California Preliminary Notice Rules & FAQs

Last updated August 19, 2020
Sending a California preliminary notice is an effective way to speed up payment on a construction project. A preliminary notice is an informational document typically sent to the property owner near the beginning of a construction project. Here's what you need to know about the rules and requirements for sending preliminary notice in California.

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California 20-day preliminary notice requirements for:

Private projects

General contractors in California must send preliminary notice if the job has a lender on it.

  • Due within 20 days
  • Must be sent to the lender
  • Can be sent late

General contractors in California must send a preliminary 20-day notice if the job has a lender on it. The notice must be sent to the lender. GCs must send this notice within 20 days from the start of the job.

Send Your Notice

Public projects

On public projects in California, General Contractors are not required to send preliminary notice.

Since GCs will not make a claim against their own bond for non-payment, they do not have bond claim rights, and have no preliminary notice requirement.

Private projects

Subcontractors and suppliers must send notice.

  • Due within 20 days
  • Must be sent to the owner, prime contractor, and lender (if any)
  • Can be sent late

California subcontractors, material suppliers, and equipment lessors must send preliminary 20-Day notices to the owner, prime contractor, and lender (if any). The notice must be sent within 20 days of first providing materials or labor.

Send Your Notice

Public projects

Subcontractors and suppliers must send notice.

  • Due within 20 days
  • Must be sent to the public entity, prime contractor, and surety (if any)
  • Can be sent late

On public construction projects, California subcontractors, material suppliers, and equipment lessors must send preliminary 20-Day notices to the public agency in charge, the prime contractor, and surety (if any). The notice must be sent within 20 days of first providing materials or labor.

Send Your Notice