New West Virginia Contractor Disclosure Effective July 7
Beginning on July 7, 2017, contractors performing West Virginia state contracts worth $100,000 or more are required to publicly disclose the names of their owners, subcontractors, and other business entities providing work or services under the contract. The scope of those required to be listed is very broad, as currently written, to include those “performing work or service pursuant to, or in furtherance of, the applicable contract, including specifically sub-contractors.” Conceivably, this could include suppliers, vendors, and similar persons. The new law, included in House Bill 2001, requires contractors doing business with a state agency, under a contract or series of related contracts worth $100,000 or more, to file a disclosure with that agency when the contract is submitted for signature (but not at bid submission) listing any person who has an ownership interest in the business entity of 25% or more (except for publicly traded companies). In addition, the disclosure must list any “compensated broker or intermediary” who facilitated and/or negotiated the contract. The procedure for contracts with a state institution of higher education is a bit different, but the disclosure information is similar. The penalty if the disclosure is not filed is that the “state agency may not enter into [the] applicable contract.”
This will likely become nothing more than a check-box piece of paperwork. Nevertheless, you should consider that this document will be a public record and for contractor firms that are partnerships, closely-held corporations, or limited liability companies, there may be discomfort in revealing ownership information.