COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION IN NORTH CAROLINA: Late Payments to Subcontractors – is it legal?

On Commercial Construction Projects, North Carolina law provides Protect Your Small Business with Legal Counselthat a General Contractor cannot withhold payment to its Subcontractors just because the General Contractor has not been paid by the Owner of the project. Specifically,  N.C.G.S. §22C-2. Performance by Subcontractor states:

“Performance by a subcontractor in accordance with the provisions of its contract shall entitle it to payment from the party with whom it contracts. Payment by the owner to a contractor is not a condition precedent for payment to a subcontractor and payment by a contractor to a subcontractor is not a condition precedent for payment to any other subcontractor, and an agreement to the contrary is unenforceable.”

As the statute says, even if the written Contract provides such a “pay when paid” clause, the provision is unenforceable by the General Contractor as a matter of North Carolina public policy.

Moreover, any payment due to a Subcontractor from a General Contractor, or from a Subcontractor to its subcontractor, must be paid withing seven (7) days of receipt of the subcontractor’s invoice for work performed. N.C.G.S. § 22C-3.  Time of Payment to Subcontractors states:

“When a subcontractor has performed in accordance with the provisions of his contract, the contractor shall pay to his subcontractor and each subcontractor shall pay to his subcontractor, within seven days of receipt by the contractor or subcontractor of each periodic or final payment, the full amount received for such subcontractor’s work and materials based on work completed or service provided under the subcontract.”

Additionally, any late payments bear interest at the rate of 1% per month or 12% per year.  N.C.G.S.  § 22C-5.  Late Payments to Bear Interest states:

“Should any periodic or final payment to a subcontractor be delayed by more than seven days after receipt of periodic or final payment by the contractor or subcontractor, the contractor or subcontractor shall pay his subcontractor interest, beginning on the eighth day, at the rate of one percent (1%) per month or a fraction thereof on such unpaid balance as may be due.”

However, these rules do not require a General Contractor or Subcontractor to pay its subcontractors, as set forth above, if the subcontractor’s work is deficient in any way.  N.C.G.S.  § 22C-4.  Conditions of Payment states:.

“Nothing in this Chapter shall prevent the contractor, at the time of application and certification to the owner, from withholding such application and certification to the owner for payment to the subcontractor for: unsatisfactory job progress; defective construction not remedied; disputed work; third party claims filed or reasonable evidence that claim will be filed; failure of subcontractor to make timely payments for labor, equipment, and materials; damage to contractor or another subcontractor; reasonable evidence that subcontract cannot be completed for the unpaid balance of the subcontract sum; or a reasonable amount for retainage not to exceed the initial percentage retained by the owner.”

Finally, be aware that these provisions apply to Commercial Construction Projects only; not to Residential Construction Projects.  N.C.G.S. § 22C-6.  Applicability of this Chapter states:

“The provisions of this Chapter shall not be applicable to residential contractors …, or to improvements to real property intended for residential purposes …., or to improvements to real property intended for residential purposes which consist of 12 or fewer residential units.”

If you are a Subcontractor working on a Commercial Construction Project in North Carolina, and you have trouble getting payment for work you performed on the project, call Wesley S. Jones now for a free phone consultation.

Wesley Jones is a Construction and Business Lawyer in Wilmington, North Carolina serving all of Southeastern North Carolina including New Hanover County (including Wilmington, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and the areas of Ogden, Masonboro, Myrtle Grove, Landfall, and Mayfair), all of Pender County (including Burgaw, Surf City, Hampstead and Topsail Beach) and all of Brunswick County (including Bald Head Island, Bolivia, Calabash, Leland, Shallotte, Southport, Saint James, Ocean Isle, and Oak Island).

OPERATING A FRANCHISE BUSINESS IN NORTH CAROLINA

Operating a Franchise Business in WilmingtonOperating a franchise business is a great way to operate a business provided you begin the process properly and stay compliant with all relevant laws.  A franchise business typically comes with a set framework for how the business will be conducted, products or services offered, pricing, and special promotions.  Franchisors also give franchisees very specific guidelines for everything from advertising to how services or products are offered to the public. For many, running a franchise business is ideal – they are provided with a business formula with a proven track record of success.

As an attorney for numerous business owners in and around the Wilmington area, Wesley Scott Jones knows that it can potentially be easier and less stressful to operate a franchise as opposed to a solo enterprise.  Another plus is the fact that around the country, franchises seem to have a higher survival rate compared to other similar ventures.  Having the financial backing and name recognition of an established business certainly doesn’t hurt.

However, starting and operating a franchise business can be daunting, complicated and unnerving.  One of the problems that can arise is the iron-clad nature of the contracts that large franchisors want franchisees to sign.  What should be the proper term for the contract – 5, 10, 20 years?  What kind of Security Agreements, if any, should you be willing to sign in favor of the franchisee?  Do you fully understand all of the terms and conditions of the Franchise Agreement and will you be able to comply with all them?  Should you operate the new business as a sole proprietorship or under a new Business Entity?  That’s why anyone considering a franchise business should discuss his or her plans with a business law professional, like Wesley Jones.

Wesley Jones also has experience with taking a business from private ownership to franchise, including consulting on and drawing up Contracts and all legal paperwork involved in the transaction.

To schedule an appointment with attorney Jones, please give his office a call at 910-256-5800.   Initial phone consultations are free.  Call now!

The office is located in Lumina Station, just before the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge. The address is 1904 Eastwood Road, Suite 301.  Parking is free parking! 

Wesley Jones is a Business Law Attorney serving all of Southeastern North Carolina including  New Hanover County (e.g. Wilmington, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Landfall and Mayfaire), all of Pender County (e.g. Burgaw and Topsail Beach) and all of Brunswick County (e.g. Bolivia, Southport, Ocean Isle, and Oak Island).

Related Post:

STARTING AND OWNING A FRANCHISEE BUSINESS IN WILMINGTON

NORTH CAROLINA NONCOMPETITION AGREEMENTS

Business Law Contract

1. Buying a New Business:

  • If you are buying a new business, either by an Asset Purchase or Stock Purchase, you should consider whether you should require the Seller and its owners and affiliates to sign a Non-Compete Agreement.
  • When you buy an existing business, part of what you are buying is the established know-how and goodwill that the Seller has accumulated through the years that makes the business successful.
  • You will be making an enormous investment into this business so you probably want to make sure the Seller, to whom you just paid a lot of money, will not set up shop right across the street in competition with you.

2. Starting a new Business or Operating an Existing Business:

  • Even if you are starting a new business or operating an existing business, you do not want Key Employees to steal your proprietary secrets and know-how that you have perfected over the years.
  • Way to often, employees will work for an employer for a number of years, acquire their customers lists, pricing guides, and other business operation methods, only to decide that they can do it better.
  • Why work for the owner when you can be the owner?  Most businesses can benefit from have Key Employees sign a Non-Compete Agreement.

The terms of a Noncompetition Agreement will vary based upon your particular situation.  However, all Noncompetition Agreements in North Carolina must be supported by adequate and New Consideration and they must be reasonable in scope as to Geographical and Time restrictions.

If you are Buying a New Business and want to protect yourself from the Seller competing directly against you and the new business OR if you have a New or Current Business where key employees have access to all of your proprietary business information, call an experienced lawyer to help you through the process.  Call Wesley Jones now at 910-256-5800 for a free telephone consultation.

Wesley Jones is a Business Law Attorney serving all of Southeastern North Carolina including New Hanover County (e.g. Wilmington, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and the areas of Ogden, Masonboro, Myrtle Grove, Landfall, and Mayfair), all of Pender County (e.g. Burgaw, Surf City, Hampstead and Topsail Beach) and all of Brunswick County (e.g. Bald Head Island, Bolivia, Calabash, Leland, Shallotte, Southport, Saint James, Ocean Isle, and Oak Island).

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Business Litigation Matters

Business Litigation MattersWhen Wilmington attorney Wesley Scott Jones takes on a case, his goal is to handle the matter swiftly and effectively.  As a business and lawyer and litigator, Wesley appreciates that his clients want to get back to business, not spend their valuable time in a courtroom. Over the years, attorney Jones has represented both plaintiffs and defendants from large and small businesses, including family-owned businesses, Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Sole Proprietors, and Franchises, both big and small in District Court, Superior Court, Federal Court and in Mediation.  Learn more about Business Litigation Services from Wesley Jones.

Whether the business owner is a new or experienced professional, the wide variety of issues that can escalate into a legal dispute is truly amazing.  That is why it makes sense to retain the services of a skilled litigator, just in case.  In recent years, Attorney Jones has represented clients throughout the courtrooms of southeastern North Carolina, in matters such as:

  • Account Collection
  • Breach of Contract
  • Breach of Corporate Duty
  • Business Judgment Rule
  • Contract Disputes
  • Collection of Past Due Accounts
  • Deceptive Trade Practices
  • Deceptive Business Practices
  • Debt Collection
  • Delinquent Accounts
  • False Statements
  • Franchisor-Franchisee Disputes
  • Fraud
  • Interference with Contracts or Business Relations
  • Judgment Recovery
  • Misappropriation of Trade Secrets
  • Misrepresentation
  • Negligent Misrepresentation
  • Nonpayment
  • Ownership Disputes
  • Partnership Disputes
  • Payment Disputes
  • Piercing the Corporate Veil
  • Torts
  • Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices
  • Unfinished Work
  • Undelivered Goods

Most everyone going into a business or construction deal is usually hopeful and excited about the anticipated end result.  Ensure smooth sailing for your business and gain piece of mind with a little help from the Law Office of Wesley Scott Jones.  To learn more about the services his firm provides, please call lawyer Wesley Jones today at 910-256-5800 for a free consultation.

Wesley Jones is a Litigation Lawyer serving all of Southeastern North Carolina including  New Hanover County (e.g. Wilmington, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and the areas of Ogden, Masonboro, Myrtle Grove, Landfall, and Mayfair), all of Pender County (e.g. Burgaw, Surf City, Hampstead and Topsail Beach) and all of Brunswick County (e.g. Bald Head Island, Bolivia, Calabash, Leland, Shallotte, Southport, Saint James, Ocean Isle, and Oak Island).

LITIGATION TERMS EXPLAINED

ContractRegardless of how many episodes of Boston Legal, Law and Order, or Judge Judy you may have watched, there are scores of legal terms that are often misunderstood.

In an effort to reduce confusion, it’s a good idea to review a legal glossary now and then.  Here are a few words from the legal lexicon which you should know if heading to court.

COMPLAINT – The first document filed to start most types of civil lawsuits.  It is filed by the Plaintiff.

PLAINTIFF – The party who initiates a lawsuit by filing a Complaint.

CIVIL SUMMONS – The document attached to the Complaint that is served upon you by the Plaintiff (typically by sheriff or by certified mail) that informs you of the filing of the lawsuit against you.

ANSWER – The document filed in response to the Complaint.  It is filed by the Defendant.

DEFENDANT – The party who drafts and files an Answer in response to a Complaint.

ALLEGATIONS – Factual statements made in a Complaint or an Answer that constitutes true and accurate statements of fact.

COUNTERCLAIM – The document filed by a Defendant making Allegations against a Plaintiff.  This party is called a Third-Party Plaintiff.

Motion – Typically a written request to a judge seeking a ruling of law in favor of the moving party – i.e. the Plaintiff or the Defendant.

BRIEF – A written document drafted by an attorney in support of a Motion.

TORT – A civil injury or wrong to someone’s person or property.

BREACH OF CONTRACT – A civil injury or wrong involving a party’s rights and obligations under a contract.

For help in understanding legal terms that may be relevant to you or your business, please contact Attorney Wesley Jones in Wilmington, North Carolina : 910-256-5800.  All initial phone consultations are free.

Wesley Jones is a Litigation Lawyer serving all of Southeastern North Carolina including  New Hanover County (e.g. Wilmington, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Landfall, and Mayfaire), all of Pender County (e.g. Burgaw and Topsail Beach) and all of Brunswick County (e.g. Bolivia, Southport, Ocean Isle, and Oak Island).

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