Why is all this so important? Without these initial steps, an owner could well lose certain protections afforded under the construction lien law. For example, payments made after the expiration of the notice of commencement or without the notice of commencement ever being recorded could adversely impact the priority of liens as well as the determination of who is responsible for certain payments.
Do you want to protect your completed work by filing a claim of lien? Better first look for that Notice of Commencement.