How to Protect Your Rights as a Contractor or Subcontractor in Arkansas
Whether it’s new builds, repairs, maintenance, or demolition, it’s crucial to know your rights as a contractor or subcontractor throughout the construction process.
The construction industry can be complex and filled with potential legal pitfalls. For example, did you know that anyone doing remodeling or repair work at a single-family residence must be licensed if the cost of work is $2,000 or more? But by being proactive and informed, you can protect yourself while ensuring the project goes smoothly.
In this article, we’ll dive into the key steps to protect your rights as a contractor or subcontractor in Arkansas.
#1: Obtain Proper Licensing and Insurance
The first step is obtaining the necessary licenses and insurance coverage. Not only does being licensed demonstrate your qualifications, but it also protects you against potential legal repercussions. Arkansas contractor licenses are valid for one year, and you can renew or apply for your license at the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board website.
#2: Carefully Review and Negotiate Contracts
Contracts are the foundation of any construction project and play a crucial role in protecting your rights. Be aware of payment terms, project scope, change order procedures, and dispute resolution mechanisms. If possible, always consider consulting with a business law attorney experienced in construction, like the team at Hickey & Hull, to ensure your interests are adequately represented.
#3: Secure Mechanics Liens and Bonding
Mechanics liens and bonding can provide invaluable protection for contractors and subcontractors in Arkansas. Simply put, mechanics liens allow you to assert a claim against the property if you are not paid for your work — but you have to follow the proper procedures and deadlines to preserve your lien rights. Bonding requirements may also vary depending on the project type and size, although it’s typically between $1,000 and $10,000.
#4: Document Everything
Accurate and comprehensive documentation is crucial in protecting your rights as a contractor or subcontractor. Keep detailed records of all communications, contracts, change orders, work progress, and payments. As attorneys, we always emphasize the important of photos, videos, and written proof because they can serve as essential evidence if disputes arise.
#5: Adhere to Construction Laws and Regulations
Always ensure you’re compliant with local laws and regulations. Take time to familiarize yourself with the Arkansas Building Authority and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements every year. By staying informed, you minimize the risk of legal consequences and ensure a safer work environment.
#6: Seek Legal Counsel
In complex construction projects, legal issues may arise — even if you’ve stayed compliant and enforce best practices. If there is an injury or you’re being sued, consult with an experienced construction attorney. They can guide you through negotiations, dispute resolution, and litigation if necessary. Seeking legal advice early can save you time, money, and potential headaches in the long run.
Hickey & Hull Law Partners Can Help You
Protecting your rights as a contractor or subcontractor in Arkansas requires proactive measures and a solid understanding of construction laws. But sometimes accidents happen.Whatever happens, you can get a free consultation with us. Chat now, fill out our online form, or contact us today to learn more. Our River Valley office number is 479.434.2414, and our Northwest Arkansas number is 479.802.6560.