Michigan Prompt Payment Guide and FAQs

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Michigan Prompt Payment Overview

Michigan Prompt Payment Requirements

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Prime Contractors

Not specified in state statutes


Not specified in state statutes


Not specified in state statutes

Interest & Fees

Not specified in state statutes

Prime Contractors

For Prime (General) Contractors, payment due within the later of 30 days after approval of invoice, or 15 days of public entity's receipt of funds from other entity.


Not specified in state statutes


Not specified in state statutes

Interest & Fees

Interest at reasonable rate

In Michigan, prompt payment laws govern the speed of payment to the prime contractor on certain public construction projects. Prompt payment laws are a set of rules that regulate the acceptable amount of time in which payments must be made to contractors and subs. This is to ensure that everyone on a construction project is paid in a timely fashion. These statutes provide a framework for the timing of payments to ensure cash flow and working capital. Nearly every state in the US has prompt payment laws that govern payment speed on both public and private projects.

Projects Covered by Prompt Payment in Michigan

Michigan’s prompt payment laws date back to 1980 and are found in Mich. Comp. Laws §§125.1561 et seq. These regulations only apply to public works projects, with a few exceptions. These rules do not apply to projects contracted by the Department of Transportation, schools, state housing development authority projects, and any other type of project whose contract price is less than $30,0000.

There are no prompt payment provisions for private projects in Michigan.

Payment Deadlines for Public Projects

Once a prime contractor in Michigan has submitted a request for payment in accordance with the contract terms, the default rule is that the contracting entity must make payment within 30 days of approval of the invoice. If, however, the entity is receiving funds from a different federal or state agency/department, then payment must be made within the default 30 days of approval, or 15 days after the contracting entity receives such funds; whichever is later. There are no provisions covering payments to any other project participants, so they will be governed by the terms of the contract.

Learn more about Michigan’s prompt payment and retainage requirements on public projects.

Penalties for Late Payment on Public Projects

If payment from the public entity is either late or wrongfully withheld, the prime contractor may charge “reasonable interest” on the amounts past due. There is no rate of interest provided by the statute. Nor are there any provisions regarding attorney fees.

Michigan Prompt Payment Frequently Asked Questions

Michigan’s prompt payment statutes set forth specific timeframes for when general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and others involved with a public construction project must be paid. This page provides an overview of these regulations and addresses frequently asked questions related to the state's prompt payment laws, with answers written by construction attorneys and payment experts in Michigan.

Michigan Prompt Payment Private Projects FAQs

Does Michigan have a prompt payment law for private construction projects?

While many states have prompt payment laws that govern private projects, Michigan does not. The prompt payment statute in Michigan only applies to specific public construction projects. Therefore, the timing of payments and penalties for late payment will be governed by the terms of the contract.

Download the Guide to Prompt Payment Laws in All 50 States to learn how other states encourage faster construction payments.

Michigan Prompt Payment Public Projects FAQs

What types of public projects are subject to Michigan’s prompt payment laws?

Michigan’s public prompt payment laws apply to most publicly owned or financed projects within the state that:

• Are valued at $30,000 or more; &

• Provides for at least four payments.

However, it does not apply to public projects owned by the Michigan DOT, schools, or state housing development authority.

When is the deadline to make payment under Michigan’s prompt payment laws?

Michigan prompt payment statutes only apply to payments from the public entity to prime contractors, like a general contractor. However, the language in Michigan law suggests that prompt payment protection may extend to other parties with a direct contract, like an engineer, architect, or designer.

Payments must be made by the public entity either 30 days after the architect/engineer has certified to the public agency that the work in place is the portion covered by the request; or 15 days after the public entity received funds for the payment from a state or federal government agency; whichever is later.

All other payments down the contracting chain will be paid according to the terms of the contract.

Are there reasons for which payment may be withheld past the general deadline?

Michigan’s prompt payment law does not set forth specific reasons for which payment may be withheld, such as workmanship disputes. However, the public entity may defer a progress payment if a portion of the work having a prior sequence is in place and approved.

If I am paid late according to Michigan’s prompt pay laws, can I obtain interest or other penalty payments?

Under Michigan’s prompt payment law, if a payment is delayed beyond the statutory deadline, the unpaid party “may include reasonable interest on amounts past due in the next request for payment.” Michigan’s statutes do not define the limits of “reasonable interest,” though Michigan’s interest rate law (MCL 438.31) caps the allowable rate at 7%.

• See: How much interest is “reasonable” under Michigan’s prompt payment laws?

Can I include prompt payment fees in a Michigan payment bond claim?

No. Michigan’s bond claim law does not allow for the recovery of miscellaneous amounts, like interest due under a prompt payment penalty. The amount available in a bond claim is limited to the amount unpaid under the construction contract.

What is the best practice for making a demand to a non-paying party to get prompt payment fees?

Sending a prompt payment demand letter along with a Notice of Intent to  Make a Bond Claim is generally the best method for encouraging parties to make payment. If payment still isn’t forthcoming, a lawsuit may be necessary.

How to Make a Claim Under Prompt Payment Laws

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Michigan Prompt Payment Statutes

Getting informed about prompt payment laws is important. An examination of Michigan’s prompt payment laws, the rules and regulations related to payment timing, is important to know your rights and responsibilities as a party on a construction project. Michigan’s specific laws can be found under Mich. Comp. Laws §§125.1561 – 125.1565, and are reproduced below. Updated as of April 2021.

Prompt Payment Statute on Private Projects

Does Michigan provide a statute outlining Prompt Payment for Private Projects?

Michigan does not provide a statute outlining prompt payment for private projects.

Prompt Payment Statute on Public Projects

§ 125.1561. Definitions

As used in this act:

(a) “Agent” means the person or persons agreed to or selected by the contractor and the public agency pursuant to section 4(2).

(b) “Architect or professional engineer” means an architect or professional engineer licensed under Act No. 299 of the Public Acts of 1980, being sections 339.101 to 339.2601 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, and designated by a public agency in a construction contract to recommend progress payments.

(c) “Construction contract” or “contract” means a written agreement between a contractor and a public agency for the construction, alteration, demolition, or repair of a facility, other than a contract having a dollar value of less than $30,000.00 or a contract that provides for 3 or fewer payments.

(d) “Contract documents” means the construction contract; instructions to bidders; proposal; conditions of the contract; performance bond; labor and material bond; drawings; specifications; all addenda issued before execution of the construction contract and all modifications issued subsequently.

(e) “Contractor” means an individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or joint venture, that is a party to a construction contract with a public agency.

(f) “Facility” means a building, utility, road, street, boulevard, parkway, bridge, ditch, drain, levee, dike, sewer, park, playground, or other structure or work that is paid for with public funds or a special assessment.

(g) “Progress payment” means a payment by a public agency to a contractor for work in place under the terms of a construction contract.

(h) “Public agency” means this state, or a county, city, township, village, assessment district, or other political subdivision, corporation, commission, agency, or authority created by law. However, public agency does not include the state transportation department, a school district, junior or community college, the Michigan state housing development authority created in Act No. 346 of the Public Acts of 1966, as amended, being sections 125.1401 to 125.1496 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, and a municipal electric utility or agency. “Assessment district” means the real property within a distinct area upon which special assessments are levied or imposed for the construction, reconstruction, betterment, replacement, or repair of a facility to be paid for by funds derived from those special assessments imposed or levied on the benefited real property.

(i) “Retainage” or “retained funds” means the amount withheld from a progress payment to a contractor pursuant to section 3.

§ 125.1562. Construction contract; designation of person to submit written requests for progress payments; designation of person to whom requests for progress payments to be submitted; manner and times of submissions; deferring the processing of progress payments; payment of requested progress payment; failure of public agency to make timely progress payment; interest.

(1) The construction contract shall designate a person representing the contractor who will submit written requests for progress payments, and a person representing the public agency to whom request for progress payments are to be submitted. The written requests for progress payments shall be submitted to the designated person in a manner and at such times as provided in the construction contract.

(2) The processing of progress payments by the public agency may be deferred by the public agency until work having a prior sequence, as provided in the contract documents, is in place and is approved.

(3) Each progress payment requested, including reasonable interest if requested under subsection (4), shall be paid within 1 of the following time periods, whichever is later:

(a) Thirty days after the architect or professional engineer has certified to the public agency that work is in place in the portion of the facility covered by the applicable request for payment in accordance with the contract documents.

(b) Fifteen days after the public agency has received the funds with which to make the progress payment from a department or agency of the federal or state government, if any funds are to come from either of those sources.

(4) Upon failure of a public agency to make a timely progress payment pursuant to this section, the person designated to submit requests for progress payments may include reasonable interest on amounts past due in the next request for payment.

§ 125.1563. Retaining portion of each progress payment to assure proper performance of construction contract; retainage; limitations; exceeding pro rata share of public agency's matching requirement; commingling and deposit of retained funds; releasing to contractor retainage and interest earned on retainage; irrevocable letter of credit

(1) To assure proper performance of a construction contract by the contractor, a public agency may retain a portion of each progress payment otherwise due as provided in this section.

(2) The retainage shall be limited to the following:

(a) Not more than 10% of the dollar value of all work in place until work is 50% in place.

(b) After the work is 50% in place, additional retainage shall not be withheld unless the public agency determines that the contractor is not making satisfactory progress, or for other specific cause relating to the contractor’s performance under the contract. If the public agency so determines, the public agency may retain not more than 10% of the dollar value of work more than 50% in place.

(3) The retained funds shall not exceed the pro rata share of the public agency’s matching requirement under the construction contract and shall not be commingled with other funds of the public agency and shall be deposited in an interest bearing account in a regulated financial institution in this state wherein all such retained funds are kept by the public agency which shall account for both retainage and interest on each construction contract separately. A public agency is not required to deposit retained funds in an interest bearing account if the retained funds are to be provided under a state or federal grant and the retained funds have not been paid to the public agency.

(4) Except as provided in section 4(7) and (8), retainage and interest earned on retainage shall be released to a contractor together with the final progress payment.

(5) At any time after 94% of work under the contract is in place and at the request of the original contractor, the public agency shall release the retainage plus interest to the original contractor only if the original contractor provides to the public agency an irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of the retainage plus interest, issued by a bank authorized to do business in this state, containing terms mutually acceptable to the contractor and the public agency.

§ 125.1564. Construction contract; agreement to submit matters described in subsection (3) to decision of agent; designation of agent; dispute resolution process; use; agent to receive pertinent information and provide opportunity for informal meeting; decision of agent to be final and binding; vacation of decision by circuit court; dispute resolution resulting in decision; final progress payment to original contractor where public agency contracts with subsequent contractor

(1) The construction contract shall contain an agreement to submit those matters described in subsection (3) to the decision of an agent at the option of the public agency.

(2) If a dispute regarding a matter described in subsection (3) arises, the contractor and the public agency shall designate an agent who has background, training, and experience in the construction of facilities similar to that which is the subject of the contract, as follows:

(a) In an agreement reached within 10 days after a dispute arises.

(b) If an agreement cannot be reached within 10 days after a dispute arises, the public agency shall designate an agent who has background, training, and experience in the construction of facilities similar to that which is the subject of the contract and who is not an employee of the agency.

(3) The public agency may request dispute resolution by the agent regarding the following:

(a) At any time during the term of the contract, to determine whether there has been a delay for reasons that were within the control of the contractor, and the period of time that delay has been caused, continued, or aggravated by actions of the contractor.

(b) At any time after 94% of work under the contract is in place, whether there has been an unacceptable delay by the contractor in the performance of the remaining 6% of work under the contract. The agent shall consider the terms of the contract and the procedures normally followed in the industry and shall determine whether the delay was for failure to follow reasonable and prudent practices in the industry for completion of the project.

(4) This dispute resolution process shall be used only for the purpose of determining the rights of the parties to retained funds and interest earned on retained funds and is not intended to alter, abrogate, or limit any rights with respect to remedies that are available to enforce or compel performance of the terms of the contract by either party.

(5) The agent may request and shall receive all pertinent information from the parties and shall provide an opportunity for an informal meeting to receive comments, documents, and other relevant information in order to resolve the dispute. The agent shall determine the time, place, and procedure for the informal meeting. A written decision and reasons for the decision shall be given to the parties within 14 days after the meeting.

(6) The decision of the agent shall be final and binding upon all parties. Upon application of either party, the decision of the agent may be vacated by order of the circuit court only upon a finding by the court that the decision was procured by fraud, duress, or other illegal means.

(7) If the dispute resolution results in a decision:

(a) That there has been a delay as described in subsection (3)(a), all interest earned on retained funds during the period of delay shall become the property of the public agency.

(b) That there has been unacceptable delay as described in subsection (3)(b), the public agency may contract with a subsequent contractor to complete the remaining 6% of work under the contract, and interest earned on retained funds shall become the property of the public agency. A subsequent contractor under this subdivision shall be paid by the public agency from the following sources until each source is depleted, in the order listed below:

(i) The dollar value of the original contract, less the dollar value of funds already paid to the original contractor and the dollar value of work in place for which the original contractor has not received payment.

(ii) Retainage from the original contractor, or funds made available under a letter of credit provided under section 3(5).

(iii) Interest earned on retainage from the original contractor, or funds made available under a letter of credit provided under section 3(5).

(8) If the public agency contracts with a subsequent contractor as provided in subsection (7)(b), the final progress payment shall be payable to the original contractor within the time period specified in section 2(3). The amount of the final progress payment to the original contractor shall not include interest earned on retained funds. The public agency may deduct from the final progress payment all expenses of contracting with the subsequent contractor. This act shall not impair the right of the public agency to bring an action or to otherwise enforce a performance bond to complete work under a construction contract.

§ 125.1565. Construction contracts to which act applicable

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), this act shall apply only to a construction contract entered into after the effective date of this act.

(2) For a construction contract entered into before the effective date of this act, the provisions of this act may be implemented by a public agency, through a contract amendment, upon the written request of the contractor, with such consideration as the public agency considers adequate.

§ 125.1566. Effective date

This act shall take effect January 1, 1983.

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