Multiple Active Contractor Licenses

Giving your contracting business a name has definite requirements and certain limitations in law. So how do licensed contractors decide what to name a new company when they have joined forces? If you’ve seen the red lights flashing in the rearview mirror, will that traffic ticket affect your license application? Maybe yes, maybe no. Can a RMO have two active licenses at one time? We review the basics…

Q: Thanks for the enjoyable reading. I enjoy your column in California Builder & Engineer. In my years of working as a contractor, I have seen the need to familiarize myself with the Boards rules and ‘regs’.

I have a brief question. I have held both an “A” & “B” License for over 30 years. I am thinking of applying to add a “C-8” and I know I would be given a waiver for both tests. Would I now have to do fingerprints and do minor traffic tickets constitute a yes answer? I’ve had nothing more than 2 moving violations in 40 years.

A: Thank you for reading the column and your kind words.

The Board does not just hand out waivers as you implied. With both general licenses, applying for an additional “C-8” (concrete) class will likely result in a waiver of the trade test; however, the CSLB requires a good deal of paperwork as part of the application process. This includes documenting up to 25 projects, or more –involving concrete work — over the prior 5-7 year period. Concrete would need to be shown to be a significant part of your construction experience.

Applying for this license would trigger fingerprinting. If all you have are minor traffic violations like those described below, then you could answer “NO” to question #11 on the license application. Note, if someone filing an application for licensure were to have a more significant traffic infraction, like a DUI, then a “YES” response would be in order (even if the incident happened 30 years ago or was expunged).

Q: Is it possible for a Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) to acquire a new license with a new company if they are a 100% owner of the original company. Would the license need to be active or inactive?

A: It is certainly feasible for someone to become the qualifier on two licenses at the same time. For the RMO to keep his or her existing license active, they’ll need to own 20% or more of the new company. If not, the existing license will need to be inactivated (or the RMO could disassociate).

Q: I have a question about joint venture licenses. My company will be forming a joint venture to bid on an upcoming public works project. We were told that the CSLB has restrictions on the business name we can use. If true, what are they? Also, do we need to list all classifications held by my company and my venture partner (between us we hold 5)?

A: The CSLB will accept the following type of names for joint venture (JV) licenses: a) combination of both joint venture contractor names exactly as they are licensed with the Board; b) partial names of each JV entity; or c) a completely fictitious name. They will reject any application that contains the full name of one entity but only a partial name of the second company. You may list one, several or all classification held by the companies.