Contractor licensing for partnerships and corporations in CA

Which contractors must include a phone number in their signage? Can you ‘split’ a license to cover two different businesses? You would like to ‘inherit’ your parent’s contracting business, but how long can you wait to claim that license number? What happens when a contractor’s license is ‘limited’ by the departure of a partner? I’m cutting red tape and solving contractor’s license problems. Answers to these questions and more . . .

Q: I have a construction company setup as an “S” corporation. I hold the “B” and “C-36” license classifications. I would like to break off the plumbing section of the company to a new office using a different business name, however, I want to keep both under the same corporation as a single entity. From your previous columns I have learned that the CSLB only allows one “doing-business-as” or “dba” per license.

My questions are: Can I apply for a new license number for the plumbing “dba” without starting a complete separate business? If that is possible will each “dba” still retain both license classifications or will the plumbing “dba” have solely a “C-36” classification and the construction “dba” have only a “B” classification? Finally, will I have to take a test to obtain another license number?

A: You can apply for a new license number with a ‘dba’ under your existing corporation thereby giving you two distinct license numbers. It is up to you whether to retain both license classification or split up the “C-36” and “B”. Since you already hold both of these classifications, no further testing will be required.

Q: Someone reported me to the CSLB for not having my phone number on my trucks. Is this a requirement? I have my license number and my company name listed on every vehicle.

A: Plumbing (“C-36”), Electrical Sign (“C-45”) and Well-drilling (“C-57”) contractors must display their business name, permanent business address and contractor license number on both sides of every business vehicle. All other licensed construction trades need only display the business name and license number. While it may be a good business practice to do so, there is no requirement that you list your phone number on your trucks.

Q: I was in a family contracting business, which was dissolved a few years after my dad’s death. The license number still shows up on the Internet and I was wondering if it could be reassigned to me or another family member. I was an officer in the business and the name is still available.

A: Sorry, my research indicates your dad’s sole owner license was cancelled over ten years ago so it CANNOT be reassigned to you or anyone else.

Q: We want to make a change to our Limited Partnership contractor’s license. The Responsible Managing Employee (RME) just left and we were told when we called the CSLB that any change to a partnership license would cause it to be cancelled. How do we go about getting a new RME and still keep the license?

A: Your license is a limited partnership with several general and limited partners. As indicated it is qualified by a RME. If in fact the CSLB told you that “any” change would cause the license to be cancelled, this is incorrect.

Partnerships can change their RME or a limited partner without the license being cancelled. If you add or remove a general partner, then the Board would be required by law to cancel your license.