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I help contractors in many ways. Surprisingly, some of those I help never know Ive done them a service. When a dispute arises over payment, consumers sometimes want me to interpret the fine print in licensing law as they look for reasons withhold their check. A recent CSLB meeting ends the policy of extra credit for experience on some exams. Another contractor needs to check and see if there is a revolving door on his qualifiers office

Q: I understand that the CSLB will not issue a contractors license to an LLC. In addition, I heard the CSLB will not issue a license to a partnership (general or limited) where an LLC is a general partner. Any changes to this status? Any pending legislation?

A: There is no pending legislation that I am aware of. The CSLB still will not issue a contractor license to an LLC or a license to a partnership (general or limited) where an LLC is a general partner. Its status quo for Limited Liability Companies.

Q: We are going to need to replace the Responsible Managing Employee (RME) on our license once again. You helped us with the application process originally, but this will be our fourth time in the last year. Is the Contractors Board going to hold this against us?

A: This is not an issue. The Board will not hold it against a company if they replace their qualifier even 4 times in a year.

Q: We hired a General Contractor to construct a new building. The G.C. hired a subcontractor to perform the concrete work (building footings and slabs), block walls and installation of cultured stone veneer wainscoting around the exterior of the building.

I rec’d a Notice of Intent to Lien from this concrete subcontractor and did a search on the CSLB website. The only license classification the concrete subcontractor has is a “B” license. It’s my understanding since this concrete subcontractor did not perform 3 or more trades under the same contract, he may be performing this work illegally?

My three questions: are we obligated to pay him the balance of the contract? Does he have any lien rights? Should we allow him to come back and correct work that we believe is deficient?

A: Without knowing all the details or seeing the contract, I would say from a licensing perspective, this subcontractor has done nothing improper and that youre obligated to pay him. The work you described appears to be at least two unrelated trades (concrete and masonry) which is all a “B” needs to do on a given project. The law used to require 3 or more trades but was reduced to 2 several years ago. Regarding your second question, this contractor likely still has lien rights.

Whether his work is substandard I obviously cannot say. Whether you want to let him back on the job to correct the deficient work depends on whether you trust the sub to fix the problem(s). I suggest that you talk with the GC who hired the sub.

The CSLB recently held two Committee meetings in Sacramento. Among the items covered was an announcement that effective September 9th the Board will no longer grant extra credit points based on experience towards a trade exam.

Under existing regulation 829, the Board is required to evaluate the experience of the applicant and may grant one-half percentage point for each year of experience above the required 4-year minimum. The maximum credit for experience added to the trade examination was five points. Applications filed prior to 9/9/06 are still eligible for this extra credit.

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