When you’re a contracting business, it’s essential that you have the ability to offer security to your contract providers – that is, they need reassurance that you’ll be able to complete the job you promise to do. That’s especially important if you are a small or medium sized company just beginning to attempt government contracts.

When you start this process, you’ll encounter the federal Miller Act and state versions of the same. These acts can be confusing at first, but at their most basic, they’re just requiring you to carry the right bonds in the right amounts to ensure you can complete the job. Let’s take a look at what this means in terms of the New York Little Miller Act, and where you can go to be sure you remain in compliance at all times.

Understanding the Miller Act

The Miller Act is one of the core pieces of legislation that regulate the bonds you must carry when you take on a government contracting and construction job. It has its origins in the Heard Act, which was enacted in 1894 to require a bond covering contract holders in case a contractor didn’t complete the job. This act, however, had major weaknesses and was replaced by a stronger act in 1935: the Miller Act which still exists today.

The Miller Act, essentially, requires anyone who bids on a government job worth at least $100,000 (or $150,000 in some cases) carry two types of bonds: a payment bond to ensure subcontractors and suppliers of goods and services are covered, and a performance bond to cover the contract holder.

What Is a Little Miller Act?

A Little Miller Act, then, is the same kind of act – based on the Federal Act – that applies at the state level. States have created their own statutes to protect them when contractors take on public works, construction, repair and rebuilding jobs. They usually (though not always) have lower thresholds than federal jobs, and each state is unique in its requirements. That being said, for any given job, you are generally required to abide by the stricter of the state or Federal act.

New York Little Miller Act

The requirements of the New York Little Miller Act statute are laid out in the New York Consolidated Laws, Article 9, Section 137. In brief, it states that for any contract of at least $100,000 requires the contractor to carry appropriate performance and payment bonds.

If you as the contractor do not complete the work you have agreed to complete under your contractor, the entity providing the contract, as well as any subcontractors and materials services providers, can file a bond claim as a lien against your company. This requires you to pay them for the financial damages they suffered from your failure to complete the work.

Learn More about Surety Bonding

The New York Little Miller Act can be unusually complex among state acts. If you’re in need of more information or you want to be sure you have the bonding coverage you need, National Surety Services, Inc., can help. Get in touch with us for more information on New York surety bonding, or to get started today!