Contractor License Reciprocity, Individual to Corporate California Licenses

‘Getting ahead’ in life is something you often hear. Like life, our work is also about movement. These contractors will all be ‘moved’ by the answers to their inquiries. One will progress from individual to corporate licensing while a second will find a ‘Stop’ sign in his effort to transfer across the border. Unfortunately, my answer to another will move him from a ‘happy’ state to a ‘sad’ one…

Q: We recently incorporated our business and I would like to know what forms I need in order to keep my same contractor’s license for the new company. I downloaded the application entitled Examination Waiver (7065) but it also came with the Certification of Work Experience and the Licensed Sole Owner Applying for Corporate License forms. My question is, do we need the last two forms or do we only send the first three pages of this application? Thanks for any information you can give me.

A: When applying for a new corporate contractor’s license, you have the option of transferring your individual license to the company. This transfer requires that you, as Responsible Managing Officer (RMO), must own 51% or more of the corporation. You will need to file the “Licensed Sole Owner Applying for Corporate License form” and answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the transfer question. Once the transfer is completed, the license number cannot revert back to the individual contractor (it must stay with the corporation).

Since you are already qualified, there is no need to file the Certification of Work Experience page. It’s interesting that you mentioned this because just yesterday I was asked by the CSLB to provide input on potential changes to their license applications. I suggested eliminating this unnecessary page, which is part of the “Examination Waiver (7065)” application, because it can be confusing.

Q: I am looking to reactivate my contractor’s license. This corporation has been inactive for about ten years. You helped me back in the 90’s with another issue. What is the best way to go about doing this?

A: Nice to hear from you after these many years. I am sorry but your license expired in 1999 and therefore cannot be “reactivated” or renewed. In addition, according to my research, the corporation is under suspension with the Secretary of State (SOS) so you could not presently reactivate the license under any circumstances. If you want this license back, first resolve the outstanding issues with the State and then file a new original license application. From my experience, suspensions with the SOS are usually due to non-payment of taxes with the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

As we discussed, although a company may stop contracting, unless you formally dissolve the corporation with the SOS and FTB, the State continues assessing a minimum tax of $800.00 per year. Add to this an estimated 10 years of interest and penalties, and you may owe up to $20,000.

I am sorry but there is more bad news. Unfortunately, since this license expired over 5 years ago (in 1999), you’ll be required to re-take the law and trade exams to re-qualify this or any other license.

Q: I have a license in the state of Oregon. I will likely be relocating to California in the future. I’m not sure if Oregon has a reciprocal license agreement with your state. If so, I understand this may waive the exam(s).

A: Oregon and California do NOT have a reciprocity licensing agreement. CA only recognizes those contractors who have been licensed in NV, UT, and AZ for the past 5 or more years. Therefore, plan on taking both the law and trade tests.