice form recorded and filed before the start of any Florida construction project that is...

Get Form Now

Louisiana Notice of Contract Form

Louisiana Notice of Contract Form

This free Louisiana Notice of Contract form is used in the state of Louisiana to formally designate the beginning of the project, which operates in...

Get Form Now

Florida Notice of Commencement Form

Florida Notice of Commencement Form

This free Florida Notice of Commencement form is used in the state of Florida to formally designate the beginning of the project. In Florida, projects...

Get Form Now

Georgia Notice of Commencement (Public Projects) Form

Georgia Notice of Commencement (Public Projects) Form

Prime Contractors on public works projects in Georgia must file a Notice of Commencement within 15 days of beginning work on a project.

Get Form Now

Learn More About Notices of Commencement with these Articles


How to Find the Notice of Commencement for a Florida Construction Project

In essence, a Florida Notice of Commencement is like a one-stop shop for just about all of the information you’d...

Read more


How Do You Find a Notice of Commencement in Georgia?

You already know the Georgia Notice of Commencement is a document filed with the county by the property owner, general...

Read more


How Do You Find a Notice of Commencement in Michigan?

Subcontractors working on Michigan construction jobs are required to file a Notice of Furnishing to the owner and prime contractor...

Read more


South Carolina Notice of Commencement – The Basics

A Notice of Commencement formally designates the beginning of a project. Its core function is to provide key information to...

Read more


Understanding the South Dakota Notice of Commencement

A South Dakota Notice of Commencement is helpful on a few fronts, but most importantly, the document promotes communication and...

Read more


Notice of Commencement Requirements in Florida and Georgia

First, What is a Notice of Commencement? A Notice of Commencement is a legal document available to property owners and...

Read more


What Is a Texas Affidavit of Commencement?

The same thing is true for a notice of commencement, which is a legal document that formally designates the beginning of...

Read more


What Is a Notice of Commencement? Your Guide with Form Downloads

Typically, the filing of a notice of commencement by the property owner or other top-of-chain party affects preliminary notice and...

Read more

Helping Thousands Like You