Arkansas Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) Overview

It’s easy to file and manage your Arkansas bond claims with zlien , the industry’s only all-in-one bond claim and security rights management platform. Get complete control over your bond claim rights on a state, county, or municipal project, by using intelligent technology. To learn more about Arkansas’s bond claim laws and requirements, read the frequently asked questions below.

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Arkansas

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Arkansas

Bond Claim Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Arkansas

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Arkansas

Bond Claim Deadlines
6 Months

No formal filing requirement, although may benefit from filing a formal notice of claim against the bond with the surety. Such notice filing would initiate the bond claims process, which may eliminate the need to file litigation. However, a lawsuit to enforce bond claim due within 6 months from the final payment on the job.

Arkansas

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
None / not applicable.

Arkansas

Bond Claim Deadlines
6 Months

No formal filing requirement, although may benefit from filing a formal notice of claim against the bond with the surety. Such notice filing would initiate the bond claims process, which may eliminate the need to file litigation. However, a lawsuit to enforce bond claim due within 6 months from the final payment on the job.

Arkansas Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) FAQs

Arkansas Bond Claim FAQs

Who Is Protected under Arkansas Bond Claim Laws?

In Arkansas, parties who furnish labor and/or materials to the general contractor or any subcontractor are protected, presumably this means any tier. Suppliers to suppliers are not covered. Note, however, that Arkansas case law holds that contractors are not allowed to contract with unlicensed subcontractors if the subcontractor’s labor or material exceeds $20,000 in value. It is unclear whether this means an unlicensed subcontractor providing more than $20,000 in labor and/or materials is without rights, however.

When is the Deadline to File a Arkansas Bond Claim?

In Arkansas, no claim is necessary prior to initiating suit. Any party protected under the bond may send a notice of claim to any party they wish in an effort to obtain payment prior to staring suit, however.

Who Should Receive the Arkansas Bond Claim?

N/A. May be sent to any party the claimant so desires

When is the Deadline to Initiate Suit, or, How Long is My Arkansas Bond Claim Effective?

It depends. Generally, suit must be initiated within 1 year after final payment under the contract is made to the general contractor unless certain exceptions apply. If the final approval for payment is given by Arkansas State Building Services, or an institution of higher education exempt from construction review and approval by the Arkansas State Building Services the deadline to file suit is 1 year after final payment is approved – not when final payment is made. There is some confusion due to the fact that there is a conflict between two Arkansas statutes – the above, and one that states that there is a 6 month deadline. While the 6 month deadline is generally no longer thought to apply, it may be safest to conform to the earlier deadline rather than waiting.

What Must the Arkansas Bond Claim Include?

N/A

What Are the Lien Waiver Rules?

Arkansas does not have statutory lien waiver forms, and therefore, you can use any lien waiver forms. Since lien waivers are unregulated, be careful when reviewing and signing lien waivers. See this article: Should You Sign That Lien Waiver?. Arkansas state law is unclear or silent about whether contractors and suppliers can waive their lien rights before any work on the project begins. Accordingly, you want to proceed with caution on this subject. You can learn more about such “no lien clauses” at this article: Where Can You Waive Your Lien Rights Before Payment?

Can Suppliers to Suppliers File Bond Claims?

No, suppliers to suppliers likely cannot file a bond claim in Arkansas.

How Must the Arkansas Bond Claim Be Sent?

N/A

Arkansas Public Project Preliminary Notice FAQs

Do I Need to Send an Arkansas Preliminary Notice?

No. Arkansas does not require any preliminary notice to preserve a claimant’s right to make a bond claim. It is, however, the claimant’s duty to verify that a bond has been provided on a public project. If the claimant does not check, and no bond was provided, the claimant has no action against the contracting public entity or the individual general contractor. It is unclear if the claimant would have recourse if the no bond was provided, but the claimant did check.

When do I Need to Send a Arkansas Preliminary Notice?

N/A

What if I Send the Arkansas Preliminary Notice Late?

N/A

How Should the Arkansas Preliminary Notice be Sent?

N/A

To Whom Must the Arkansas Preliminary Notice be Given?

N/A

Arkansas Bond Claim (Little Miller Act) Statutes

When you perform work on a state construction project in Arkansas, and are not paid, you can file a “lien” against the project pursuant to Arkansas’ Little Miller Act. Since the claim is not against the state or county’s actual property, but instead against a posted bond, the claim is not really called a “lien” but is more frequently referred to as a “bond claim” or “little miller act claim.”

Arkansas’ Little Miller Act is governed by Arkansas Statutes, Title 22, Public Property, Chapter 9, Public Works, Sub-chapter 4, Contractor’s Bonds, and Title 18, Chapter 44, Subchapter 5, Bonds, and is reproduced below.

Title 22, Chapter 9 - Contractor's Bonds

22-9-401. Coverage.

(a) All surety bonds required by the State of Arkansas or any subdivisions thereof by any county, municipality, school district, or other local taxing unit, or by any agency of any of the foregoing for the repair, alteration, construction, or improvement of any public works, including, but not limited to, buildings, levees, sewers, drains, roads, streets, highways, and bridges shall be liable on all claims for labor and materials entering into the construction, or necessary or incident to or used in the course of construction, of the public improvements.

(b) Claims for labor and materials shall include, but not be limited to, fuel oil, gasoline, camp equipment, food for workers, feed for animals, premiums for bonds and liability and workers’ compensation insurance, rentals on machinery, equipment, and draft animals, and taxes or payments due the State of Arkansas or any political subdivision thereof which shall have arisen on account of, or in connection with, wages earned by workers on the project covered by the bond.

22-9-402. Authorized bonding companies — Agents.

(a) All bonds enumerated in § 22-9-401 and bid bonds enumerated in § 19-4-405 shall be made by surety companies that have qualified and are authorized to do business in the State of Arkansas and are listed on the current United States Department of the Treasury’s Listing of Approved Sureties.

(b)(1) The bonds shall be executed by a resident or nonresident agent.

(2) The resident or nonresident agent shall:

(A) Be licensed by the Insurance Commissioner to represent the surety company executing the bond; and

(B) File with the bond the power of attorney of the agent to act on behalf of the bonding company.

22-9-403. Statutory liability as integral part of bond — Limitation of action.

(a) The liability imposed by § 22-9-401 on any bond furnished by a public works contractor shall be deemed an integral part of the bond, whether or not the liability is explicitly set out or assumed therein.

(b)(1) No action shall be brought on a bond after one (1) year from the date final payment is made on the contract, nor shall an action be brought outside the State of Arkansas.

(2) However, with respect to public works contracts where final approval for payment is given by the Arkansas Building Authority or by an institution of higher education exempt from construction review and approval by the authority, all persons, firms, associations, and corporations having valid claims against the bond may bring an action on the bond against the corporate surety, provided that no action shall be brought on the bond after twelve (12) months from the date on which the authority or the public institution of higher education approves final payment on the state contract, nor shall any action be brought outside the State of Arkansas in accordance with § 18-44-503.

22-9-404. Subcontractor bonds.

(a)(1) If required by the general contractor, each subcontractor must provide the general contractor with a payment and performance bond made by a surety company qualified under § 22-9-401 et seq., or a cash bond in a sum equal to the full amount of the subcontractor’s bid on a portion of a public works contract when:

(A) The subcontractor is the low responsible bidder for that portion of the contract;

(B) The state, pursuant to § 22-9-204, requires the general contractor to list the subcontractor in the general contractor’s bid; and

(C) The work value of the subcontractor’s bid is in excess of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

(2) If the general contractor requires the subcontractor to provide a bond, the subcontractor shall provide the bond to the general contractor within five (5) days after the award of the contract by the general contractor to the subcontractor.

(b) If the subcontractor fails to provide a payment and performance bond when required by the general contractor, the subcontractor shall lose the bid and shall pay to the general contractor a penalty equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the subcontractor’s bid or the difference between the low bid and the next responsible bid and the next responsible low bid, whichever is less, plus cost of recovery of the penalty, including attorney’s fees. The purpose of this section is to compensate the general contractor for the difference between the low bid and the next responsible low bid.

(c) The general contractor may enforce this section by a civil action in circuit court.

(d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to contracts awarded by the State Highway Commission for construction or maintenance of public highways, roads, or streets.

22-9-405. Prohibition on directed suretyship.

(a) It is unlawful for any contracting body referenced in § 22-9-401 or any person acting on behalf of such contracting body to require a bidder or contractor to obtain or procure any surety bond from any particular insurance company or surety company, agent, or broker or to include surety bonds in an owner-controlled insurance program.

(b) Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

Title 18, Chapter 44 - Bonds

18-44-501. Purpose.

The bond required or authorized in this subchapter shall in itself be a full compliance with all other statutes of this state in effect relating to bond requirements on contracts for the repair, alteration, or erection of any building, structure, or improvement, public or private, it being the intention of this subchapter to provide a uniform bonding procedure in conjunction with such contracts.

18-44-502. Exemption.

This subchapter shall not apply to any contract executed by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.

18-44-503. Public Buildings and Improvements.

(a) No contract in any sum exceeding twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) providing for the repair, alteration, or erection of any public building, public structure, or public improvement shall be entered into by the State of Arkansas or any subdivision thereof, by any county, municipality, school district, or other local taxing unit, or by any agency of any of the foregoing, unless the contractor shall furnish to the party letting the contract a bond in a sum equal to the amount of the contract.

(b) All persons, firms, associations, and corporations who have valid claims against the bond may bring an action on the bond against the corporate surety, provided that no action shall be brought on the bond after twelve (12) months from the date on which the Building Authority Division of the Department of Finance and Administration or institutions exempt from construction review and approval by the division approve final payment on the state contract, nor shall any action be brought outside the State of Arkansas.

18-44-504. Construction by religious or charitable organizations.

(a) No contract in any sum exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) providing for the repair, alteration, or erection of any building, structure, or improvement shall be entered into by any church, religious organization, charitable institution, or by any agency of the foregoing, unless the contractor shall furnish to the party letting the contract a bond in a sum equal to the amount of the contract.

(b) (1) The bond shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court in the county in which the property is situated.

(2) Any person or his or her assigns to whom there is due any sum for labor or material furnished may bring an action on the bond for the recovery of the indebtedness. No action shall be brought after six (6) months from the completion of the church, hospital, orphanage, charitable institution, or benevolent institution.

(3) If the bond is not filed as provided in this subsection, any person performing labor or furnishing material, except the principal contractor, shall have a lien upon the property for the unpaid amount of the claim.

18-44-505. Option for Private Construction.

Any person, firm, corporation, or association entering into a contract for the repair, alteration, or erection of any building, structure, or improvement may, at his or her or its option, require the contractor to furnish a bond in a sum equal to the amount of the contract.

18-44-506. Surety and conditions.

The bond required or authorized in this subchapter shall be executed by a solvent corporate surety company authorized to do business in the State of Arkansas. The bond shall be conditioned that the contractor shall faithfully perform his or her contract and shall pay all indebtedness for labor and materials furnished or performed in the repair, alteration, or erection.

18-44-507. Filing.

Before any work is performed under the contract, the bond shall be filed with the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the repairs, alterations, or erection of any building, structure, or improvements are made.

18-44-508. Actions -- Limitations

(a) All persons, firms, associations, and corporations who have valid claims against the bond may bring an action thereon against the corporate surety.

(b) No action shall be brought on the bond after six (6) months from the date final payment is made on the contract, nor outside the State of Arkansas.