Adding Specialty Classifications to A & B Contractors Licenses

We are all hoping this New Year brings us new hope, new opportunity and new vision for prosperity and profit. As we move forward into this new calendar let’s work together to solve our problems, discover new prospects and build a better future because America is a ‘joint venture’ we all share. As contractors know and another Illinois Senator noted as our 16th President, a “house divided against itself cannot stand”…

Q: We are thinking of forming a joint venture and have two questions. 1) We have been told there are some business names the Contractors Board won’t allow. Could you explain this? 2) Between the two companies, we hold 3 license classifications but we only need one for the license. Will the CSLB allow us to apply for only once classification or are we required to list all three?

A: The CSLB does have some strict standards regarding what name styles they will allow for Joint Ventures (JV). For instance if you use the full legal names for BOTH JV partners, this is acceptable, as is listing a partial name for each entities. You can also apply under a completely fictitious name. However, using the FULL business name of one entity while only using the partial business name of the other is not allowed.

It is common for Joint Venture entities to collectively hold two or more classifications. There is no requirement that you list more than one classification on the JV application.

Q: I heard that you could get another license with no testing. I have a General building (“B”) and want to get a “C-36” (plumbing). Is there a way to add this to my license with no trade exam?

A: I think you’re referring to Code Section 7065.3, which allows the Registrar to consider issuing an additional classification to a licensed contractor with a waiver of the trade test. To be eligible for this waiver, you must be able to show the following: a) you were listed on the personnel of the license – which was active and in good standing — for 5 of the prior 7 years; b) you can conclusively show experience in the additional classification; and c) the classification being applied for is closely related to the class presently held by the contractor.

In my experience, plumbing is considered by the Board to be closely related to the “B”. In fact, general contractors applying for this type of related classification (concrete, painting, electrical, roofing, drywall, etc.) was one of the driving forces behind passage of this law back in 1990. It was – and still is – felt that general contractors who regularly perform this specialty work should be considered for exam waivers. As part of the application process, the CSLB requires a very detailed work and project history. The CSLB also will consider an additional class waiver for those holding the “A” and some specialty classifications.

Q: I was just awarded a job to do some renovation work. A portion of the job (about $2500) involves work that I would like to sub contract. My brother has applied for his license but has not taken the exam. Can I have him do the work even if he has no license yet?

A: I WOULD NOT suggest signing a subcontract with your brother at this time. You can make him an employee or wait until he has been issued a valid contractor’s license. Keep in mind that B&P Section 7118 states, “entering into a contract with a contractor while such contractor is not licensed …constitutes cause for disciplinary action.”