California Contractors Additional License Classifications

“May you live in interesting times” is both a compliment and a curse. More true than ever in an election year. However, for contractors these are times in our society when new paths are often explored, new business created and realized in ways they never considered. From the number of contractors looking at new opportunity to build, create new companies and profit from our current ‘interesting times’ many questions arise . . .

Q: I may be starting a new company that will do telephone and data system installations and some electrical. Does my current status as a licensed contractor allow this activity? What do I need to do when I set up the new company?

A: Thank you for your email. My research indicates you’re licensed in the “B” and “C-10” (electrical) classifications. Therefore, your current status allows you to perform and in most cases sub-contract the electrical work you describe.

To apply for a new corporate license, you will need to first file the proper articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State, file a contractor’s license application, pay the required fees and post a new contractor’s bond.

Q: I’m in the early stages of creating a business plan for a landscape services company in California. My question: is there any simple document that outlines when I will need a “C-27″contractor’s license? I have briefly searched the Internet and the Contractor’s Board site and have not found an answer as of yet but did locate your site My company will initially provide basic maintenance including mowing, trimming, fertilization, as well as basic repair and light installation (sprinkler/planting/sod/low voltage lighting etc.) I understand that if I remain under the $500 limit I am okay; however in the “C-27” license it states “maintenance”. So do I need a license to mow a property for $600 per month? I would appreciate any assistance you can provide.

A: If you are simply doing maintenance (mowing, trimming, fertilization,) no contractor’s license is needed. On the other hand, if the work is more than $500 and includes basic repair and light installation, sprinkler/planting/sod/low voltage lighting etc., a license would be required. The word “maintains” is used in the “C-27” definition and relates to “the development of landscape systems for public or private gardens and other areas which are designed for horticulture, or to aesthetically, architecturally, or functionally improve the grounds within or surrounding a structure or tract of land.”

Q: I recently got my “B” license and would like to qualify for the “A” license. Do I go through the whole fingerprinting and pre-qualifying again?A: Although you’re a general building contractor, the CSLB will require that you show the four or more years experience to take the general engineering exam. You will not need to re-take the law test nor will you need to be fingerprinted a second time.

A shout out to the Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe for their recent newsletter reminder entitled: Are you registered to Vote? The registration deadline in CA to vote in the November 4 election is October 20.

Few rights are as important as the opportunity to express yourself — your beliefs and choices — at the ballot box. You can’t create change or make history by sitting on the sidelines.

I work with people in government jobs everyday, and they do the people’s business, at the direction of an elected leadership. It’s leadership determined by the voters. Get registered and express yourself. Contact your local Registrar of Voters or the CA Secretary of State’s Office ( with any questions or for more information.