Woman Owned Business and DVBE in California

While the voters passing Proposition 209 changed the rules for minority-owned companies in California, bid goals remain for some contractors. Is there a contract ‘advantage’ for your company? I shake the ‘foundation’ of another contractor’s ideas before ‘wading’ into a plumbing question…

Q: Where can I sign up for the women-owned business? Seems I can’t find it on the Internet.

A: There is no longer a specific Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) or Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program in California as there had been for many years. The Caltrans Civil Rights Office does however administer Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) opportunities that encompass what you are looking for.

For disabled veterans, there are also specific goals for including you in contracts & bids including incentives reducing the final cost. The non-profit California DVBE Alliance provides information and assists with the certification process free for disabled veterans. The statewide group also provides a ‘keyword’ search on their website to locate veteran-owned companies for contractor bids.

I have linked these sites on my Resources page: www.cutredtape.com

Q: My local Builders Exchange recommended you with respect to a question about the “B” license “rule of 3.” Their Executive Office said they use you to answer many contractors licensing question and you’ll do so for free.

Do you have any further information about the number of trades a “B” license must be performing to obtain a building permit, other than what is on the CSLB web site? We know some “B’s” that would like to install state approved foundation systems under existing mobile homes. They do some carpentry, but do not, in most instances, perform other trades. Some local governments have begun requiring the “C-47” unless they are doing two other trades. Would you consider that appropriate? Thanks for your help and any information.

A: I appreciate your email and am always happy to respond to questions of this nature. I receive many inquiries from builder exchange members throughout the State.

There were a number of amendments in the “B” classification about a decade ago that changed the “rule of three” to the “rule of two”. This came about as a result of a Court decision involving Home Depot.

A “B” contractor must handle at least two unrelated trades (not including carpentry) on a given project. Using your example, the CONCRETE foundation would be one trade; however, since you may not include CARPENTRY as the second trade, I would not consider this appropriate under the State’s general building definition.

Local government’s that are requiring the “C-47” (general manufactured housing) classification appear to be correct. In part, the “C-47” is defined as installing, altering or repairing any type of manufactured housing including accessory structures and foundations. I hope this helps. Please call me if you have any further questions.

Q: My question relates to repair contracts. Since homeowners have a three-day right to cancel a contract what protections do I have if I am performing an emergency plumbing repair requested by the homeowner?

A: “Service and Repair contracts” are defined within the multitude of requirements related to home improvement contracts (B&P Code 7159). Basically, the 3-day Right to Cancel is overruled if: a) the work amounts to $750.00 or less; b) the home owner initiated contact with you as the contractor; c) you do not sell the homeowner goods or services beyond what is necessary to fix the problem; and d) no payment is due until the work is satisfactorily completed.