Missouri Mechanic’s Lien – Subcontractors Protect Your Lien Rights

In Missouri, subcontractors, skilled laborers, and materials suppliers who are not paid for their work, have a right to file a Mechanic’s Lien against commercial real property for work performed or materials delivered to the project, when the work and/or materials was for purposes of improving upon the property.  Sounds simple enough right?  Almost but not quite.  Missouri sets very specific rules and deadlines that must be followed to avoid losing your right to lien against a property.  The best way to ensure your lien rights are protected is to start from the day you accept the project.


Documentation and Info to Give Your Attorney For A Missouri Mechanic’s Lien

  • A copy of the fully executed original contract which sets forth the scope of work to be performed and/or the materials to be supplied.
  • The first and last dates work was performed on the project and/or materials were delivered to the job site.  Please be aware that the last date worked refers to the last date worked on the original contract, or under any fully executed extra work or change order that modifies the original contract.  Last date worked DOES NOT include days worked on punch list items.  This information is critical because the statute of limitations for filing a Mechanic’s Lien or Subcontractor’s lien is set based on the last date worked.
  • Copies of invoices, extra work and change orders, delivery receipts, and timecards which support your first and last date worked.  A statement of account will prepared and filed with your Mechanic’s Lien Statement.


Important Deadlines for a Missouri Mechanic’s Lien

In Missouri, a subcontractor under contract with a general contractor or another subcontractor has (6) six months from the last date worked to file a Mechanic’s or Subcontractor’s Lien.

Before the lien may be filed, Missouri construction laws require that a 10-day  notice be given to the owner(s) of the property where the work was performed and/or the materials were delivered.  Keep in mind that a title search will have to be performed to determine all legal owners of the property before proper service of the notice.  This will affect the timing of your notice.  Depending on what Missouri county the job site is in, this information could take up to two or three weeks to retrieve.  Unlike Kansas City where many title documents are readily available through on-line services, the smaller or more rural Missouri counties like Vernon or Henry will likely require a title report be obtained from a separate title company, which may delay things.

The best rule for a subcontractor to protect its mechanic’s lien rights, is to document early and well, and contact your construction lawyer in plenty of time to meet the deadlines set by Missouri lien laws.


The information above is specific to subcontractors, skilled laborers, and material suppliers on commercial projects, and under contract with a general contractor or other subcontractor.  Although the information may be useful to subcontractors on residential projects, or general contractors, there are other deadlines and notices that will apply based on the type of project. We encourage you to talk with a construction law attorney if you have specific lien questions about a project you are working.  An important note though, if you are working directly for the owner of the property, or a tenant, you must provide your lien notice at the very onset of the project, not at the end.  Again, consult your construction lawyer for specifics.