As a contractor, in order to grow your business at some point, you’ll want to bid on a government project. When this happens you’ll find yourself suddenly faced with terms like, “Miller Act” and “Little Miller Act.” Unfamiliar terminology can always throw you for a loop, but there’s no reason to panic.

You already know the importance of being bonded – these statutes simply define the types and amounts of bonds you’re required to carry at the federal and state levels, respectively. Check out what the New Hampshire Little Miller Act is, learn about its provisions, and discover where to go to ensure you’re in compliance with the law.

Miller Act of 1935

The Federal Miller Act of 1935 is a statute that replaced the earlier Heard Act of 1894. The idea behind both was to allow protection for government entities against contractors who are irresponsible or otherwise don’t live up to their obligations when they bid on a government job. While the specifics can differ, the Miller Act generally requires that for every job valued at over $100,000, you must be covered by both a performance and a payment bond.

The performance bond protects the government – it ensures that if you fail to complete the job or abandon the job, they can file a lien against you to recoup their losses. The payment bond offers a similar protection to those entities with whom you work on the project – subcontractors and providers of materials and services.

Miller Acts at the State Level

Since the Federal act only protects the Federal government, the 50 states were quick to follow suit, and today each state has its own version of the Miller Act requiring you to carry similar protections when you work on a state job. These acts are called “Little” Miller Acts.

Each state has its own provisions, but in general, you will have to carry bonds that meet the stricter of the state or Federal statutes on any given job. Just like the Federal act, these include payment and performance bonds.

New Hampshire Little Miller Act

The New Hampshire Little Miller Act, outlined in Title XLI, Chapter 447 of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes, requires that payment and performance bonds be carried for repair, construction or rebuilding of any public works, buildings, highways or bridges if the job is worth at least $25,000. The bond carried is at minimum 100% of the contract value, and must cover the full work to be performed as well as all subcontractors, materials and equipment providers.

Failure to Complete

These bonds cover your contracting bodies and suppliers should you fail to complete the terms of your contract. They allow these entities to place a Bond Claim – or lie – against you, to recoup their losses on the job. When you have to use a bond in this fashion, it is a loan that you are required to pay back. It can also make it tougher to get bonded in the future.

Where to Get Bonds

National Surety Services, Inc., is your fast, easy and straightforward resource for all of your payment, performance and other surety bond needs. Get in touch with us to get started today!