Any person or company who has furnished labor, materials or equipment to improve or contribute to improvement to real estate has a lien, and the lien attaches 'from the time of the visible commencement of operations'. 'Improvement' is defined as creating a change to real property, cleaning it up, or enhancing or embellishing it. This usually means construction or renovations, but it also includes landscaping and similar activities.
The general contractor and any other lienholder who contracted directly with the property owner must file a Notice of Lien within 90 days from the date of completion or from the date the last materials or services were supplied. They then have 1 year from the completion date or date of last supply to file suit to enforce the lien.
Remote contractors (any party who does not have a direct contract with the owner) only have lien rights if the improvements were done to commercial property, because indirect liens do not attach to residential properties. Remote contractors must serve both the owner and the prime contractor with a Notice of Nonpayment within 90 days of the date of completion/last supply.