Michigan Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs

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Michigan Preliminary Notice FAQs

About Michigan Preliminary Notices

Michigan Preliminary Notice Rules
At a Glance


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Preliminary Notice Required

Any party who does not have a direct contract with the property owner (or owner’s agent) must provide a notice of furnishing within 20 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the project. And, all project participants on residential projects must provide sworn statements prior to receiving progress or final payments.


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No Preliminary Notice Generally Required

A prime contractor is not required to give any preliminary notice on non-residential projects in Michigan, but must provide a list of subcontractors and suppliers, if requested. On residential projects, a direct contractor is required to provide a sworn statement of the sub-tier parties with whom s/he contracted and the amounts due to them, prior to receipt of a progress or final payment.


20
DAYS
Subs Must Send Preliminary Notice

Notice of furnishing to owner and prime within 20 days after first providing labor or materials. This deadline is extended for laborers, who have 30 days after wages were due, and not paid, to serve notice. Additionally, subs must provide a sworn statement like the GC on residential projects, prior to receipt of payment.


20
DAYS
Suppliers Must Send Preliminary Notice

Notice of furnishing to owner and prime within 20 days after first providing labor or materials.


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Notice May Be Sent Late

While notices should always be sent by the required deadline, all may not be lost if the time slips by in Michigan. If a notice of furnishing is provided late, it is not necessarily fatal to a lien claim in Michigan, but it will reduce the amount of the lien by any amount paid by the owner for that work prior to the receipt of the notice.


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Send to Owner and GC

Notice of furnishing must be sent to both the GC and the property owner.

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Preliminary Notice Required for Some Parties

Michigan has preliminary notice requirements for public projects, but the notices are only strictly required from 2nd-tier and below subcontractors or suppliers. Participants who have contracted with either the public entity or the GC are not required to provide preliminary notice.


X
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.


30
DAYS
2nd-Tier Subs Must Send Notice

Subcontractors who contracted with another subcontractor (not the public entity or the GC) are required to send a preliminary notice within 30 days of first furnishing labor or material to the project. Subs who contract with the GC are not specifically required to send preliminary notice.


30
DAYS
2nd-Tier Suppliers Must Send Notice

Suppliers or other parties who contracted with a subcontractor (not the public entity or the GC) are required to send a preliminary notice within 30 days of first furnishing labor or material to the project. Suppliers or others who contract with the GC are not specifically required to send preliminary notice.


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Notice Cannot be Sent Late

Sending a notice late on a Michigan public project completely prohibits the ability to make a claim against the project's payment bond.


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Send to GC and Public Entity

Preliminary notice, when required should be sent to the GC and to the public entity contracting for the work.

Michigan requires most project participants to provide a preliminary notice, but the notice and the deadline can change depending on the project type, and the role of the particular participant furnishing the notice. And, in fact, while not a “preliminary notice” in the usual sense, some notice requirements even extend to the property owner him/herself. Michigan is one of the few states that specifically requires the filing of a notice of commencement, and provides consequences for the failure to do so.

On most projects, parties who contract directly with the property owner are not required to deliver a preliminary notice, although if requested to do so a direct contractor must provide a list of subs and suppliers on the project. On residential projects, however, providing notice is specifically required of direct contractors. Prior to receiving any progress or final payment, the contractor must provide the property owner with a sworn statement listing all sub-tier parties with whom the contractor has contracted and the amounts unpaid to them, if any. This sworn statement notice is to allow the property owner to keep track of liabilities down the payment chain, to gain project visibility, and to serve as a check for the receipt of lien waivers from sub-tier parties. Likewise, the sworn statement is also required of subcontractors on residential projects, is delivered to the GC, and lists the sub-tier parties with whom the sub contracted, and amounts due (if any).

Additionally, those who do not have direct contact with the property owner (or the owner’s agent) are required to deliver a Notice of Furnishing within 20 days of the first furnishing of labor or materials on the project. This is a “traditional” preliminary notice requirement, and generally what people are referring to when Michigan preliminary notices, or the rules and requirements surrounding them, ae being discussed.

Michigan also has preliminary notice rules for parties performing work on public projects. Every 2nd-tier subcontractor or below, that is everybody who didn’t contract with either the public entity or the general contractor, must deliver a preliminary notice within 30 days of first furnishing labor or materials.

Preliminary Notice Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of rules and requirements surrounding providing Michigan preliminary notices, so it's important to make sure that you get the details right. Different notices can be required at different times depending on the specific project and the work being done. It can be a harder than it should be to make sure that the notice you're sending is effective and correct. Here are some frequently asked questions (and answers) about the Michigan preliminary notice process.

Prelim FAQs on Private Projects

Do I need to send an Michigan Preliminary Notice?

A prime contractor is not generally required to give any preliminary notice in Michigan, but must provide a list of subcontractors and suppliers, if requested. Any party who does not have a direct contract with the property owner (or owner’s agent) must provide a Notice of Furnishing within 20 days of first furnishing labor or materials to the project.

On a residential project, a Sworn Statement must be provided to the owner (by a prime contractor) and to the prime contractor (by a subcontractor) before being paid any progress or final payment. The statement lists all subcontractors, sub-subs, suppliers, and laborers, with whom the party has contracted and lists amounts unpaid to them, if any.

When do I need to send an Michigan Preliminary Notice?

A Notice of Furnishing is required to be given no later than 20 days after first furnishing labor or materials to the project. If the lien claimant is a laborer, the notice must be given within 30 days from when wages were due. However, quicker noticing may be advisable because the owner is not liable for amounts already paid to the contractor prior to receiving the notice. The Sworn Statement should be provided whenever payment is due or requested on a residential project.

What if I send the Michigan Preliminary Notice Late?

If the Notice of Furnishing is not provided timely, all is not necessarily lost. The failure to give the notice within the proper time period is not fatal to a lien claim in Michigan, but will reduce the amount of the lien by any amount paid by the owner for that work prior to the receipt of the notice.

How Should the Michigan Preliminary Notice be Sent?

The Notice of Furnishing should be served on the owner’s designee (or owner if no person is designated by the notice of commencement) and the general contractor either by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested.

Do I have to send the Michigan Preliminary Notice to Someone Other than the Owner?

Yes. The Notice of Furnishing must also be served on the general contractor.

Public Jobs

Do I Need to Send a Michigan Preliminary Notice?

If you are a claimant with no contract with the general contractor, preliminary notice is required. This means all second-tier (and below) subcontractors and suppliers are required to provide preliminary notice in order to retain the ability to make a claim against the payment bond in the event of nonpayment.

When do I Need to Send a Michigan Preliminary Notice?

Preliminary notice must be sent within 30 days of first furnishing labor and/or materials.

What if I Send the Michigan Preliminary Notice Late?

When preliminary notice is required, the failure to timely give notice is fatal to a bond claim.

How Should the Michigan Preliminary Notice be Sent?

Preliminary notice should be sent by certified mail, but any method may be used if actual delivery is proved.

To Whom Must the Michigan Preliminary Notice be Given?

Preliminary notice must be sent to the general contractor.

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Michigan Preliminary Notice Form Templates

Michigan regulates preliminary notice forms by statute. While there is not a specific and exact template that must always be used in Michigan, there are certain things that must be included in the form itself in order to be sufficient, valid, and effective. The forms provided here for free by Levelset are compliant with the Michigan rules and requirements governing preliminary notice. You can download them for free, or use our system to send or request them easily.

Michigan Notice of Furnishing Form

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