Utah Prompt Payment Guide and FAQs

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Utah Prompt Payment Overview

Utah Prompt Payment Requirements


  • Private Jobs
  • Public Jobs
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45
DAYS
Prime Contractors

For Prime Contractors, N/A to progress payment. Final / Retainage payment due by the later of 45 days from invoice or 45 days from certificate of occupancy.


30
DAYS
Subcontractors

For Subcontractors, progress payments due within 30 days of receipt of payment from above. Final / Retainage payment due within 10 days of receipt of payment from above.


30
DAYS
Suppliers

For Suppliers, progress payments due within 30 days of receipt of payment from above. Final / Retainage payment due within 10 days of receipt of payment from above.


1%
/ MONTH
Interest & Fees

Interest at 1% per month. Subs can recover reasonable costs of collection and attorneys' fees.

60
DAYS
Prime Contractors

For Prime (General) Contractors, progress payment due within 60 days of invoice. Can be modified by contract. final payment due within 45 days of the later of invoice or certificate of completion.


7
DAYS
Subcontractors

For Subcontractors, payment due within 7 days of the later of receipt of payment from above, or receipt of invoice


7
DAYS
Suppliers

For Suppliers, payment due within 7 days of the later of receipt of payment from above, or receipt of invoice


DEPENDS
Interest & Fees

Interest at IRS refund rate plus 2% for prime; interest at 15.5% year for sub.

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.

Projects Covered by Prompt Payment in Utah

The Utah prompt payment laws set payment deadlines and penalties for both public and private construction projects within the state.

Private Projects

Utah prompt payment laws on all private construction projects can be found in Utah Code §13-8-5, and §58-55-603.

Deadlines for Payment on Private Projects

Progress payments from the property owner to the prime contractor will be governed under the terms of the contract. For final payments, including retainage, the owner must pay the prime within 45 days of receipt of a request for final payment, or the issuance of a certificate of occupancy; whichever is later. Regarding payments to subcontractors, the prime must make progress payments within 30 days after they received payment. Final payments must be made within 10 days of when the prime received payment. The same deadlines apply to subsequent payments down the payment chain.

Penalties for Late Payment for Private Projects

Utah’s prompt payment laws do provide a list of reasons why payment can be properly withheld. If none of these circumstances exist, and payment is either late or wrongfully withheld, interest will begin accruing at a rate of 1% per month until payment is made. Also, if the dispute goes to court, the prevailing party will be awarded attorney fees.

Public Projects

Payments on public works projects in Utah are regulated by Utah Code §13-8-5, and §15-6-1 et seq. These rules apply to all Utah public construction projects, except those that involve federal funds, or a mix of state and federal funds.

Deadlines for Payment on Public Projects

Progress payments made from the public entity to the prime contractor will be determined by the contract terms. However, if the contract is silent, then the prompt pay deadlines are enforced, which requires progress payments to be made to the prime contractor within 60 day of receipt of a request for payment. Final payments to the prime must be made within 45 days of receipt of a request for final payment, or the issuance of a certificate of occupancy; whichever is later. As for payments to subcontractors and suppliers down the payment chain, progress payments must be made within 30 days of the higher-tiered party receiving payment. While final payments must be passed along within 10 days of receipt of payment.

Penalties for Late Payment for Public Projects

The Utah prompt payment statute for public projects, just as for private jobs, provides a list of reasons that payment can be properly withheld. If these reasons aren’t present, and payment is late or wrongfully withheld, interest will begin accruing. For late payments to prime contractors, the interest rate will be the IRS refund rate plus 2%. Late payments to subcontractors will be subject to an interest rate of 15.5% per year

Utah Prompt Payment Frequently Asked Questions

Utah Prompt Payment Private Projects FAQs

Do I have to send a letter or file anything to qualify for Prompt Payment Penalties or Remedies in Utah?

In order for the provisions of the Utah prompt pay statutes to apply, the party requesting payment must be entitled to payment pursuant to the terms of the contract, and must submit an invoice.

In order for attorney’s fees to be awarded, a claimant must be the prevailing party in an action to recover payments.

Can I include Prompt Payment Fees in my Utah Mechanics Liens Claim or Bond Claim?

No. Utah doesn’t allow miscellaneous amounts to be included on the face of a mechanics lien.

If I am paid late according to Prompt Payment Statutes, can I obtain interest or other Penalty Payments?

There is no specific requirement for interest to being to accrue on late payments in Utah other than the requirement that the payment must be late pursuant to the prompt pay statute. Further, note that a party that knowingly and wrongfully withholds payment is also subject to an additional 2% per month penalty on the amount due.

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

Utah allows payments to be withheld for the following reasons:

Breach of contract;
Work that is not properly completed upon substantial completion of the project.
Note, however that in the event payments are withheld pursuant to reason 2, above, the deficiency must be described in writing and delivered to the party requesting payment.“`

What is the best practice for making a demand to a non-paying party to get Prompt Payment Fees?

Sending a notice of intent to lien and prompt payment demand is generally the best method for encouraging parties to make payment.

Utah Prompt Payment Public Projects FAQs

Do I have to send a letter or file anything to qualify for Prompt Payment Penalties or Remedies in Utah?

In order for the provisions of the Utah prompt pay statutes to apply, the party requesting payment must be entitled to payment pursuant to the terms of the contract, and must submit an invoice.

In order for attorney’s fees to be awarded, a claimant must be the prevailing party in an action to recover payments.

Can I include Prompt Payment Fees in my Utah Mechanics Liens Claim or Bond Claim?

No. Utah doesn’t allow miscellaneous amounts to be included on the face of a mechanics lien.

If I am paid late according to Prompt Payment Statutes, can I obtain interest or other Penalty Payments?

There is no specific requirement for interest to being to accrue on late payments in Utah other than the requirement that the payment must be late pursuant to the prompt pay statute. Further, note that a party that knowingly and wrongfully withholds payment is also subject to an additional 2% per month penalty on the amount due.

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

Utah allows payments to be withheld for the following reasons:

Breach of contract;
Work that is not properly completed upon substantial completion of the project.
Note, however that in the event payments are withheld pursuant to reason 2, above, the deficiency must be described in writing and delivered to the party requesting payment.

What is the best practice for making a demand to a non-paying party to get Prompt Payment Fees?

Sending a notice of intent to lien and prompt payment demand is generally the best method for encouraging parties to make payment.

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Utah Prompt Payment Statutes

Getting informed about prompt payment laws is important. An examination of Utah’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. Utah’s specific laws can be found in: Utah Code §§ 13-8-5, 58-55-603, 15-6-1 – 15-6-6, and are reproduced below.

Prompt Payment Statute on Private Projects

§ 13-8-5: Definitions

(1) As used in this section:

(a) (i) “Construction contract” means a written agreement between the parties relative to the design, construction, alteration, repair, or maintenance of a building, structure, highway, appurtenance, appliance, or other improvements to real property, including moving, demolition, and excavating for nonresidential commercial or industrial construction projects.

(ii) If the construction contract is for construction of a project that is part residential and part nonresidential, this section applies only to that portion of the construction project that is nonresidential as determined pro rata based on the percentage of the total square footage of the project that is nonresidential.

(b) “Construction lender” means any person, including a bank, trust company, savings bank, industrial bank, land bank, safe deposit company, private banker, savings and loan association, credit union, cooperative bank, small loan company, sales finance company, investment company, or any other financial institution that advances money to a borrower for the purpose of making alterations or improvements to real property. A construction lender does not include a person or entity who is acting in the capacity of contractor, original contractor, or subcontractor.

(c) “Contractor” means a person who, for compensation other than wages as an employee, undertakes any work in a construction trade, as defined in Section 58-55-102 and includes:

(i) any person engaged as a maintenance person who regularly engages in activities set forth in Section 58-55-102 as a construction trade; or

(ii) a construction manager who performs management and counseling services on a construction project for a fee.

(d) “Original contractor” has the same meaning as provided in Section 38-1a-102.

(e) “Owner” means the person who holds any legal or equitable title or interest in property. Owner does not include a construction lender unless the construction lender has an ownership interest in the property other than solely as a construction lender.

(f) “Public agency” means any state agency or a county, city, town, school district, local district, special service district, or other political subdivision of the state that enters into a construction contract for an improvement of public property.

(g) “Retention payment” means release of retention proceeds as defined in Subsection (1)(h).

(h) “Retention proceeds” means money earned by a contractor or subcontractor but retained by the owner or public agency pursuant to the terms of a construction contract to guarantee payment or performance by the contractor or subcontractor of the construction contract.

(i) “Subcontractor” has the same meaning as defined in Section 38-1a-102.

(2) (a) This section is applicable to all construction contracts relating to construction work or improvements entered into on or after July 1, 1999, between:

(i) an owner or public agency and an original contractor;

(ii) an original contractor and a subcontractor; and

(iii) subcontractors under a contract described in Subsection (2)(a)(i) or (ii).

(b) This section does not apply to a construction lender.

(3) (a) Notwithstanding Section 58-55-603, the retention proceeds withheld and retained from any payment due under the terms of the construction contract may not exceed 5% of the payment:

(i) by the owner or public agency to the original contractor;

(ii) by the original contractor to any subcontractor; or

(iii) by a subcontractor.

(b) The total retention proceeds withheld may not exceed 5% of the total construction price.

(c) The percentage of the retention proceeds withheld and retained pursuant to a construction contract between the original contractor and a subcontractor or between subcontractors shall be the same retention percentage as between the owner and the original contractor if:

(i) the retention percentage in the original construction contract between an owner and the original contractor is less than 5%; or

(ii) after the original construction contract is executed but before completion of the construction contract the retention percentage is reduced to less than 5%.

(4) (a) If any payment on a contract with a private contractor, firm, or corporation to do work for an owner or public agency is retained or withheld by the owner or the public agency, as retention proceeds, it shall be placed in an interest-bearing account and accounted for separately from other amounts paid under the contract.

(b) The interest accrued under Subsection (4)(a) shall be:

(i) for the benefit of the contractor and subcontractors; and

(ii) paid after the project is completed and accepted by the owner or the public agency.

(c) The contractor shall ensure that any interest accrued on the retainage is distributed by the contractor to subcontractors on a pro rata basis.

(d) Retention proceeds and accrued interest retained by an owner or public agency:

(i) are considered to be in a constructive trust for the benefit of the contractor and subcontractors who have earned the proceeds; and

(ii) are not subject to assignment, encumbrance, attachment, garnishment, or execution levy for the debt of any person holding the retention proceeds and accrued interest.

(5) Any retention proceeds retained or withheld pursuant to this section and any accrued interest shall be released pursuant to a billing statement from the contractor within 45 days from the later of:

(a) the date the owner or public agency receives the billing statement from the contractor;

(b) the date that a certificate of occupancy or final acceptance notice is issued to:

(i) the original contractor who obtained the building permit from the building inspector or public agency;

(ii) the owner or architect; or

(iii) the public agency;

(c) the date that a public agency or building inspector having authority to issue its own certificate of occupancy does not issue the certificate but permits partial or complete occupancy of a newly constructed or remodeled building; or

(d) the date the contractor accepts the final pay quantities.

(6) If only partial occupancy of a building is permitted, any retention proceeds withheld and retained pursuant to this section and any accrued interest shall be partially released within 45 days under the same conditions as provided in Subsection (5) in direct proportion to the value of the part of the building occupied.

(7) The billing statement from the contractor as provided in Subsection (5)(a) shall include documentation of lien releases or waivers.

(8) (a) Notwithstanding Subsection (3):

(i) if a contractor or subcontractor is in default or breach of the terms and conditions of the construction contract documents, plans, or specifications governing construction of the project, the owner or public agency may withhold from payment for as long as reasonably necessary an amount necessary to cure the breach or default of the contractor or subcontractor; or

(ii) if a project or a portion of the project has been substantially completed, the owner or public agency may retain until completion up to twice the fair market value of the work of the original contractor or of any subcontractor that has not been completed:

(A) in accordance with the construction contract documents, plans, and specifications; or

(B) in the absence of plans and specifications, to generally accepted craft standards.

(b) An owner or public agency that refuses payment under Subsection (8)(a) shall describe in writing within 45 days of withholding such amounts what portion of the work was not completed according to the standards specified in Subsection (8)(a).

(9) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (9)(b), an original contractor or subcontractor who receives retention proceeds shall pay each of its subcontractors from whom retention has been withheld each subcontractor’s share of the retention received within 10 days from the day that all or any portion of the retention proceeds is received:

(i) by the original contractor from the owner or public agency; or

(ii) by the subcontractor from:

(A) the original contractor; or

(B) a subcontractor.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (9)(a), if a retention payment received by the original contractor is specifically designated for a particular subcontractor, payment of the retention shall be made to the designated subcontractor.

(10) (a) In any action for the collection of the retained proceeds withheld and retained in violation of this section, the successful party is entitled to:

(i) attorney fees; and

(ii) other allowable costs.

(b) (i) Any owner, public agency, original contractor, or subcontractor who knowingly and wrongfully withholds a retention shall be subject to a charge of 2% per month on the improperly withheld amount, in addition to any interest otherwise due.

(ii) The charge described in Subsection (10)(b)(i) shall be paid to the contractor or subcontractor from whom the retention proceeds have been wrongfully withheld.

(11) A party to a construction contract may not require any other party to waive any provision of this section.

58-55-603: Payment to Subcontractors and Suppliers

(1) When a contractor receives any construction funds from an owner or another contractor for work performed and billed, he shall pay each of his subcontractors and suppliers in proportion to the percentage of the work they performed under that billing, unless otherwise agreed by contract.

(2) If, under this section and without reasonable cause, or unless otherwise agreed by contract, the contractor fails to pay for work performed by his subcontractors or suppliers within 30 consecutive days after receiving construction funds from the owner or another contractor for work performed and billed, or after the last day payment is due under the terms of the billing, whichever is later, he shall pay to the subcontractor or supplier, in addition to the payment, interest in the amount of 1% per month of the amount due, beginning on the day after payment is due, and reasonable costs of any collection and attorney’s fees.

(3) When a subcontractor receives any construction payment under this section, Subsections (1) and (2) apply to that subcontractor.

Prompt Payment Statute on Public Projects

§ 13-8-5: Definitions

(1) As used in this section:

(a) (i) “Construction contract” means a written agreement between the parties relative to the design, construction, alteration, repair, or maintenance of a building, structure, highway, appurtenance, appliance, or other improvements to real property, including moving, demolition, and excavating for nonresidential commercial or industrial construction projects.

(ii) If the construction contract is for construction of a project that is part residential and part nonresidential, this section applies only to that portion of the construction project that is nonresidential as determined pro rata based on the percentage of the total square footage of the project that is nonresidential.

(b) “Construction lender” means any person, including a bank, trust company, savings bank, industrial bank, land bank, safe deposit company, private banker, savings and loan association, credit union, cooperative bank, small loan company, sales finance company, investment company, or any other financial institution that advances money to a borrower for the purpose of making alterations or improvements to real property. A construction lender does not include a person or entity who is acting in the capacity of contractor, original contractor, or subcontractor.

(c) “Contractor” means a person who, for compensation other than wages as an employee, undertakes any work in a construction trade, as defined in Section 58-55-102 and includes:

(i) any person engaged as a maintenance person who regularly engages in activities set forth in Section 58-55-102 as a construction trade; or

(ii) a construction manager who performs management and counseling services on a construction project for a fee.

(d) “Original contractor” has the same meaning as provided in Section 38-1a-102.

(e) “Owner” means the person who holds any legal or equitable title or interest in property. Owner does not include a construction lender unless the construction lender has an ownership interest in the property other than solely as a construction lender.

(f) “Public agency” means any state agency or a county, city, town, school district, local district, special service district, or other political subdivision of the state that enters into a construction contract for an improvement of public property.

(g) “Retention payment” means release of retention proceeds as defined in Subsection (1)(h).

(h) “Retention proceeds” means money earned by a contractor or subcontractor but retained by the owner or public agency pursuant to the terms of a construction contract to guarantee payment or performance by the contractor or subcontractor of the construction contract.

(i) “Subcontractor” has the same meaning as defined in Section 38-1a-102.

(2) (a) This section is applicable to all construction contracts relating to construction work or improvements entered into on or after July 1, 1999, between:

(i) an owner or public agency and an original contractor;

(ii) an original contractor and a subcontractor; and

(iii) subcontractors under a contract described in Subsection (2)(a)(i) or (ii).

(b) This section does not apply to a construction lender.

(3) (a) Notwithstanding Section 58-55-603, the retention proceeds withheld and retained from any payment due under the terms of the construction contract may not exceed 5% of the payment:

(i) by the owner or public agency to the original contractor;

(ii) by the original contractor to any subcontractor; or

(iii) by a subcontractor.

(b) The total retention proceeds withheld may not exceed 5% of the total construction price.

(c) The percentage of the retention proceeds withheld and retained pursuant to a construction contract between the original contractor and a subcontractor or between subcontractors shall be the same retention percentage as between the owner and the original contractor if:

(i) the retention percentage in the original construction contract between an owner and the original contractor is less than 5%; or

(ii) after the original construction contract is executed but before completion of the construction contract the retention percentage is reduced to less than 5%.

(4) (a) If any payment on a contract with a private contractor, firm, or corporation to do work for an owner or public agency is retained or withheld by the owner or the public agency, as retention proceeds, it shall be placed in an interest-bearing account and accounted for separately from other amounts paid under the contract.

(b) The interest accrued under Subsection (4)(a) shall be:

(i) for the benefit of the contractor and subcontractors; and

(ii) paid after the project is completed and accepted by the owner or the public agency.

(c) The contractor shall ensure that any interest accrued on the retainage is distributed by the contractor to subcontractors on a pro rata basis.

(d) Retention proceeds and accrued interest retained by an owner or public agency:

(i) are considered to be in a constructive trust for the benefit of the contractor and subcontractors who have earned the proceeds; and

(ii) are not subject to assignment, encumbrance, attachment, garnishment, or execution levy for the debt of any person holding the retention proceeds and accrued interest.

(5) Any retention proceeds retained or withheld pursuant to this section and any accrued interest shall be released pursuant to a billing statement from the contractor within 45 days from the later of:

(a) the date the owner or public agency receives the billing statement from the contractor;

(b) the date that a certificate of occupancy or final acceptance notice is issued to:

(i) the original contractor who obtained the building permit from the building inspector or public agency;

(ii) the owner or architect; or

(iii) the public agency;

(c) the date that a public agency or building inspector having authority to issue its own certificate of occupancy does not issue the certificate but permits partial or complete occupancy of a newly constructed or remodeled building; or

(d) the date the contractor accepts the final pay quantities.

(6) If only partial occupancy of a building is permitted, any retention proceeds withheld and retained pursuant to this section and any accrued interest shall be partially released within 45 days under the same conditions as provided in Subsection (5) in direct proportion to the value of the part of the building occupied.

(7) The billing statement from the contractor as provided in Subsection (5)(a) shall include documentation of lien releases or waivers.

(8) (a) Notwithstanding Subsection (3):

(i) if a contractor or subcontractor is in default or breach of the terms and conditions of the construction contract documents, plans, or specifications governing construction of the project, the owner or public agency may withhold from payment for as long as reasonably necessary an amount necessary to cure the breach or default of the contractor or subcontractor; or

(ii) if a project or a portion of the project has been substantially completed, the owner or public agency may retain until completion up to twice the fair market value of the work of the original contractor or of any subcontractor that has not been completed:

(A) in accordance with the construction contract documents, plans, and specifications; or

(B) in the absence of plans and specifications, to generally accepted craft standards.

(b) An owner or public agency that refuses payment under Subsection (8)(a) shall describe in writing within 45 days of withholding such amounts what portion of the work was not completed according to the standards specified in Subsection (8)(a).

(9) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (9)(b), an original contractor or subcontractor who receives retention proceeds shall pay each of its subcontractors from whom retention has been withheld each subcontractor’s share of the retention received within 10 days from the day that all or any portion of the retention proceeds is received:

(i) by the original contractor from the owner or public agency; or

(ii) by the subcontractor from:

(A) the original contractor; or

(B) a subcontractor.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (9)(a), if a retention payment received by the original contractor is specifically designated for a particular subcontractor, payment of the retention shall be made to the designated subcontractor.

(10) (a) In any action for the collection of the retained proceeds withheld and retained in violation of this section, the successful party is entitled to:

(i) attorney fees; and

(ii) other allowable costs.

(b) (i) Any owner, public agency, original contractor, or subcontractor who knowingly and wrongfully withholds a retention shall be subject to a charge of 2% per month on the improperly withheld amount, in addition to any interest otherwise due.

(ii) The charge described in Subsection (10)(b)(i) shall be paid to the contractor or subcontractor from whom the retention proceeds have been wrongfully withheld.

(11) A party to a construction contract may not require any other party to waive any provision of this section.

§ 15-6-1: Short Title

This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Utah Prompt Payment Act.”

§ 15-6-2: Time for Payment by State Agencies

(1) An agency of the state of Utah which acquires property or services pursuant to a contract with a business shall pay for each complete delivered item of property or service on the date required by contract between such business and agency or, if no date for payment is specified by contract, within 60 days after receipt of the invoice covering the delivered items or services.

(2) The acquisition of property includes the rental of real or personal property.

§ 15-6-3: Interest on Payments by State Agencies

(1) (a) Interest shall accrue and be charged on payments overdue under Section 15-6-2 at 2% above the rate paid by the Internal Revenue Service on refund claims.

(b) This rate is established and adjusted on a quarterly basis and shall be applied on a per annum basis beginning on the day after payment is due, if the payment due date is specified by contract, or on the 61st day after receipt of the invoice, if no payment date is specified by contract.

(c) Interest ceases to accrue on the date payment is made.

(2) Any interest that remains unpaid at the end of any 60-day period or that remains unpaid at the end of any specified period provided by contract shall be added to the principal amount of the debt and shall accumulate interest.

(3) A state agency may not seek additional appropriations to pay interest that accrues because the agency failed to make payments as required by Section 15-6-2.

§ 15-6-4: Disputed Payments Excepted

If the agency fails to pay the amount due on time because of a dispute between the agency and the business over the amount due or over compliance with the contract, the provisions of this chapter do not apply.

§ 15-6-5: Contractors' Payments to Subcontractors; Time

Upon payment by an agency of the state of Utah or by an agency of the United States, a business which has acquired under contract, property or services in connection with its contract with such an agency from a subcontractor or supplier, shall pay such subcontractor or supplier within 30 days after payment from such agency. Interest at the rate of 15.5% per annum shall accrue and is due any subcontractor or supplier who is not paid within 45 days after the business receives payment from the agency, unless otherwise provided by contract between the business and the subcontractor or supplier. Interest begins to accrue on the 31st day at the rate specified in this subsection.

§ 15-6-6: Exceptions

This chapter does not apply to contracts that involve disbursement of federal funds, or state and federal funds, by the state or its agencies.

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