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General-Subcontractor Relations

General-Subcontractor Relations

As a general contractor, you are responsible for the production process and outcome of the construction project. You rely heavily on your subcontractors and trade partners to protect your reputation as a contractor, by performing well on the job and providing quality workmanship. Contracting the relationship is your obligation to warranty the work of your subcontractors. There is a lot of trust put into these partnerships; in order to fully protect the project and your business, general contractors need to implement legal protocols.

A contract with your subcontractors memorializes the contractor-subcontractor agreement to detail who is liable and responsible for what. A subcontractor contract allows both parties to explicitly understand the ‘rules of the game’ right from the beginning of the project. MNCLS creates construction contracts that explicitly explains each party’s responsibilities using language that is easy to understand, follow, and use.


  • Clear contractor-subcontractor contracts

  • Unambiguous contractor vs subcontractor liability

  • Trustworthy contractor-subcontractor working relationship


What is our process?

We want to understand how you define a successful outcome. For transactional issues, what are the important issues that need to be addressed in the document we are drafting? For disputes, what is the desired resolution or outcome?

Step One: Learn your objectives and goals

For transactional, we draft a document that will achieve the desired outcome and reflect the client’s business. For disputes, we uphold the obligations stated in the contracts and/or determine reasonable remedies for issues not addressed in the contract.

Step Three: Craft the strategy

For transactional, what have the parties agreed to and has an agreement been reached on all the key issues? For disputes, we need to know whether the contract addresses the issue, how it was addressed, who’s at fault, and what damages resulted

Step Two: Understand your concerns and issues

Following the strategy developed with and approved by the client, we move to achieve the intended result. Whether drafting a document or resolving a dispute, we’ll keep you informed on how things are going so you can focus on your business.

Step Four: Implement the remedy

Common Issues

A trustworthy contractor-subcontractor working relationship is a valuable aspect of all construction projects because general contractors rely heavily on their subs to provide quality results, which in return, reflects well on their business. A legal contractor-subcontractor contract reaffirms their mutual reliance to uphold a solid partnership. In regards to warranty claims, it removes the general contractor’s risk of being held accountable for a sub’s poor workmanship or behavior.


  • Under Minnesota law, if you do not have a written subcontractor contract, that subcontractor is considered your employee. In addition, a well-written subcontractor contract passes the general contractor’s warranty obligation through to the sub, so the person performing the work is responsible for any warranty defects.

  • MNCLS prepares subcontractor contracts for a reasonable flat fee. The contract is carefully crafted to meet all of Minnesota’s legal requirements using plain language so the contractors and subs can easily read and use the contract.

  • A well-drafted subcontractor contract will include terms that address the remedies available to the general contractor when the subcontractor performs poorly.

    Depending on the subcontractor contract, we can help you understand what rights you have as the general contractor to maintain control of your job site.

We eliminate the guesswork and fine print of construction law in Minnesota.


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