The construction industry is a big and complex one, and like industries of that nature, it is regulated by rules and laws which guide every process in the industry. As a general or sub-contractor, there are laws on how different aspects of the construction work, from the relationship with clients to the building process. Here, we look at the general rules that a contractor has to abide by in their work.

It is essential to understand the construction industry is not an industry on its own but a group of several unique sectors with their specialties. In the same manner, construction law also covers various legal fields from the contract, real estate, finance, employment, insurance, regulatory, environmental, etc. However, construction law has also developed as a unique legal field. As a contractor, rules that you are expected to follow usually fall into several categories, such as:

Construction Contract Law:

Contractual agreements are the basis of every construction project. There are usually different contracts such as the general contract, contract with the supplier, and sub-contracts.  These contracts are generally very complicated and come with various clauses, especially as it relates to payment. The wording of agreement and manner of acceptance are also important things. Although it is a private contract, there are times when state laws specify different requirements for such contracts. Beyond the general construction contracts, there are also other agreements between parties that do not have similar importance or weight. Some of these contracts already have set templates, but it is always advisable to use a lawyer’s service, especially on a significant project.

Approvals, Licensing, and Planning:

No one can just decide they want to construct a property. Most construction projects require some government approval. The involvement and significance of government approval differ from one project to another, usually determining the project scope and type. Generally, the contractor’s work is to obtain the necessary approval and authorization from the relevant government agency and make sure that they are building the property in compliance with the building codes. The general contractor is also required to have a license in order to perform a particular construction project. Most times, this license is used by the state, and sometimes it is by the municipality. The license is usually subject to renewal, and the contractor must have this license. In some states, performing a construction job without a license is a criminal offense that could come with sanctions such as the contactor not receiving money for work done or, even worse, having to refund everything they have collected.

Employment Law:

A contractor also has to be familiar with the state and federal employment laws so they can follow it. Laws dealing with hiring, firing, discrimination, management, hostile work environment, etc. are essential because the liability of running afoul of such laws can be severe.


Construction laws and regulations usually differ from one location to another. This is because the construction industry is not the same all around. It is the contractor’s job to conversant with the law in their area of operations.