Virginia Prompt Payment Guide and FAQs

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Virginia Prompt Payment Overview

Virginia Prompt Payment Requirements


  • Private Jobs
  • Public Jobs
  • Top Links
NO
DAYS
Prime Contractors

Not specified in state statutes


NO
DAYS
Subcontractors

Not specified in state statutes


NO
DAYS
Suppliers

Not specified in state statutes


NO
Interest & Fees

Not specified in state statutes

30
DAYS
Prime Contractors

For Prime (General) Contractors, for state projects, payment due within the later of 30 days of invoice or receipt of services (can be modified by contract); for local projects, payment due within the later of 45 days from invoice or receipt of services.


7
DAYS
Subcontractors

For Subcontractors, payment due within 7 days of receipt of payment from above.


7
DAYS
Suppliers

For Suppliers, payment due within 7 days of receipt of payment from above.


1%
/ MONTH
Interest & Fees

Interest at prime for GC; interest at 1% month for subs.

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 Virginia

The Virginia Prompt Payment laws set payment deadlines and penalties for public construction projects, these statutes can be found in Va. Code §§ 2.2-4347 – 2.2-4356. There are no provisions covering private projects. The timing for payment differs depending on whether the project is commissioned by a state or a local government entity.

Deadlines for Payment on Public Projects

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. On state projects, the prime contractor must be paid  30 days after the public agency receives a proper invoice or 30 days after the receipt of labor or materials on the project; whichever is later.

For local government projects, payment is due the later of 45 days after receiving an invoice, or 45 days after the delivery of labor or materials. If the invoice received by the public entity is defective, notice must be given to the prime contractor within 15 days for state projects, and 20 days for local projects.

On either type of project, once the prime contractor is paid, the funds must be passed along to any subs or suppliers within 7 days of receipt; and so on down the payment chain.

Penalties for Late Payment on Public Projects

Unlike other prompt payment provisions, Virginia doesn’t provide any specific reasons that payment can be withheld. Although they do state that interest won’t accrue for defective invoices, or disagreements regarding the quality, quantity, or time of performance or delivery.

State agency late payment is subject to an interest that begins to accrue once the payment is 7 days past due. The interest rate is either according to the contract terms or the current prime rate published in the Wall Street Journal. As for local entities, payments will begin to accrue interest once payment has become late. This will accrue at the rate established in the contract, but can’t exceed 1% per month.

Payments to contractors, subs, and suppliers are all subject to an interest rate of 1% per month, starting on the 8th day after the paying party received project funds.

Virginia Prompt Payment Frequently Asked Questions

Virginia’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 Virginia prompt payment laws.

Virginia Prompt Payment Private Projects FAQs

Does Virginia have Prompt Payment Statute on Private Projects?

Virginia does not provide a prompt payment statute for private projects.

Virginia Prompt Payment Public Projects FAQs

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

In order for the provisions of the Virginia 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 to be entitled to payment some portion of labor and/or material must be “completely” furnished.

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

No. Virginia doesn’t allow miscellaneous amounts to be included on the face of a bond claim.

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

Interest accrues on payments that are late according to Virginia prompt pay statutes. Note, however, that interest will not accrue on amounts withheld in disputes regarding the quality of labor and/or material furnished, nor the timing of the furnishing.

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

Virginia allows payment to be withheld for an improper invoice.

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Virginia Prompt Payment Statutes

Getting informed about prompt payment laws is important. An examination of Virginia’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. Virginia’s specific laws can be found in: Va. Code §§ 2.2-4347 – 2.2-4356, and are reproduced below.

Prompt Payment Statute on Private Projects

Does Virginia law address Prompt Payment Statutes for Private Projects?

Prompt payment is not addressed for private projects in Virginia’s prompt payment statutes.

Prompt Payment Statute on Public Projects

§ 2.2-4354: Definitions

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

“Contractor” means the entity that has a direct contract with any “state agency” as defined herein, or any agency of local government as discussed in § 2.2-4352.

“Debtor” means any individual, business, or group having a delinquent debt or account with any state agency that obligation has not been satisfied or set aside by court order or discharged in bankruptcy.

“Payment date” means either (i) the date on which payment is due under the terms of a contract for provision of goods or services; or (ii) if such date has not been established by contract, (a) thirty days after receipt of a proper invoice by the state agency or its agent or forty-five days after receipt by the local government or its agent responsible under the contract for approval of such invoices for the amount of payment due, or (b) thirty days after receipt of the goods or services by the state agency or forty-five days after receipt by the local government, whichever is later.

“State agency” means any authority, board, department, instrumentality, institution, agency or other unit of state government. The term shall not include any county, city or town or any local or regional governmental authority.

“Subcontractor” means any entity that has a contract to supply labor or materials to the contractor to whom the contract was awarded or to any subcontractor in the performance of the work provided for in such contract.

§ 2.2-4348: Exemptions

The provisions of this article shall not apply to the late payment provisions contained in any public utility tariffs prescribed by the State Corporation Commission.

§ 2.2-4349: Retainage to Remain Valid

Notwithstanding the provisions of this article, the provisions of § 2.2-4333 relating to retainage shall remain valid.

Back to top § 2.2-4350: Prompt Payment of Bills by State Agencies

A. Every state agency that acquires goods or services, or conducts any other type of contractual business with nongovernmental, privately owned enterprises shall promptly pay for the completely delivered goods or services by the required payment date.

Payment shall be deemed to have been made when offset proceedings have been instituted, as authorized under the Virginia Debt Collection Act (§ 2.2-4800 et seq.).

B. Separate payment dates may be specified for contracts under which goods or services are provided in a series of partial deliveries or executions to the extent that such contract provides for separate payment for such partial delivery or execution.

§ 2.2-4351: Defect or Impropriety in the Invoice or Goods and/or Services Received

In instances where there is a defect or impropriety in an invoice or in the goods or services received, the state agency shall notify the supplier of the defect or impropriety, if the defect or impropriety would prevent payment by the payment date. The notice shall be sent within fifteen days after receipt of the invoice or the goods or services.

§ 2.2-4352: Prompt Payment of Bills by Localities

Every agency of local government that acquires goods or services, or conducts any other type of contractual business with a nongovernmental, privately owned enterprise, shall promptly pay for the completed delivered goods or services by the required payment date. The required payment date shall be either: (i) the date on which payment is due under the terms of the contract for the provision of the goods or services; or (ii) if a date is not established by contract, not more than forty-five days after goods or services are received or not more than forty-five days after the invoice is rendered, whichever is later.

Separate payment dates may be specified for contracts under which goods or services are provided in a series of partial executions or deliveries to the extent that the contract provides for separate payment for partial execution or delivery.

Within twenty days after the receipt of the invoice or goods or services, the agency shall notify the supplier of any defect or impropriety that would prevent payment by the payment date.

Unless otherwise provided under the terms of the contract for the provision of goods or services, every agency that fails to pay by the payment date shall pay any finance charges assessed by the supplier that shall not exceed one percent per month.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to the late payment provisions in any public utility tariffs or public utility negotiated contracts.

§ 2.2-4353: Date of Postmark deemed to be date payment is made

In those cases where payment is made by mail, the date of postmark shall be deemed to be the date payment is made for purposes of this chapter.

§ 2.2-4354: Payment Clauses to be included in Contracts

Any contract awarded by any state agency, or any contract awarded by any agency of local government in accordance with § 2.2-4352, shall include:

1. A payment clause that obligates the contractor to take one of the two following actions within seven days after receipt of amounts paid to the contractor by the state agency or local government for work performed by the subcontractor under that contract:

a. Pay the subcontractor for the proportionate share of the total payment received from the agency attributable to the work performed by the subcontractor under that contract; or

b. Notify the agency and subcontractor, in writing, of his intention to withhold all or a part of the subcontractor’s payment with the reason for nonpayment.

2. A payment clause that requires (i) individual contractors to provide their social security numbers and (ii) proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations to provide their federal employer identification numbers.

3. An interest clause that obligates the contractor to pay interest to the subcontractor on all amounts owed by the contractor that remain unpaid after seven days following receipt by the contractor of payment from the state agency or agency of local government for work performed by the subcontractor under that contract, except for amounts withheld as allowed in subdivision 1.

4. An interest rate clause stating, “Unless otherwise provided under the terms of this contract, interest shall accrue at the rate of one percent per month.”

Any such contract awarded shall further require the contractor to include in each of its subcontracts a provision requiring each subcontractor to include or otherwise be subject to the same payment and interest requirements with respect to each lower-tier subcontractor.

A contractor’s obligation to pay an interest charge to a subcontractor pursuant to the payment clause in this section shall not be construed to be an obligation of the state agency or agency of local government. A contract modification shall not be made for the purpose of providing reimbursement for the interest charge. A cost reimbursement claim shall not include any amount for reimbursement for the interest charge.

§ 2.2-4355: Interest Penalty; Exceptions

A. Interest shall accrue, at the rate determined pursuant to subsection B, on all amounts owed by a state agency to a vendor that remain unpaid after seven days following the payment date. However, nothing in this section shall affect any contract providing for a different rate of interest, or for the payment of interest in a different manner.

B. The rate of interest charged a state agency pursuant to subsection A shall be the base rate on corporate loans (prime rate) at large United States money center commercial banks as reported daily in the publication entitled The Wall Street Journal. Whenever a split prime rate is published, the lower of the two rates shall be used. However, in no event shall the rate of interest charged exceed the rate of interest established pursuant to § 58.1-1812.

C. Notwithstanding subsection A, no interest penalty shall be charged when payment is delayed because of disagreement between a state agency and a vendor regarding the quantity, quality or time of delivery of goods or services or the accuracy of any invoice received for the goods or services. The exception from the interest penalty provided by this subsection shall apply only to that portion of a delayed payment that is actually the subject of the disagreement and shall apply only for the duration of the disagreement.

D. This section shall not apply to § 2.2-4333 pertaining to retainage on construction contracts, during the period of time prior to the date the final payment is due. Nothing contained herein shall prevent a contractor from receiving interest on such funds under an approved escrow agreement.

E. Notwithstanding subsection A, no interest penalty shall be paid to any debtor on any payment, or portion thereof, withheld pursuant to the Comptroller’s Debt Setoff Program, as authorized by the Virginia Debt Collection Act (§ 2.2-4800 et seq.), commencing with the date the payment is withheld. If, as a result of an error, a payment or portion thereof is withheld, and it is determined that at the time of setoff no debt was owed to the Commonwealth, then interest shall accrue at the rate determined pursuant to subsection B on amounts withheld that remain unpaid after seven days following the payment date.

§ 2.2-4356: Controller to File Annual Report

The Comptroller shall file an annual report with the Governor, the Senate Committee on Finance, the House Committees on Finance and Appropriations on November 1 for the preceding fiscal year including (i) the number and dollar amounts of late payments by departments, institutions and agencies, (ii) the total amount of interest paid and (iii) specific steps being taken to reduce the incidence of late payments.

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