Contractor’s Expert Solution

Sometimes when it seems there are no options, it is often limited knowledge that causes this dire view. Someone with more experience might have an answer. Experience over time creates ‘experts’. An expert has a greater grasp of the ‘big’ picture than most individuals can ever acquire from outside the process. Two examples of why longevity in business is often a good clue to finding that elusive alternative solution.

Q: I have a “B” license and I want to branch out into the pool and spa business. I don’t have enough experience in that field to get the license but my friend does. However, he does not hold a contractor’s license.

He wants to work for me as an employee, and handle all the fieldwork, while I essentially own and run the company. Is there a way to do that under the law?

A: Yes, you can set this up as described without too much difficulty. By adding your friend as a Responsible Managing Employee (RME), he can sit for the exam and qualify for the “C-53″ class. You would still be the owner and qualifier for the “B” while he would qualify the Swimming Pool portion of the license. If you do not presently have Worker’s Compensation, this will now be required as will a second $12,500 Bond (Of Qualifying Individual).

If you want to separate the two licenses, an alternative would be to form a new corporation with you as President and your friend as RME or RMO (Responsible Managing Officer). This would give you the option of conducting business under two business names: the existing sole owner “B” and the new corporate “C-53″.

Q: I am very involved in a family business and we are in the process of changing ownership from parent to son. It is presently a corporation and I have been listed on that license as an officer for over 30 years. I also have my own (inactive) corporate license with me as the RMO.

I purchased the corporation from my parents and want to keep the current license active. However, the way I interpret the license law, I need to have a sole proprietor license that is inactive to back up the corporate license.

I tried to do a name change on my corporate license to a sole owner, but received notice from the Contractor’s License Board that I couldn’t change the license name, as it is a corporation. Do I need to apply for a sole proprietor license? Thank you for any information you can give me.

A: Thank you for the email. You do not need an inactive (or any) sole proprietor license to take over the operation and qualification of this existing family business. The confusion may stem from a law that involves exam waivers when a family member (such as yourself) is taking over an existing “individual” license due to the death or absence of the present qualifier. This is a corporate license, so you can apply to replace your parent as the RMO and request a waiver since you already hold the two primary license classifications. You should qualify for a waiver of the remaining class since you have been working full time for this company for the past 5+ years.

If you want, the current family members can remain on the license as officers plus you can apply to change officer titles with you becoming the majority owner and CEO/President.

I hope this helps clear up the licensing situation. If you have any further questions please call me.

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