Successfully Completing Contractors Licensing Applications

Was it Mom, or perhaps the bureaucracy that wants, ‘a place for everything and everything in its place?’ Both, right? A contractor’s license application is no exception to that rule. Both a family of contractors and a ‘former’ one will learn that sometimes what looks easy is harder than you might think…

Q: My father in-law would like to add my husband to his contractor’s license and also allow my husband to replace him on the license when he retires. Can you please tell us the easiest way to go about this?

A: If your father-in-law has a corporation license, it will be very easy to add your husband. All he needs to do is complete an Application to Report Current Officers. There is no fee for this. Shortly before your father-in-law retires, your husband can complete an application for replacing the qualifying individual. He will need to document at least 4 years experience within the past 10 and pass the required law and trade exams.

If your father-in-law has a sole owner or partnership license, the only way to “add” your husband is to apply for a new license.

Q: I read on your web site that you have experience with the Arizona Contractors Board. Well, I have been dealing with them and have become very frustrated. They returned my application for two reasons and I’m not sure what I should do. For instance, one question on the application says, “List all owners of 25% or more”. I left it blank since there are none. A second asks if I have ever had a license in AZ or another state that “has been disciplined” (explain if YES). I answered NO.

They rejected the application because both questions were left blank. How do I respond?

A: Sorry to hear about your problems dealing with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. I too have noticed several recent instances where the AZ Contractors Board has rejected an application for similar reasons, you described.

In one case, an application was returned to the contractor for failure to respond to the same question you referenced — #11). On page #2, the application clearly states: “IF NOT APPLYING AS A CORPORATION OR LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY GO TO QUESTION 12”. Since the company was applying as a limited partnership, the applicant rightly assumed question #11 did not apply – and left it blank.

Regarding how you should respond, I can only suggest that you re-submit the application and politely point out in a letter why you believe these questions do not apply. You could put N/A on both to make clear that these questions are not being ignored.

Q: My license was revoked a number of years ago. I was dealing with a divorce and did not respond to the issues raised by the CSLB. Is there anything I can do now to appeal this decision and get my license back? I have a job as a project manager but want to begin doing my own building.

A: Unfortunately, once a license is revoked you have less than a month to appeal the Registrar’s decision. Once it becomes final, there is nothing you can do. To re-apply for your license, you need to first find out what conditions the CSLB has set. Depending on the reason(s) behind the revocation, these may include restitution, payment of a citation and (certainly) posting a disciplinary bond. I suggest writing a letter to the CSLB asking point blank “What do I need to do to get my contractors license back?”

As an aside, you may wish to consult with an attorney, to determine if B&P Code section 7121.6 applies to your employment as a project manager. Effective, January 1, 2007, the CSLB has restricted the activities for those with revoked licenses.