How to pay contractor, who to make check out to?

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wrote:

And...... exactly what is wrong in making out the check to the person\\company that you contracted to have the job done? I don't care what the contractor is doing with the money. All I want to do is protect myself. If the contractor wants to be paid a certain way, let him say it up front or in the contract and let me decide if I want to do it then not after he's finished and hopefully sweeping up his mess.
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If you want to protect yourself, buy life insurance. Buy homeowner's insurance. Buy health insurance. Wear a seatbelt and a condom. But I don't see making a check out to Jay Stewart Plumbing or to Jay Stewart making any difference in protecting you from anything. The risk in fact is on the other side, in that your check could bounce. It's just laughable to claim the guy is gonna come back and say he wasn't paid.

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wrote:

Now I think you're being stupid. Why shouldn't a consumer look to protect himself? Don't tell me to buy home or health insurance. You might not see anything wrong but I as a consumer and owner of my money till I part with it see nothing wrong in writing the check to the company. Are you a contractor or self employed. Then I can understand your attitude. Just like a contractor protects his butt by writing contracts, I protect my butt by paying to the company\\person I hired to do the job. If as a contractor or self employed individual you don't like doing work without a contract, go buy home insurance, health insurance and pull a condom over your head. Life is a two way street.
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Never said a consumer should't protect themselves. What I said and you fail to grasp is that whether the check is made out to Jay Stewart Plumbing or Jay Stewart offers you zippo in the way of protection. If anything is stupid, it's to think that the guy is somehow gonna try to get you to pay twice, which is extremely unlikely. There are plenty of ways a contractor can screw you, but this one is just beyond silly. If he does deny payment was made, you just show him the canceled check and tell him to get lost. Which is exactly what you would do regardless of how you made out the check.
Don't tell me to buy home or health insurance. You might not see

Now you're really going off track. I never suggested to do have work done without a contract. That isn't at all what the thread is about. But since you can't explain what great measure of "protection" to the consumer results from making the check out to Jay Stewart Plumbing instead of Jay Stewart, I guess this switch and divert is the best you can come up with. It's like the other blind alley you tried to take us down, by bringing up the bogus issue of what name is on a permit that might have been pulled for the job. Suppose you have a permit for an addition and you have a rough in carpenter, a finish carpenter and another contractor for the railings. Following your logic, they would all have to have pulled permits so you could match the names. Somehow I don't think it works that way.
go

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Tube Audio wrote in message

a bill.

make
company.
name as

neighbor so I

and my

or to

Make it out to John Smith and then put the companies business name in the Memo. That's what I would do.
Cheri
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I tend to write check to the same "entity" I record on the contract agreement. If it's John Smith I signed the contract with I pay John Smith, if it's ABC Construction I pay ABC Construction. I make it very clear on the contract agreement whether I am dealing with "John Smith" or "John Smith of ABC Construction" so my recommendation is to review your contract.
MC

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And I hope you realize that in many cases, ie sole proprietorships, the individual and the company are legally one and the same.
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On Jun 21, 4:34 am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

This entire thread had degenerated into "is the person the same as the DBA and/or corporation". If it is, then some people contend that it really doesn't make a different. If the contractor is a weasel and not paying taxes on it, it's no skin off your teeth.
Setting aside the insurance issues, the 1099 issue, and a whole bunch of other assumptions; you need to remember two things. 1. Many people think that this person is a weasel for asking. 2. It has been ASSUMED that the person saying "make the check out to me" is in fact the owner of the company. If the guy is a weasel, he it may be that he is trying to scam the owner. Maybe he's an employee and he's just going to pocket the bling and move on to the next project.
I think MC's point is valid. If the contract is in some name, write the check to that name. It provides you with additional protect at no cost. It keeps the real owner from coming after you.
I think MC's point is pretty valid becaus
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Pat wrote: ...

Yes and no...tax evasion in general is "skin off" the collective group...

I hadn't added that possible scenario into the mix as it seemed a little hard to execute in the particular case. The "asking" came in the form of a handwritten request at the bottom of an invoice. Hence, unless the whole invoice is a fake including the return address it would take an "inside job" by someone other than the owner to intercept the check when it arrives, etc., to get the benefit.
In general, the simplest explanation is usually the most nearly correct and I think the simplest is the fella' wants to either simply not report the income or only report it as personal, not business, for tax purposes.
Of course, as someone else has noted, the business could be in deep financial trouble, have judgment(s) against it, etc., etc., that he's trying to avoid paying as well. If that's the case, it might behoove the OP to at least attempt to ensure that the contractor has paid (or does pay) _his_ suppliers to avoid a possible contractors' lien on his property on down the road. Remote chance, in all likelihood, but stranger things happen.
Then again, _just maybe_ there's a completely innocent and "up and up" explanation, too, and we're all either just too cynical or dumb to figure out what it is. :)

It seems that way to me -- the invoice came on a letterhead-->pay the invoice not something/someone else.
imo, ymmv, $0.02, etc., etc., ...
--
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dpb wrote:

<snipped>
I think I'm the guy you are referring to regarding the guy's business possibly being in financial trouble, so I'll ask this question of the group:
I recall the when we bought our present home, a "spec built" one, from it's builder our lawyer spent some time checking whether subcontractors had been paid and I believe got some certified documents from the builder "swearing" that all subs were satisfied.
But, on a smaller scale, if it turns out the paving company, whom I paid a few thousand bucks to last year to rip out and install a new asphalt driveway at our home, went belly up owing their asphalt supplier money, would that supplier have a valid case to come after me for the value of the materials in my driveway?
Does that sort of stuff really happen?
If it does, than other than trying your best to check out everyone you hire to do any work for you that involves installing materials, are their other ways to protect yourself from being hassled over stuff like that.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

...
It depends on state law, but I think it's generally true (at least has been where I have lived) that yes, the supplier can place mechanic's liens on property where their supplies were installed, not just the contractor who did the installation. And, yes, Virginia, it does happen.

That's why it is important to check them out and in particularly make sure their performance bond and such are in place and current.
--
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In NYS, the supplier could come after you if they weren't paid -- assuming they know where the asphalt was delivered. If they haven't come yet, then they've probably been paid. Don't worry too much. It is the LAST job that he did where he didn't pay the company -- and then he never got another load.
I think they have a year to file a lien.
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Tube Audio wrote:

I always negotiate the deal based on a "cash" price.
I peel off the hundred dollar bills, and he produces a signed receipt - I'm covered, and I don't care what he reports to the IRS.
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Tube Audio wrote:

So, how do you protect you self from mechanics' / suppliers' liens?
I'd make the check payable to "ABC Company (the contractor) and XYZ Building Supply" (the folks who supplied the wallboard / concrete / etc.)
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That is the super way to protect yourself. Now you'll see the marginal contractors come in screaming at that idea. They want protection but don't want to offer protection to the consumer.
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that's the dumbest idea yet. now the contractor would have to go to the lumber yard & have them sign off on his check so he could cash it. There might be a couple people in that lumber yard with the authority to sign a check, then you would need the paper work showing that authority, probably stamped by a notary public. The contractor probably already paid for the materials when he picked it up, so I fail to see why you would ever drag them into this. I would cringe at the idea to work for people so incredibly anal. you offer a service, you do a good job, they pay you. move on to the next job. it's not that hard people.
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In a nice world you'd be 100% right however would you be willing to bet the farm on how many illegitimate contractors take the money, don't pay their supplier and run?
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Go to www.askjeeves.com and type in Supplier liens Most states recommend that you either get lien releases from the contractor, subcontractors and suppliers before you pay for the job or to make the checks out jointly to the contractor, subs and suppliers which in most cases is not practical in my opinion.
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longshot wrote:

Except that we have a contractor, according to the OP, who is bidding and doing busness on paper, and billing as ABC Contracting. At the end, where the rubber meets the road, the guy wants to change things by getting paid as Joe C, not ABC Contracting
The contractor is telling you, in big bright neon red letters about a hundred feet high that he is into playing cute games with money by telling you that he wants the money going to Joe C instead of the ABC Contracting entity.
Most folks here are actually capable of recognizing that. You, sadly, are either vision impaired, and don't see the warning signs, or, if you see the warning signs, are too dumb tof recognizing their significance.
If the contractor wants to play cute financial games with payments to him, why do you think thats the only place he's playing cute financial games?
If in those circumstances you still dont want to protect yourself, thats ok by me.
For my part, were I faced with the situation reported bythe OP, I'd be protecting myself.
My $ 0.02, ymmv, IMHO, etc.
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IMHO, the posters here who say there is nothing wrong with writing a check to someone other than who the contract was made up by appear to me to be contractors or self employed people who practice this with their customers. As long as no one give me charity and I worked hard for my money, I'll protect myself the way I see fit. I don't need a contractor telling me 'don't worry'. That's when I first start worrying.
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