Surety bonding is absolutely essential to the contracting and construction business. Having the right bonds protects your clients against unforeseen circumstances which result in you not being able to complete a job. Being bonded shows you have the ability to complete jobs, as only those who don’t use their bonds can actually acquire them.

More than providing peace of mind, however, bonding is regulated by the government at both the state and federal levels. The acts that regulate these bonds are called Little Miller Acts at the state level, after the Federal Miller Act upon which they’re based. Learn about the Utah Little Miller Act, what it means for you as a contracting business and where to go to get the surety bonds you need to be compliant.

The Heard to Miller Acts

Protections for the Federal government from irresponsible contractors began in 1894 with a law called the Heard Act. While this act required carrying performance and payment bonds to protect contracting bodies and vendors, procedural issues made it difficult to enforce. A more solid law was needed. In 1935, this happened with the Miller Act, which is still in place today, decades later.

Under the terms of this act, contractors who take on government contracts are required to carry payment bonds and performance bonds. These bonds have to be held for any job over $100,000, though some specific instances allow up to $150,000 before a bond has to be posted.

State-Level Acts

It didn’t take long at all before the individual states realized the value of having similar protections for their own contracts. They enacted statutes based upon the Miller Act, which in the ensuing years have become known collectively as “Little Miller Acts.” Each state sets its own requirements and limits but at their core, Little Miller Acts also require payment and performance bonds when you work on state contract jobs.

If you fail to complete a job, the state can file a bond claim against your performance bond, and materials and services providers can file a bond claim against your payment bond. This allows them to recover some of the money they lose on a failed job.

Utah Little Miller Act

The Utah Little Miller Act is outlined in the state Code under Titles 14, 38 and 63G. It doesn’t lay out a minimum value for a contract; it simply states that for any government job you contract to perform in Utah, you’re required to carry a payment bond and a performance bond equal to 100% of the contract’s value. This applies for construction, reconstruction, repair, transportation and other Public Works projects.

Getting in Compliance

If you need to get into compliance with the Utah Little Miller Act, or you have questions about where to post notices or what level of bond you need to secure, National Surety Services, Inc., can help. Get in touch with us today to start your easy, fast and secure Utah surety bond process and have all your questions answered!