Michigan, along with Iowa, Florida, Georgia, and Ohio, requires a Notice of Commencement when a project begins. This must be filed with the Michigan county registrar of deeds where the construction project is located and posted at the project location. The Notice of Commencement contains basic project information including project scope and contact information that is helpful to others working on the project.
This document also helps business, supplier, or independent laborers working on a construction process get the information they need to file their required Notice of Furnishing. Anyone working on a project where they do not have direct contact with the owner is required to file a Notice. This document that contains basic information to help both the owner designee (someone living in Michigan and empowered to receive legal documents) and general contractor understand who is working on a project, what they’re doing, and how to contact them.
If you cannot make it to the project site to view the Notice of Commencement, you can request a copy by sending a formal, written request for a copy to the owner or owner designee. This request should be sent via certified mail. They will respond within 10 days with both a copy of the Michigan Notice of Commencement and a blank Notice of Furnishing. You can also get a copy by going to the Registrar of Deeds office where it was originally filed. Some counties have this information online and fairly easy to access while others would require going to the county offices in person to view a copy.
What to Do When You Can’t Find a Notice of Commencement
While required, sometimes documentation doesn’t happen as it should and you won’t be able to locate the Michigan Notice of Commencement. In these situations, the best practice is to continue on as though one was filed, send your Notice of Furnishings with as much information as possible and note where you’re missing information. By supplying your required notice, you’re protecting your lien rights and meeting your deadlines even if other parties on the construction project aren’t handling their paperwork correctly. This Notice is required to set up your right to file a mechanics lien in the future, so you want to protect that right.
With many different required forms, contracts, timelines, and practices, running a construction business can be a fairly complex process. Further, the laws, terms, and best practices vary from state to state and even by project type. Any construction business aiming to grow needs to set up business processes quickly that will protect them on each project. These processes include making a point to collect information up front, staying on top of deadlines, and filing paperwork.
To help your business make sense of the different rules and practices, reach out to National Lien & Bond to schedule a lien seminar for your company’s management. We can help you better understand the practices you can put in place to protect your business in Michigan and beyond and give you the support and confidence to grow.
This blog is for educational purposes only and not intended for legal advice.