Minnesota Preliminary Notice Guide and FAQs

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Minnesota Preliminary Notice FAQs

About Minnesota Preliminary Notices

Minnesota Preliminary Notice Rules
At a Glance


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Preliminary Notices Are Required

Preliminary notice is usually required for all parties on a construction project in Minnesota.


10
DAYS
GCs Must Send Notice

Notice must be in contract, or served on owner within 10 days after work is agreed upon.


45
DAYS
Subcontractors Must Send Notice

Preliminary Notice within 45 days of first providing labor or materials.


45
DAYS
Suppliers Must Send Notice

Preliminary Notice within 45 days of first providing labor or materials.


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Notice Cannot be Sent Late

Both the general contractor's notice and the lien claimant's preliminary notice are required to be sent within the deadline. If either is required and sent late, it is fatal to the subsequent lien rights of the party who should have provided the notice.


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Send to Owner

Preliminary notices in Minnesota, no matter which notice, are only required to be given to the property owner (or the property owner's authorized agent).

Preliminary notice not required in WV
Preliminary Notice Not Required

Minnesota does not require construction project participants to send preliminary notice in order to retain the ability to make a valid claim against the payment bond provided for a public project.


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.


X
No Notice Required from Subs

Minnesota does not require preliminary notices be sent to preserve the right to make a claim against a payment bond on a public project.


X
No Notice Required from Suppliers

Minnesota does not require preliminary notices be sent to preserve the right to make a claim against a payment bond on a public project.

Since preliminary notices are generally designed to provide notice to property owners about the participants on construction jobs that would otherwise be “hidden,” it is relatively rare that direct contractors (GCs, primes, and others who contract directly with the owner) are required to provide preliminary notice. Minnesota is one of a small number of states, however, that generally requires all participants on a construction project to provide preliminary notice, although there are many exceptions to the general contractor’s notice requirement. If none of the exceptions apply, however, a general contractor must provide the owner with a general contractor’s notice. This notice is usually included in the contract, but if it is not, the notice must be sent by certified mail, or personally delivered, within 10 days after the work is agreed upon.

For those who did not contract directly with the property owner, a preliminary notice must be sent within 45 days of first furnishing labor/materials to the construction project. General contractors may also need to send this notice if they contracted with one, but not all, property owners. Like the general contractor’s notice, there are some exceptions to whether this notice needs to be sent. It is best practice, however, to send even if an exception applies. There are many reasons to send a preliminary notice even when it’s not specifically required, but the best reason is that by promoting visibility on a project, and making clear from whom lien waivers should be obtained, the payment process can be sped up.

Some of the many potential exceptions can apply to Minnesota preliminary notice requirements are: if the contractor and the owner are substantially the same; if the project is on residential property with more than 4 units; and a very large and far-reaching exception for non-residential non-agricultural real estate if the improvement is mote than 5,000 sq. ft.

 

Preliminary Notice Frequently Asked Questions

If you're sending preliminary notices in Minnesota, it's important to get all the details right - and to know if one of the many exceptions apply, especially since GCs might need to send preliminary notice in Minnesota as well as subs and suppliers. 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 rules and requirements, and Minnesota has some pretty complex exceptions to the general notice requirements, this can all be difficult. These are some frequently asked questions about the Minnesota preliminary notice process.

Prelim FAQs on Private Projects

Do I Need to Send a Minnesota Preliminary Notice?

Yes. Unless an exception applies, Minnesota requires lien claimants to send a preliminary notice. General contractors who contract directly with the owner are required to provide the owner with a General Contractor’s Notice, unless one of the many exceptions applies. This notice is generally included in the written contract with the owner of the property, but if it is not (or no written contract is entered into with the owner) the notice must be prepared separately and delivered personally or by certified mail within 10 days after the work is agreed upon.

Every party who does not have a contract with the owner of the property (subs, suppliers, and others) must provide the owner with a Lien Claimant’s Notice. This may also be required of a general contractor who entered into a contract with one, but not all, of the owners of a certain property. As with the General Contractor’s Notice, there are many exceptions. When required, however, the notice must be delivered personally or by certified mail within 45 days after the first furnishing of labor and/or materials to the lien project by the lien claimant.

When do I Need to Send a Minnesota Preliminary Notice?

The General Contractor’s Notice is generally included in the written contract with the owner of the property, but if it is not (or no written contract is entered into with the owner) the notice must be prepared separately and delivered personally or by certified mail within 10 days after the work is agreed upon. The Lien Claimant’s Notice must be delivered personally or by certified mail within 45 days from the first furnishing of labor and/or materials to the project by the lien claimant. However, even though a notice sent anytime within the 45-day period is timely, it may not fully protect a potential lien claimant. In Minnesota, the total amount of liens on a project may be reduced by the amount paid by the owner to the general contractor prior to receiving the Lien Claimant’s Notice. This provides motivation for all potential lien claimants to provide their preliminary notice to the owner as soon as possible.

What if I Send the Minnesota Preliminary Notice Late?

If required, failure to send the General Contractor’s Notice timely is fatal to a lien claim in Minnesota. Similarly, if required, failure to send the Lien Claimant’s Notice timely is fatal to a lien claim in Minnesota.

How Should the Minnesota Preliminary Notice be Sent?

If not included in a written contract between the owner and the general contractor, the General Contractor’s Notice must be delivered to the owner personally or by certified mail. The Lien Claimant’s Notice must be delivered personally or by certified mail.

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

No. Preliminary notice in Minnesota must only be provided to the property owner (or owner’s agent).

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

Minnesota notices are considered delivered when sent by certified mail.

Public Jobs

Do I Need to Send a Minnesota Preliminary Notice?

No. Preliminary notice is not required to make a bond claim on a public project in Minnesota. However, any party may send a preliminary notice if he/she wishes.

When do I Need to Send a Minnesota Preliminary Notice?

N/A

What if I Send the Minnesota Preliminary Notice Late?

N/A

How Should the Minnesota Preliminary Notice be Sent?

N/A

To Whom Must the Minnesota Preliminary Notice be Given?

N/A

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Minnesota Preliminary Notice Forms Templates

The Minnesota preliminary notice forms are regulated by statute. While the form doesn’t have to look exactly like anything in particular, it does have to include certain specific information. In order to make sure that the notices used on your Minnesota project are sufficient and will be effective, they need to follow certain requirements. The forms provided here for free by Levelset are compliant with the Minnesota rules. You can download them for free, or use our system to send or request them easily.

Minnesota Lien Claimant’s Notice Form - free from

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