Subcontractor Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Subcontractor, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Subcontractor?

(n) A subcontractor is a legal person appointed by a contractor to get the contract, part of the contract or any section of the contract assigned to him to be executed. A sub-contractor has got limited liability towards the original owner and his rights are limited to the mechanics lien to the extend of his unpaid bills. A subcontractors rights and liabilities are limited to the agreement he had with the original contractor. It has nothing to do with the terms by which the original contract was assigned.

History and Meaning of Subcontractor

Subcontracting has been a part of the construction industry since ancient Rome, where builders hired separate artisans to complete specific parts of the work. Today, subcontractors are hired by main contractors to undertake specific parts of a larger project. This could include areas such as plumbing, electrical work, or painting. Subcontractors are paid by the main contractor and not directly by the owner of the project.

Examples of Subcontractor

  1. A general contractor hires an electrical subcontractor to install the wiring and electrical systems on a construction project.
  2. A landscaping contractor hires a concrete subcontractor to build a patio for a client's garden.
  3. A website developer hires a freelance graphic designer as a subcontractor to create branding elements for a client's website.
  4. An event planner hires a florist as a subcontractor to create floral arrangements for a wedding.
  5. A manufacturing company hires a component supplier as a subcontractor to supply parts for their products.

Legal Terms Similar to Subcontractor

  1. Contractor: An individual or business hired by a client to carry out a specific job.
  2. Supplier: A person or company that provides goods or services to another business.
  3. Vendor: A company that supplies goods or materials to a business or individual.
  4. Consulting firm: A company that offers professional advice or services to other businesses or individuals.