Georgia Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs

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Georgia Preliminary Notice FAQs

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At a Glance


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Preliminary Notices Are Often Required

It depends. Notice is not required for a prime contractor or any party in direct contractual relation with the owner. For all other parties, preliminary notice is required on all projects on which a notice of commencement has been filed.


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GCs Do Not Need to Send Preliminary Notice

Preliminary notice is not required for a prime contractor, or any party in direct contractual relation with the owner.


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DAYS
Subcontractors May Need to send Notice

If a notice of commencement is filed, subcontractors who do not contract with the GC must provide a notice to contractor to the owner and contractor within 30 days of first delivering services or materials. It is likely best practice for all tiers of subcontractors to provide this notice.

Additionally, parties may file a preliminary notice of lien rights to prevent lien rights from being knocked out by a prime contractor’s affidavit or lien waiver attesting to the payment of all subcontractors and suppliers.


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DAYS
Suppliers May Need to send Notice

If a notice of commencement is filed, suppliers who do not contract with the GC must provide a notice to contractor to the owner and contractor within 30 days of first delivering services or materials. It is likely best practice for all tiers of suppliers to provide this notice.

Additionally, parties may file a preliminary notice of lien rights to prevent lien rights from being knocked out by a prime contractor’s affidavit or lien waiver attesting to the payment of all subcontractors and suppliers.


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Notice Cannot be Sent Late if Required

Failure to provide a notice to contractor within the statutorily mandated time frame, when such notice is required, is fatal to the lien claim in Georgia. If a notice of commencement was not filed, the failure to provide a timely preliminary notice has no consequence to a party’s lien rights provided the contractor has not attested in an affidavit to the payment of all subcontractors and suppliers.


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Send to Owner and Prime Contractor

Notice should be sent to the owner and the prime contractor.

Preliminary Notice is Generally Required on Public Projects in Georgia.

Prime contractors in Georgia should file a notice of commencement within 15 days of the commencement of the work, and Georgia requires all parties who do not have a direct contract with the general contractor to provide preliminary notice to preserve the right to make a bond claim if the general contractor has properly complied with the notice of commencement requirements.


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N/A

On public jobs, any claims for non-payment are made against the general contractor's bond. 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.


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DAYS
Subs Must Generally Send Notice

If a notice of commencement is filed as required, subcontractors must deliver a preliminary notice to the general contractor within 30 days of the filing of the notice of commencement, or within 30 days of the claimant’s first furnishing of labor and/or materials to the project – whichever is later.


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DAYS
Suppliers Must Generally Send Notice

If a notice of commencement is filed as required, suppliers must deliver a preliminary notice to the general contractor within 30 days of the filing of the notice of commencement, or within 30 days of the claimant’s first furnishing of labor and/or materials to the project – whichever is later.


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Notice Cannot be Sent Late if Required

When required, preliminary notice is mandatory and failure to send the notice timely is fatal to the ability to make a bond claim.


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Send to Original Contractor

If the general contractor complied with the notice of commencement requirements so preliminary notices are required, all parties required to give the preliminary notice must give the notice to the general contractor.

If a Project Participant Is Not in Direct Contact with the Property Owner, Preliminary Notice May Be Required

The only situation where a preliminary notice is required is when the party did not contract with the property owner, and there was a Notice of Commencement filed on the project by the property owner. If these two conditions are met, the preliminary notice is required to be sent within 30 days of the first date of furnishing labor or materials to the project, or within 30 days of the filing of the Notice of Commencement, whichever date is later. Those who contracted directly with the property owner do not have any preliminary notice requirements. If there was no Notice of Commencement filed, preliminary notice may not be required but can be sent by any party to ensure their lien rights.

Preliminary Notice Frequently Asked Questions

If you're sending preliminary notices in Georgia, it's important to get all the details right, and to do that you need to understand the complex rules and requirements that may apply. If you're receiving prelims, it's important to know what you're looking at and know what to do in followup. Since prelims are subject to a lot of complex rules and requirements, this can all be difficult. Not to mention that the process is tedious for everyone involved. These are some frequently asked questions about the process in Georgia.

Prelim FAQs on Private Projects

Do I Need to Send a Georgia Preliminary Notice?

It depends.

Notice is never required for a prime contractor, or any party in direct contractual relation with the owner. For all other parties, if a Notice of Commencement is not filed, no preliminary notice is required.

If a Notice of commencement is filed, parties without a direct contract with the property owner or GC must send a preliminary notice to owner and contractor. It is likely best practice for subcontractors who contract directly with the GC to send this notice, as well.

However, a party is allowed to file a Preliminary Notice of Lien. This notice prevents lien rights from being knocked out by a prime contractor’s affidavit or lien waiver attesting to the payment of all subcontractors and suppliers. The notice should be filed with the clerk of the superior court of the county in which the project is located, and a copy of the filed notice should be sent to the owner and general contractor within 7 days of filing by certified mail return receipt requested.

More on these notices here: Georgia Lien Law: The Difference Between “Notice to Contractor” and “Preliminary Notice of Lien Rights”

When do I Need to Send a Georgia Preliminary Notice?

Prime Contractor Notice: those parties with a direct contract with the property owner (potentially subject to some exclusions) must provide a notice either in the contract or within 10 days of beginning work.

Notice to Contractor must be sent within 30 days of first furnishing or within 30 days of the GC filing the Notice of Commencement.

Notice of Right to Lien (both residential and commercial) may be filed with the county clerk’s office no later than 30 from furnishing any labor and/or materials to the project; but the earlier the better. A copy must then be sent to the owner within 7 days of filing.

Information Notice to Owner must be delivered at the time of signing the construction contract with the owner. However, if the contract is for less than $2000 originally, and then exceeds the $2000 threshold, the notice must be delivered within 5 days of the date on which the contractor knows or reasonably should know that the contract will exceed $2000.

What if I Send the Georgia Preliminary Notice Late?

Failure to provide a timely preliminary notice, if the a Notice of Commencement was not filed, has no consequence to a party’s lien rights provided the contractor has not attested in an affidavit to the payment of all subcontractors and suppliers. If the contractor has so attested, lien rights may be extinguished if the preliminary notice has not been filed.

Failure to provide the Notice to Contractor within the statutorily mandated time frame, when such notice is required, is fatal to the lien claim in Georgia.

How Should the Georgia Preliminary Notice be Sent?

This Preliminary Notice of Lien Rights should be filed with the clerk of the superior court of the county in which the project is located, and a copy of the filed notice should be sent to the owner and general contractor within 7 days of filing by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery.

The Notice to Contractor must be sent by registered or certified mail, or by statutory overnight delivery.  Where the statute calls for delivery by certified mail, standard certified mail is recommended and there is no need to send with return receipt requested.

See more at How To Send Notice to Owners – Standard Certified Mail, or Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested?

Do I Have to Send the Georgia Preliminary Notice to Someone Other than the Owner?

Notice should be sent to the owner and the prime contractor.

Is the Georgia Preliminary Notice Requirement met when sent or delivered?

The preliminary notice is considered delivered at the time of mailing.  When notices must be sent by certified mail, Georgia courts have consistently held that actual delivery is immaterial, and that the sending party need only demonstrate that the mailing was sent according to statutory requirements.

See more in our discussion here:  How To Send Notice to Owners – Standard Certified Mail, or Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested?

Prelim FAQs on Public Projects

Do I Need to Send a Georgia Preliminary Notice?

It depends. Georgia requires all parties who do not have a direct contract with the general contractor to provide preliminary notice to preserve the right to make a bond claim if the general contractor has properly filed and posted a Notice of Commencement. But, subcontractors hired directly by the GC won’t need to send any preliminary notice.

General contractors are allowed to give Notice of Commencement so that parties with whom the general is not in privity are forced to give notice. This notice must be posted on the construction site, and filed with the clerk of superior court in the county in which the project is located within 15 days after the general contractor commences work.

When do I Need to Send a Georgia Preliminary Notice?

If required, the preliminary notice must be received by the general contractor within 30 days of the filing of the notice of commencement, or within 30 days of the claimant’s first furnishing of labor and/or materials to the project – whichever is later.

What if I Send the Georgia Preliminary Notice Late?

When required, preliminary notice is mandatory and failure to send the notice timely is fatal to the ability to make a bond claim.

How Should the Georgia Preliminary Notice be Sent?

Georgia statutes do not specify how the preliminary notice must be delivered to the general contractor. Because of this, a method of delivery with proof of delivery is likely advisable. Sending the notice by certified or registered mail, or by personal service is likely sufficient.

To Whom Must the Georgia Preliminary Notice be Given?

If the general contractor complied with the Notice of Commencement requirements such the Preliminary Notice is required, all parties required to give the preliminary notice must give the notice to the general contractor.

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Recent Questions & Answers
About Georgia Preliminary Notices

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Georgia Preliminary Notice Form Template

The Georgia preliminary notice forms is regulated by statute. This doesn’t mean that the forms must specifically look a certain way, but it does mean that the document must contain certain required information. The forms provided here for free by Levelset are compliant with the Georgia rules and requirements. You can download them for free, or use our system to send or request them easily.

Georgia Preliminary Notice Form - free from

Georgia Preliminary Notice Form

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Georgia Public Pre-Work Notice to Contractor Form

When working on a state, county, municipal, or other public non-federal construction project, contractors and suppliers can protect their rights to file a bond claim...

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Georgia Public Notice to Contractor by Sub-Subs Form - free from

Georgia Public Notice to Contractor by Sub-Subs Form

Those who have not been paid on a state, county, municipal, or other public non-federal construction project, must file this “Public Notice to Contractor” to...

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Georgia Preliminary Notice of Lien Rights (Filed – Not General Prelim) Form - free from

Georgia Preliminary Notice of Lien Rights (Filed – Not General Prelim) Form

In Georgia, a party is allowed to file a Preliminary Notice of Lien. This notice prevents lien rights from being knocked out by a prime...

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