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Operating a thriving construction business is challenging and requires careful planning to protect your company's reputation and avoid costly mistakes. Our Construction Checklist highlights key legal resources for contractors in the construction industry, including contracts, forms, business services, and attorney advice.  

▢ Documents for your construction project

For construction business owners, documents and contracts are critical components of any project. Whether you are starting a new project or in the midst of construction, having the right documents and contracts in place is essential to ensuring that all parties involved are clear on their roles and responsibilities. The following documents and contracts provide a framework for the project and outline the terms and conditions under which the work will be done. You have the option to personalize the documents listed below and obtain electronic signatures for all involved parties using RocketSign®. Then, rest easy knowing that in case any complications arise with your agreement, you can rely on the protection of Document Defense®.

Bid Form

A Bid Form can be used to bid on construction projects. Put your best foot forward by including the following details: Bid Amount, Time of Completion, and Acknowledgement of Examinations and Investigations. If your bid is successful, follow up with a Construction Contract.

Bonds

Bonds are a good way to guarantee your work and give clients peace of mind when starting a project with you. Bonds are a three-way contract between you (the construction business owner or contractor), the client, and a surety company. A Performance Bond ensures the proper and complete performance of the Construction Contract. A Warranty Bond protects the client against defects in construction or workmanship after the project is completed. 

Construction and Construction Management Contracts

A Construction Contract is an essential legal document for contractors and construction business owners. More broadly, a Construction Contract outlines the agreement between you and your client with respect to project details and payment terms. More specific contract details may include: Description of Services, Scope of Work, Plans and Specifications, Work Site Details, Materials and/or Labor Provided, Payment Terms, Start and Completion Times, Permits, Insurance, Work Product Ownership, Confidentiality, Indemnification, Warranty, Access to Worksite, Utilities, Inspection, Default, Default Remedies, and Dispute Resolution.

If you are overseeing or managing a construction project, a Construction Management Agreement is an indispensable tool for setting expectations and getting the overall agreement in writing. A Construction Management Agreement includes the following details: Project Details, Manager’s Specific Duties, Working Hours, Compensation, Handling of Debris, Default, and End Date of the Contract.

Contracts for Specialized Services

Large projects may require some outside help, particularly for parts of the construction that need specialists. We’ve got you covered with contracts for specialized construction services, including contracts specifically for painting, carpentry, drywall, flooring, HVAC, roofing, and more.

Contract Amendment

Do you have a contract that needs updating? Use a Contract Amendment to get the changes in writing without having to create a new contract. Once signed, the amendment can be attached to the original contract.

▢ Getting paid after the job is done

When the time is right, send an Invoice to your client to request payment. Whether it's payment following a completed milestone, or final payment for completion of the entire project, invoices can also help you keep track of the services you provided. If you encounter difficulties in collecting payment for your services, we offer additional billing and invoicing documents to assist you.

Additional business details may need to be addressed even after the project itself is completed. For instance, you may need to make adjustments to compensation if there were significant changes to the project scope. If you're uncertain about the requirements outlined in your contract or how to handle any issues that arise post-project, a Rocket Lawyer network attorney can offer guidance and answer your questions.

▢ Hiring short- or long-term help

The amount of help you may need for any given project depends on the size and complexity of the project and the requirements of your clients. Your needs may be occasional, long-term, or a combination of both. When hiring construction help, it is crucial to determine the classification of these workers. Even if a worker is temporary and works part-time, they may still be considered an employee under the law rather than an independent contractor. 

You may be tempted to classify short-term workers as independent contractors and have them sign an Independent Contractor Agreement to speed up the hiring process, but you could face fines and penalties if the classification doesn’t pass legal muster. If you’re not sure about how to proceed, consult with a Rocket Lawyer network attorney for advice on how to classify your workers. If your workers are classified as employees, we’ve got you covered with a helpful hiring employees checklist and the employment and HR documents you’ll need to run a tight ship. If you’re working with subcontractors, check out our Subcontractor Agreement.

▢ Setting up a successful construction business

If you're looking to set your construction business up for success, consider creating a comprehensive Business Plan. This plan can either be a new plan or an updated version of an existing one. A Business Plan can help you define your business goals, identify areas for improvement, and discover strategies for growth.

Another way to set your business up for success is to establish a separate legal entity for it, such as an LLC, Corporation, or Nonprofit. Doing so can help reduce personal liability and potentially provide tax benefits. If you need help with setting up your business entity or filing for a DBA, Registered Agent, or Trademark, Rocket Lawyer business services experts can assist you through the process.

Additionally, Rocket Lawyer offers affordable and convenient tax filing services so you don't have to manage your tax filing alone. By enrolling in an annual membership, you'll receive discounts on business services and half off tax filing services for a limited time.

There are so many great reasons to choose Rocket Lawyer for your construction business. So do what you love. We’ll handle the legal.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.


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