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South Carolina’s Notice of Commencement is a Little Bit Odd

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South Carolina's Notice of Commencement is a Little Bit Odd

South Carolina’s Notice of Commencement is both familiar and different. Just like other commencement notices, it formally designates the beginning of a project. Its core function is to provide key information to contractors, material suppliers, equipment lessors, and other hired parties working on a construction project. Sounds pretty informative, right? It is! But it’s a great tool for general contractors, too – making it a little unique. Plus, South Carolina’s Notice of Commencement is optional.

South Carolina’s Notice of Commencement: How it Works

A Notice of Commencement is optional in South Carolina. When the notice is filed, it’s filed by the general contractor who is receives some protection by filing the notice. Whether or not the notice is filed affects which parties subs and suppliers can file liens against – and for how much. When filed, sub-subcontractors and suppliers to subcontractors will only have rights equal to the amount that the general contractor owes to the subcontractor.

Deep Dive: The Notice of Commencement Handbook

When and Where Should it be Filed?

In South Carolina, Notice of Commencement must be filed within 15 days of starting work on project. It should be filed with the clerk of court or register of deeds for the county in which the project is located. It also should also be posted conspicuously on the job site. Because it’s posted on the jobsite, it should be easy to identify whether the GC filed one at all.

Filing a Notice of Commencement in South Carolina does not affect any notice requirements or deadlines. However, if the GC fails to file it on time, his payment to a subcontractor will not reduce the amount recoverable by a lower-tiered party. Having to pay twice is a scary proposition, so that’s a big plus.

Helping Lower-Tiered Parties Help You

While a Notice of Commencement is good for the party filing it, it’s also a positive for down the chain parties. The information needed to accurately fill out a Notice of Furnishing is present in the Notice of Commencement. It makes everybody’s life a little bit easier. As we always say: You Should Love Receiving Preliminary Notices.


While it is not mandatory, filing a Notice of Commencement in South Carolina will better protect the rights of a general contractor and acts as an informative tool for other parties to the project. Plus, it sets the tone for a transparent, communicative project from day 1. That’s what we like to call a “win-win.”

South Carolina Mechanics Lien Guide Download

The Basics of South Carolina's Notice of Commencement
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The Basics of South Carolina's Notice of Commencement
Not every state requires a Notice of Commencement, but South Carolina isn't just any state. While it's an optional document for general contractors, there are advantages to filing the notice.
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Last Updated on Dec 03, 2018
Published on Jul 04, 2018


Jamie is a J.D. Candidate at Tulane University School of Law, Class of 2020.

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