California Contractors License Questions

Here’s a quick quiz for contractors. How many licenses can a corporation apply for? If you’re not sure, you may be surprised by the answer given to one of our contractor inquiries. Unfortunately, another contractor will be disappointed to learn there is little help in his situation. Don’t let this happen to you. How much of the company do you need to own to have your license number assigned to a corporation as the RMO? Those answers and more in this “Capitol Connection”

Q: Please remind me: What is the process for adding a “dba” to an existing corporate license? Is there a limit to the number of “dba’s” per license? If so, how many are allowed for each license?

A: A corporate contractor’s license can have a “dba”. If the company wants to conduct business under a second or third “dba”, each must have a separate license number. For instance, say you company has three classifications and you want to conduct a separate business under each one. You can keep the existing license and add a “dba”; apply for a second license with a different classification using a second “dba” and then apply to ‘do business as’ (DBA) under a third license name style.

Since each “dba” would be tied to the same corporation, there is no limit on the number of licenses a company can apply for. This is not the case if each entity were a unique corporation with a separate corporate number. Then there is a limit of three licenses that can be qualified by any one individual in a given year.

Q: I don not understand why my bond is being cancelled on my partnership license. Could you look into this for me? PLEASE HELP!

A: I wish I could help you on this; however, my research indicates your license expired over 6 years ago. After 5 years, a license is no longer renewable. If you want to reapply for this license the partners must be the same. Any changes and it won’t work.

You may want to contact the bonding company and find out why they cancelled the bond now, or more importantly, why they kept issuing a bond on an expired license? Since an expired license cannot legally contract, there is no reason to have a bond.

Q: Can a “B” contractor do a home improvement (remodeling) project and sub out everything except the ‘finish’ carpentry?

A: Only if he is from Finland! Just kidding, yes a General Building (“B”) contractor can handle a home improvement project if it involves 2 or more unrelated trades (or only includes rough or finish carpentry). There is no problem self-performing the finish work and sub-contracting the remaining trades.

Q: At the end of the licensing process, will the CSLB issue our company a NEW contractor’s license number or will we be issued the Responsible Managing Officer’s (RMO) EXISTING (inactive) license number?

A: When someone qualifies as the RMO on a license, the company is almost always issued a new license number. The qualifier’s existing license remains as is. The only exception would be if the RMO owned 51% or more of the company and choose to have his sole owner license re-issued to the corporation. As we discussed, this is not the case in your situation, as the RMO only owns 2% of the voting stock.