CA Contractors License renewals; Joint Venture Licenses

While there is no ‘national’ contractor’s license, you can ‘stretch’ your California one. Did you move offices or otherwise change your business address? If you did, don’t expect CSLB to track you down when it’s time to renew. If you’re a carpenter you know your woods, but every contractor no matter their trade should know this ‘Board’…

Q: Do you know what the requirements are for a bond company to respond to bond claims? Is there a limited time they have to respond once they’ve received a claim?

A: It is my understanding that surety companies have 30 days to respond to a claim filed against a contractor’s bond. They may honor the claim, deny the claim or request additional information on which to base their response.

Q: Does California have a reciprocal contractor agreement with Washington? If so how does it work?

A: Sorry, but CA does not have a reciprocal licensing agreement with the State of Washington. They only reciprocate (for the trade exam) with Nevada, Arizona and Utah.

Q: Our license is coming up for renewal next month and we have not received anything from the State Board. We recently moved our office (down the street) and wonder if this might be the reason. Any idea?

A: The CSLB generally sends out renewal applications 60-75 days prior to the expiration date. In other words, for those whose license will expire on May 31; look for your renewal at the end of March or beginning of April. Renewals are sent to a contractor’s address of record. In your case, it has already been sent – and because you moved, likely returned by the post office.

Whether you move down the street or out-of-state, contractors should officially notify the Board of any address change by filing a Changing Business Name and/or Address form. The law requires contractors to notify the CSLB within 90 days of changing your physical or mailing address.

Q: Can we form a Joint Venture with another contractor who has not yet been issued a license? Can we bid on a contract as a joint venture before we actually have our license number?

A: The answer to your first question is NO. A Joint Venture (JV) license can be issued to any combination of individuals, corporations, partnerships, or other joint ventures if each holds a contractor’s license that is current, active and in good standing.

Your second question is addressed in B&P Code Section 7029.1, which states that properly licensed contractors may jointly bid PRIOR to obtaining a joint venture license The JV may not however, be awarded a contract without first securing the appropriate license. If the bid and award dates are close together, it is advisable to apply for the JV license early on in the bid process.

Know Your Board Members

The Chairman of the CSLB is Jim Miller. He serves as the Director of Building and Planning for the City of Big Bear Lake. Prior to his current employment, Mr. Miller held various local government positions. This included: Riverside County’s Director of Building and Safety; Development Services Director for the City of Murieta; Pomona’s Building Official and Regional Manager and Building Inspector for Riverside County. Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Mr. Miller, whose term continues through June 1, 2009, to the CSLB in September 2005.