Role of the Subcontractor

Subcontractor Agreements

Massachusetts construction companies rely heavily on the use of subcontractors, and the addition of these workers to a construction project can significantly alter costs, liabilities and other issues. If you are in the construction business or work as a general contractor, a properly written subcontractor agreement can help you protect your company.

If you plan to utilize the services of a subcontractor on a Massachusetts construction project, your first step should be to have a written agreement in place to govern your relationship with each subcontractor. Doing so can help protect you from liability, expensive fines, disputes that arise because of a misunderstanding and pricing disputes. Calabrese Law Associates in Boston and Burlington, Massachusetts is staffed with experienced construction lawyers that can prepare you the subcontractor agreement you need to protect your legal interest and get your project done on time and on budget.

The Basics of Subcontractor Agreements

If you are a general contractor working on a Massachusetts construction project, you must first consult the construction agreement you have with the property owner or tenant to determine whether subcontracting is allowed and whether there are any restrictions. You will also want to be sure that your use of a subcontractor as an “independent contractor” is legally permissible. You will also want to pay special attention to any information in your construction contract with the property owner concerning liability for third party conduct. Some Massachusetts construction contracts explicitly state that the contractor is liable for any problems with work performed by their subcontractors, which means if your subcontractors do anything wrong, you as the general contractor will be responsible for those problems with the work as well. Also important to note is that in Massachusetts a subcontractor is generally considered an “agent” of the general contractor who hired him/her and so, any liability of the subcontractor is also the liability of the general contractor despite this issue not be mentioned in the prime construction contract for the project.

If you are permitted to subcontract some or all of the project work, you as the general contractor will want to consult with the experienced construction attorneys at Calabrese Law Associates early in the process. Our firm has substantial experience working with both general contractors and subcontractors and we have drafted construction agreements for a broad scope of construction projects in Boston and throughout Massachusetts. In fact, Calabrese Law Associates serves a general counsel to a number of Massachusetts-based construction companies.

If you choose to have a Massachusetts subcontractor agreement prepared by our firm we will address all potential areas of importance in the agreement, including but not limited to:

  • The duration and scope of the work to be performed by the subcontractor;
  • The independent contractor/employment status of the subcontractor;
  • The billing and payment for the subcontractor’s services, including the amount of compensation, how the compensation will be paid and when the subcontractor will be paid;
  • Any required nondisclosure agreements;
  • Noncompete clauses, designed to prevent the subcontractor from working with the client property owner directly;
  • Insurance coverage relative to the subcontractor’s work;
  • The right of the subcontractor to “sub-subcontract” some of the work;
  • The rights, liabilities, and duties of the subcontractor to you as general contractor;
  • Any flow-through clauses, which shift responsibility to the subcontractor; and
  • How and when a party may modify or terminate the subcontractor agreement.

The experienced construction lawyers at Calabrese Law Associates know that a properly structured subcontractor agreement is critical to the success of the firm’s construction clients. General contractors and subcontractors work with our firm on a regular basis for effective construction legal counsel – the firm works with construction companies small and large. Our firm’s Massachusetts attorneys have a strong command of Massachusetts construction law as well as the construction industry knowledge you need for practical advice that produces positive results time and time again. To have a strong and effective subcontractor agreement prepared, contact Calabrese Law Associates to speak with a skilled and experienced subcontractor agreement attorney.