Georgia Notice of Commencement
FAQs & Guide

Ready? File your Georgia
NOC Today with Levelset

File Your Notice Now

Georgia Notice of Commencement Overview

Georgia

Notice of Commencement Requirement
Yes, Must File
Notices of Commencement are required in Georgia. The law in Georgia requires that this notice get filed by either the owner, the owner's agent, or the general contractor. They are very frequently handled by the GC. Since the GC is contractually obligated to the owner to keep the property free and clear of liens, it's a good idea for the GC to handle this task to make sure it is done.

Georgia

Notice of Commencement Deadline
15Days
Property owners must get the Notice of Commencement filed with County public records not later than 15 days after the general contractor physically starts work on the property. The sooner the better!

Georgia

Notice of Commencement Requirement
None, But...
Georgia's Notice of Commencement rules do not specifically discuss lenders and lenders do not have any requirements to file a NOC. However, since NOCs help owners avoid mechanic lien claims and double-payment risk, it is extremely beneficial to construction lenders to verify and help owners get this requirement met.

Georgia

Notice of Commencement Deadline
Not Applicable
Georgia's Notice of Commencement rules do not specifically discuss lenders and lenders do not have any requirements to file a NOC. However, since NOCs help owners avoid mechanic lien claims and double-payment risk, it is extremely beneficial to construction lenders to verify and help owners get this requirement met.

Georgia

Notice of Commencement Requirement
No
Subcontractors & suppliers do not have any obligations to file a Notice of Commencement. However, if a NOC is filed, they are required to deliver a separate notice (the Georgia Notice to Contractor).

Georgia

Notice of Commencement Deadline
Not Applicable
N/A

Georgia requires that a Notice of Commencement (NOC) get filed on all construction projects in the state. This notice can be filed by either the property owner, the owner’s agent or the general contractor. It’s a simple document to get completed and filed. It’s also important because it confers great benefits to all job stakeholders, especially property owners, who need the NOC filed to control their mechanics lien risk and avoid paying twice for work & materials!

Generally speaking, a Notice of Commencement is a form publicly filed in county records to signify that a construction project has begun. The form contains information that identifies the property, the work, the parties involved, and the scope of the project.

The Georgia Notice of Commencement has specific legal consequences.

When a Georgia NOC is filed, subcontractors and suppliers must deliver a “Notice to Contractor” when they start on the job. This gives property owners and general contractors notice that these parties are working the job, and therefore, makes it easier to track payments to them and collect lien waivers from them.  If the notice to contractor (a/k/a “NTC” or “Notice to Owner” or “preliminary notice”) is not sent, then the party is without lien rights!

However, when a Georgia NOC is not recorded, all subcontractors and suppliers to the job automatically have lien rights, and they are not required to deliver any preliminary notices.

In Georgia, the Notice of Commencement Form is fairly simple. In fact, most counties will provide you with the form you need. Or, of course, you can make the NOC process really easy by just filing the document online.

This page provides frequently asked questions, forms, and other helpful information about Georgia’s Notice of Commencement. Depending on your role, you may need deeper and more specific help with NOCs.  For that:

Video: What is a Georgia Notice of Commencement?

Watch this short video to learn the important Notice of Commencement requirements in Georgia.

Georgia Notice of Commencement FAQs

Georgia's mechanics lien laws create an extremely powerful remedy for contractors and suppliers who go unpaid for their work and materials. The Notice of Commencement process in Georgia is a major part of the lien process. On the one hand, it provides a process for owners and general contractors to protect the project against surprise lien risks and the risk of double payment. On the other hand, the NOC process dictates to subcontractors and suppliers what they will need to do to protect their lien and payment rights on the job. These commencement notice rules and processes, however, can be complicated, and you may have questions. Here are some common questions and answers.

For Property Owners, General Contractors, & Lenders

Is a Notice of Commencement required In Georgia?

Yes.  Georgia requires that property owners or the owner’s agent or the general contractor records a notice of commencement on all construction jobs in the state.  If the Georgia notice of commencement is not timely recorded and properly completed, the owner and property will be exposed to the risk of surprise mechanic liens.

It’s also important to note that in addition to the filing of the notice of commencement, the property owner/contractor is also required to post a copy of the NOC on the job site itself.

Who files a Notice of Commencement?

Georgia requires that the notice of commencement get filed by the property owner, the owner’s agent, or the general contractor.  The law does not get picky about which party must actually file it.

The owner, contractor, and any of their agents should coordinate and be clear about who will actually get this document recorded, and who will verify that the document gets displayed at the job site. Complying with the NOC requirement is extremely important to both the owner and the contractor, and so it would be unfortunate to slip up on meeting this requirement because each party thought the other was going to handle it.

When must the Notice of Commencement be filed?

Georgia Notices of Commencement must be filed “Not later than 15 days after the contractor physically commences work on the property.”

There is nothing in the law suggesting that a NOC can be filed too early, and therefore, once you know that the job is going to start and all of the required NOC information, it’s a good idea to get this notice recorded sooner than later.

It’s very, very important that the notice of commencement for Georgia projects get filed on time. NOCs that are filed late are invalid and do not have the desired legal effects!

 

Where & how is the Notice of Commencement filed?

The Georgia statute has this to say about where the Georgia notice of commencement must be filed:  “…shall be filed…with the clerk of the superior court in the county in which the project is located. A copy of the Notice of Commencement shall be posted on the project site”

This is requiring 2 different steps to get the notice of commencement properly filed.

1. Getting it Filed

Actually delivering it to the clerk of the superior court office in the county where the construction project is located. The actual office may change from county-to-county, and so you’ll need to investigate this. Generally speaking, this information is easy to find. You can also file your Georgia Notice of Commencement electronically here.

2.  Getting it Posted

The second part of the requirement is that property owners & contractors must make sure that the notice of commencement document is displayed at the project job site.

Failing at either one of these requirements is a NOC failure and can have negative legal implications.

What information is required to be included on a Georgia Notice of Commencement?

A Georgia notice of commencement must include the following information:

  1. The name, address, and telephone number of the contractor;
  2. The name and location of the project being constructed and the legal description of the property upon which the improvements are being made;
  3. The name and address of the true owner of the property;
  4. The name and address of the person other than the owner at whose instance the improvements are being made, if not the true owner of the property;
  5. The name and the address of the surety for the performance and payment bonds, if any; &,
  6. The name and address of the construction lender, if any.

Further, Georgia courts have specifically held that certain information is essential (include the identity of the true property owner, the legal description of the property, and the name and contact information of the construction lender). If any of that information is missing, the notice is ineffective and no participants are required to send a preliminary notice prior to claiming a lien.

Can the property owner appoint a designee within the NOC?

Some states have a concept known as an “owner designee” which allows the property owner to appoint some third party as their agent to receive notices and otherwise help manage the construction payment process. Generally speaking, this concept does not exist in Georgia. The NOC form requirements do not have any specific area where the owner can appoint any such agent.

However, the owner may be able to optimize the process of receiving notices through the Notice of Commencement.  The Cobb Law Group in Georgia has a great tip about this in their “3 Big Tips for Using A Georgia Notice of Commencement to Your Advantage.”  One of those tips refers to this:

Include a Specific Recipient at the Owner’s Office: [Third tier subcontractors and suppliers must send their NTOs to the address of the…Owner as set forth in the Notice of Commencement. Virtually, everyone just lists their addresses without designating a proper employee to handle/review/log the notices. Thus, a proper NTO may end up (and stay on) the desk of a receptionist who doesn’t know where to send it. If you add the appropriate person’s name as an ATTENTION line…then the proper NTO will be received and you’ll know from whom to require lien waivers]….requently these remain on a receptionist’s desk and are not given to the person who will be responsible for checking to make sure that the general contractor has received all of its proper lien waivers from the lower-tier subs and suppliers;

How does Notice of Commencement affect me?

It’s important that everyone on the job is paid. If anyone goes unpaid on the project — including all laborers, subcontractors, suppliers, and vendors — the owner could ultimately be responsible for paying twice for the same work, and lenders could have the title of the property compromised!  This, of course, is highly undesirable.

And accordingly, property owners and general contractors (and, if applicable, construction lenders) must be extremely careful when distributing money on a construction project.

Before Georgia passed its Notice of Commencement requirements, property owners, lenders, and general contractors complained that they could not keep track of who was on the job and who wasn’t, could not collect all the required lien waivers, and therefore, could not keep the property free of liens. These parties would frequently get surprised by lien claims.

The Notice of Commencement process helps with this, and creates an extreme benefit for property owners, lenders, and general contractors.

When the NOC is not filed, no one on the job needs to notify the owner or contractor that they are there. Any sub or supplier, therefore, can pop up at any time and file a lien. Even if the owner already paid the GC, and even if the owner didn’t even know that this sub/supplier existed!

When the NOC is filed, though, subs and suppliers cannot file a mechanics lien unless they first delivered a Notice to Contractor (i.e. a preliminary notice) to the owner and contractor.

This makes it extremely easier for owners, lenders, and contractors to mitigate the risk of surprise liens and paying twice.

The owner/lender/contractor must still make sure that all subs & suppliers get paid, and therefore, that they collect lien waivers from all of the required parties. We explore how to do this in the Georgia Notice of Commencement Checklist & Lien Risk Guide For Owners.

Am I required to provide copies of the NOC to subs & suppliers?

Yes.  In two ways.

First, notices of commencement must be displayed at the job site. This is a strict requirement of the statue, and not displaying the NOC at the job site could invalidate the entire thing!

Second, there is a specific requirement in the Georgia statutes that general contractors must “give a copy of the Notice of Commencement to any subcontractor, materialman, or person who makes a written request of the contractor.”

The general contractor must respond to this request within 10 calendar days!  And the consequences of not replying and not replying on time is severe. According to the statute, failing to reply on time will “render the provision of this Code section inapplicable to the subcontractor, materialman, or person making the request.”

Property owners ought to be careful that their GCs are organized enough to respond appropriately to these requests!

Does the Georgia Notice of Commencement expire?

No.

If you file your NOC on time in Georgia your job is done. The NOC will not expire and will protect you throughout the entire project.

Does the Georgia Notice of Commencement need to be notarized?

No. There is not a requirement that the NOC needs to be notarized in Georgia.

Does the NOC need to be released or terminated?

No, the notice of commencement in Georgia does not need to be terminated or released, and there is no process for filing a “Notice of Completion” or any other document to signify that the project has been completed.

For Subcontractors & Suppliers

Do subcontractors and/or suppliers need to file a Notice of Commencement?

No.  The Notice of Commencement requirement in Georgia is exclusively for the property owners and general contractors. Subcontractors and suppliers do not need to file a NOC, but they do have their own preliminary notice requirement — called a notice to contractor in Georgia.  Learn more about the subcontractor & supplier’s Georgia Notice to Contractor requirement here.

Does the Notice of Commencement affect my preliminary notice requirements?

Yes!

Generally speaking, if you’re a subcontractor or supplier to a construction job in Georgia, you should always send a preliminary notice (called a Notice to Contractor). It’s just a good practice, and it makes sure that you are definitely protected.

However, technically speaking, you only have to deliver this notice if a notice of commencement was properly and timely filed on the project.  Accordingly, the NOC requirement does affect your preliminary notice requirements, despite the fact that best practice dictates sending a preliminary notice even when it may not be strictly required.

Where do I find the Georgia Notice of Commencement?

There are a few places where you can find the Georgia Notice of Commencement.

First — The Georgia law requires that the property owner or general contractor post the notice of commencement conspicuously on the job site before the project begins.  So, if you’re a contractor that is actually working on the job site, you should be able to find the NOC somewhere on the job site itself.

Second — The Georgia law has a specific process by which you can request a copy of the NOC from the general contractor.  It’s a really good practice to always do this because it puts you in an excellent legal position.  According to the GA statutes, general contractors must “give a copy of the Notice of Commencement to any subcontractor, materialman, or person who makes a written request of the contractor.”  The general contractor must respond to this request within 10 calendar days!  And the consequences of not replying and not replying on time is severe. According to the statute, failing to reply on time will “render the provision of this Code section inapplicable to the subcontractor, materialman, or person making the request.”

Third – You can check with the clerk of the superior court office in the county where the construction project is located.  This is where the NOC should be filed, and you should be able to obtain a copy from them directly. Unfortunately, because of county indexing practices and the bad customer service at county recorder offices,  the NOCs can be hard to find sometimes, And, if a NOC was not filed on the job, it may be difficult to know this for sure.

For a more detailed discussion of this, see our article:  How to Find the Notice of Commencement for a Georgia Construction Project.

Frequently Asked Questions about NOCs on Georgia Public Jobs

Is there a Notice of Commencement requirement for Georgia public projects?

Yes!

Georgia does require notices of commencement on public jobs. There are a few differences in how this works from the private jobs requirements, but generally speaking, the NOC process works very much the same.

Who must file the NOC on public Georgia projects?

On private jobs, NOCs are filed by the owner or the general contractor. However, on public jobs, the NOC requirement is exclusively for the general contractor (i.e. the “contractor furnishing the payment bond or security deposit”).

Where and how is the NOC filed for public Georgia projects?

Just like on private jobs, the general contractor needs to “post on the public works construction [job] site” itself the notice of commencement, and file it with the clerk of the superior court in the county in which the site is located.

When are public Georgia Notices of Commencement required to be filed?

On public jobs in Georgia, the Notice of Commencement must be filed “no later than 15 days after the contractor physically commences work on the project.”  It is important that these documents get filed on time.

Need More Help with Georgia Notices of Commencement? We're Here

Ask an expert for free

Check out our payment experts
Construction attorneys: Courtney Stricklen, Christopher Ng, Andrea Goldman, and Peter Ryan

Recent Q&As in our Expert Center about NOCs

Am I correct in believing that we can go ahead and file the liens in absence of a NTC because we do have privity with th

I represent a steel supplier for a project in south Georgia. This is a big project with many subs, my client being one of them....

Do I need to send a certified letter to receive a copy of the notice of commencement?

I have a project in Georgia, GA is a state which you need a NOC. I have requested the General Contractor to send to me....

Sending copies of NOC

How do I send a copy of an NOC to Subs who request it? Does it have to be certified mail?

How to file a lien in Georgia

Need to file a Georgia mechanics lien? File your mechanics lien with Levelset, the lien experts quickly and easily. Or you can follow the 3 steps below to file a lien yourself with Levelset's free information.
File with the Mechanics Lien Experts
We’re the Mechanics Lien experts. With us it’s fast, easy, affordable, and done right!
File Now

Want to Learn More about How Georgia Contractors Pay?
Commercial Glass & Mirror
Rating 5.0
C
Payment Score
75 / 100
View
Berkel And Company Contractors
Rating 5.0
C
Payment Score
68 / 100
View
Mccoy Grading
Rating 5.0
B
Payment Score
82 / 100
View
Patillo Construction
Rating 5.0
C
Payment Score
69 / 100
View
See other Lists of Contractors and How to Best Work With Them

Free Georgia Notice of Commencement Forms

Complies with the statute. Forms for every county!

Georgia Notice of Commencement (Public Projects) Form - free from

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

Georgia Notice of Commencement Form - free from

Georgia Notice of Commencement Form

In Georgia, no later than 15 days after work physically begins on the property, a Notice of Commencement is required to be filed either by...

Get Form Now

Georgia Notice of Commencement Statutes

The Georgia Notice of Commencement rules and requirements are found within the state’s general lien law statutes, which can be found in Georgia’s Property Lien Law, Georgia Code § 44-14-360 et. seq. The below statute is an excerpt from that law that relates to the Notice of Commencement requirements.

Georgia's Notice of Commencement Statutes - Private Jobs

§ 44-14-361.5. Notice to Contractor; Notice of Commencement

(a) To make good the liens specified in paragraphs (1), (2), and (6) through (9) of subsection (a) of Code Section 44-14-361, any person having a right to a lien who does not have privity of contract with the contractor and is providing labor, services, or materials for the improvement of property shall, within 30 days from the filing of the Notice of Commencement or 30 days following the first delivery of labor, services, or materials to the property, whichever is later, give a written Notice to Contractor as set out in subsection (c) of this Code section to the owner or the agent of the owner and to the contractor for a project on which there has been filed with the clerk of the superior court a Notice of Commencement setting forth therein the information required in subsection (b) of this Code section.

(b) Not later than 15 days after the contractor physically commences work on the property, a Notice of Commencement shall be filed by the owner, the agent of the owner, or by the contractor with the clerk of the superior court in the county in which the project is located. A copy of the Notice of Commencement shall be posted on the project site. The Notice of Commencement shall include:
(1) The name, address, and telephone number of the contractor;
(2) The name and location of the project being constructed and the legal description of the property upon which the improvements are being made;
(3) The name and address of the true owner of the property;
(4) The name and address of the person other than the owner at whose instance the improvements are being made, if not the true owner of the property;
(5) The name and the address of the surety for the performance and payment bonds, if any; and
(6) The name and address of the construction lender, if any.
The contractor shall be required to give a copy of the Notice of Commencement to any subcontractor, materialman, or person who makes a written request of the contractor. Failure to give a copy of the Notice of Commencement within ten calendar days of receipt of the written request from the subcontractor, materialman, or person shall render the provision of this Code section inapplicable to the subcontractor, materialman, or person making the request.

(c) A notice to contractor shall be sent by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the owner or the agent of the owner and to the contractor at the addresses set forth in the notice of commencement setting forth:
(1) The name, address, and telephone number of the person providing labor, services, or materials;
(2) The name and address of each person at whose instance the labor, services, or materials are being furnished;
(3) The name of the project and location of the project set forth in the notice of commencement; and
(4) A description of the labor, services, or materials being provided and, if known, the contract price or anticipated value of the labor, services, or materials to be provided or the amount claimed to be due, if any.

(d) The failure to file a Notice of Commencement shall render the provisions of this Code section inapplicable. The filing of a Notice of Commencement shall not constitute a cloud, lien, or encumbrance upon or defect to the title of the real property described in the Notice of Commencement, nor shall it alter the aggregate amounts of liens allowable, nor shall it affect the priority of any loan in which the property is to secure payment of the loan filed before or after the Notice of Commencement, nor shall it affect the future advances under any such loan. Nothing contained in this Code section shall affect the provisions of Code Section 44-14-361.2.

(e) The clerk of each superior court shall file the Notice of Commencement within the records of that office and maintain an index separate from other real estate records or an index with the preliminary notices specified in subsection (a) of Code Section 44-14-361.3. Each such Notice of Commencement shall be indexed under the name of the true owner and the contractor as contained in the Notice of Commencement.

Georgia's Notice of Commencement Statutes - State / Public Jobs

§ 13-10-62. Notice of commencement

(a) The contractor furnishing the payment bond or security deposit shall post on the public works construction site and file with the clerk of the superior court in the county in which the site is located a notice of commencement no later than 15 days after the contractor physically commences work on the project and supply a copy of the notice of commencement to any subcontractor, materialman, or person who makes a written request of the contractor. Failure to supply a copy of the notice of commencement within ten calendar days of receipt of the written request from such subcontractor, materialman, or person shall render the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 13-10-63 inapplicable to such subcontractor, materialman, or person making the request. The notice of commencement shall include:

(1) The name, address, and telephone number of the contractor;

(2) The name and location of the public work being constructed or a general description of the improvement;

(3) The name and address of the state or the agency or authority of the state that is contracting for the public works construction;

(4) The name and address of the surety for the performance and payment bonds, if any; and

(5) The name and address of the holder of the security deposit provided, if any.

(b) The failure to file a notice of commencement shall render the notice to the contractor requirements of paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 13-10-63 inapplicable.

(c) The clerk of the superior court shall file the notice of commencement within the records of that office and maintain an index separate from other real estate records or an index with the preliminary notices specified in subsection (a) of Code Section 44-14-361.3. Each such notice of commencement shall be indexed under the name of the state and the name of the contractor as contained in the notice of commencement.

§ 36-91-92. Notice of commencement

(a) The contractor furnishing the payment bond or security deposit shall post on the public works construction site and file with the clerk of the superior court in the county in which the site is located a notice of commencement no later than 15 days after the contractor physically commences work on the project and supply a copy of the notice of commencement to any subcontractor, materialman, or person who makes a written request of the contractor. Failure to supply a copy of the notice of commencement within ten calendar days of receipt of the written request from the subcontractor, materialman, or person shall render the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 36-91-93 inapplicable to the subcontractor, materialman, or person making the request. The notice of commencement shall include:

(1) The name, address, and telephone number of the contractor;

(2) The name and location of the public work being constructed or a general description of the improvement;

(3) The name and address of the governmental entity that is contracting for the public works construction;

(4) The name and address of the surety for the performance and payment bonds, if any; and

(5) The name and address of the holder of the security deposit provided, if any.

(b) The failure to file a notice of commencement shall render the notice to contractor requirements of paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 36-91-93 inapplicable.

(c) The clerk of the superior court shall file the notice of commencement within the records of that office and maintain an index separate from other real estate records or an index with the preliminary notices specified in subsection (a) of Code Section 44-14-361.3. Each such notice of commencement shall be indexed under the name of the governmental entity and the name of the contractor as contained in the notice of commencement.

Helping Thousands of Georgia Contractors Like You