General Questions for Contractors

Some ‘general’ questions from our contractors this time. Are you an RMO? How much do you get paid for qualifying the license? A contractor is seeking ‘credit’ from the Board, while another wants to be ‘shown the money’. Finally, I’ll help a contractor find the fastest way to add some low voltage ‘juice’ to his bids.

Q: I am interested in getting a General contractor’s license. I do not want my application to be rejected when I apply, so would like some advice on completing the application to ensure that it will not be rejected. My experience all comes from fixing my own house for the past six years. This should give me at least 2 years of journeyman experience. I have an engineering degree that should equate to 2-3 years of experience.

A: While I would be happy to provide you with my expertise, there is no way to “ensure” that your application will “not be rejected.” I believe your assumption that the CSLB will give you “2 years journeyman experience” for fixing your own home is probably overly optimistic. In all likelihood they will give you a fraction of this (maybe a year). There is no way to determine this for sure without filing the application with the CSLB so they can conduct a complete review and, if needed, an investigation of your background. Your degree in engineering should get you 2 years credit but I don’t think the Board will give you more than this (for a “B” license).

Q: A friend recently approached me to become his RMO and I know that as a General Contractor I have legal responsibilities to the company that is being formed. I would like to know to what extent, and how they are normally compensated beyond the 20% of ownership of the newly formed company. Can you help me find material to read so I can be informed?

A: Compensation between a company and the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) is typically negotiated by the two parties. There is NO “normal” compensation that I am aware of; however, I would assume that as a full time employee, you would be compensated commensurate with other company personnel. The 20% ownership you referenced is not a requirement unless you intend on keeping your existing contractor’s license active.

Q: Our attorney recommended you after I contacted him about a legal issue for our company. I then read a couple of your columns online and think they are most helpful on keeping up with the ever-changing regulations in California.

We specialize in low voltage install in which we hire sub contractors under our “B”. We now want to add this “C” classification to our current General contractor’s license or get a new “C-7” license, whichever is most expedient.

A: Thanks for your kind words. It is easier, faster and less costly to add a classification to an existing license than to apply for a new original license. Your qualifier must have 4 or more years experience (within the past ten years) in the “C-7” low voltage electrical trade and should complete an application for additional classification.