A subcontractor is an individual or in many cases a business that signs a contract to perform part or all of the obligations of another's contract.
A subcontractor is a person who is hired by a general contractor (or prime contractor, or main contractor) to perform a specific task as part of the overall project and is normally paid for services provided to the project by the originating general contractor. While the most common concept of a subcontractor is in building works and civil engineering, the range of opportunities for subcontractor is much wider and it is possible that the greatest number now operate in the information technology and information sectors of business.
The incentive to hire subcontractors is either to reduce costs or to mitigate project risks. In this way the general contractor receives the same or better service than the general contractor could have provided by itself, at lower overall risk. Many subcontractors do work for the same companies rather than different ones. This allows subcontractors to further specialize their skills.
A subcontractor who contracts with the main contractor to supply or fix any materials or goods or execute work forming part of the main contract. Essentially this contractor is employed by the main contractor.
Certain contracts permit the architect or supervising officer to reserve the right of the final selection and approval of subcontractors. The main contractor is permitted to make a profit from the use of nominated subcontractors on site, but must provide "attendance" (usually the provision of water, power, restrooms, and other services to enable the nominated subcontractor to do his job). In effect the appointment of nominated subcontractors establishes a direct contractual relationship between the client and the subcontractor.
Effectively the same as a domestic subcontractor - A subcontractor who contracts with the main contractor to supply or fix any materials or goods or execute work forming part of the main contract. Essentially this contractor is employed by the main contractor.
Building construction is a common example of how the contractor-subcontractor relationship works. The general contractor takes prime responsibility for seeing that the building is constructed and signs a contract to do so. Then they retain subcontractors to perform specialty work such as installing plumbing, laying carpet, making cabinetry, and landscaping. Usually each subcontractor is paid a somewhat lesser sum than what the contractor receives for the work. If the owner refuses to pay the general contractor for work a subcontractor has performed, the subcontractor has the right to file a mechanic's lien against the property for the cost of the unpaid work.
Strictly speaking, "subcontracting" is practiced only by a contractor, namely an individual or a company working for another entity under a contractual agreement. If the contractor then hires out some of the work to yet another organization, it is said to have subcontracted the work out. Subcontracting is most common in the construction industry: builders often subcontract plumbing, electrical work, drywalling, painting, and other tasks. But many other sectors engage in contract work as well, most notably government contractors of all kinds.
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