A Sunshine State contractor has a Golden State dream that is a coast-to-coast wakeup call on waivers. First, a General contractor with another dream wants advice on how to obtain specialty licenses for his children’s future…
Q: I hold a General Building license. I know that I can handle most trades with the “B” but would like to do some specialty work by itself. What I’m thinking about is getting a license to install decks and another to do construction cleanup. In both instances, my goal is help my kids start up a contracting business and thought this would be a good place. Will I need to take a test? What are your thoughts?
A: Thank you for your email. You’re correct that a “B” can “handle most trades” – as long as they are a part of an overall General Building project. If you want to perform only one trade or craft, a specialty license would generally be required.
Both Specialties trades you mentioned fall under the “C-61” (Limited Specialty) classification. By definition, the CSLB has divided these into “D” subcategories for administrative tracking (there are currently 30 such categories). The definitions for the “D” subcategories were developed by staff and approved by the Board as a matter of policy.
You could apply for the “D-41” (Siding and Decking) and “D-63” (Construction cleanup) license with no further testing. Since the “C-61” class does not have a trade exam, all you would need to show is 4 or more years of full-time experience in each of these trades. If you’ve been performing or supervising decking and construction cleanup under your General license you should have little problem in quickly securing these additions.
As for the second half of your question, if your goal is to start a new contracting business, you’ll need to apply for a new contractor’s license. This new entity can be a corporation, LLC or partnership. You could also put your kids into business as “Sole Owners” but this would require that you inactivate your existing license. As for the type of business you decide on, I would suggest consulting with an attorney or tax professional. If you have any additional questions on this or any other licensing matter, please call me at 866-443-0657. I wish you the best of luck with this venture.
Q: I am a licensed General Contractor in Florida and I qualify my own business. I’ve had the license for 6 months. I have a 4-year BS degree in Construction Management and over 10 years of construction experience. Would I qualify for being exempt from the exam in California?
A: Even with your extensive construction experience and education you will still be required to take the law and trade exams in order to obtain your contractor’s license in California. There are only a few instances where an individual can qualify for a waiver of the exams and if you’d like to discuss those please feel free to call me.