California Corporate Contractors License

We help corporate contractors, sole proprietors and anyone else who may have a question about some aspect of obtaining or using your State license. Small and disabled-veteran contractors are getting more support from the State of California. We give a contractor a ‘helping hand’ to keep the business in the family by reaching beyond his ‘grasp’…

Q: I currently own 100% of a corporation (commercial painting contractor). If I were to sell the entire company and start a new corporation, could I transfer my current license? Thank you in advance for you help.

A: Sorry, but you cannot transfer your existing corporate license number to the new company. The license number belongs to the entity not you as an individual.

Q: I heard that there have been some changes in the Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise program. I’m in the process of applying for this certification and my contractor’s license and was hoping you could fill me in?

A: The Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and Department of General Services (DGS) have taken steps to implement AB 21, which was signed by the Governor earlier this year.

The minimum DVBE participation goal (for most State contracts) is 3%. Previously contractors who could not meet this goal were required to at least demonstrate they had made “a good faith effort” to locate certified DVBE contractors or suppliers. Under this legislation, the program has been modified significantly. Bidders may no longer demonstrate compliance with a “good faith effort” and instead must meet the stated percentage goal. The latest addition to helping small and disabled veteran companies is AB 31, which was signed by the Governor. This requires prime contractors to verify and report actual participation in each bid to the awarding agency.

To obtain more information on the DVBE program or to locate a DVBE contractor or supplier, you can visit my web site ( Go to the “Resources” page and click on “DVBE Alliance”.

Q: My father has had a general contractor’s license for 40 years. He is retiring and wants me to take over the business. I have worked in the trades for about 10 years but this was for another company (not my fathers). I was told by the CSLB that I could not take over his license number but we do not want to lose it. Is there a way to get the license without testing? Any suggestions?

A: He could incorporate and transfer his sole owner license to the corporation assuming he owns 51% of the stock and is the Responsible Managing Officer. Once the company has been established, you could purchase the stock and replace him as the RMO. You should have no problem qualifying with your decade of experience but will need to pass the required law and trade exams.

While this may work for you from a licensing perspective, I would not do anything until you have discussed this with your lawyer or financial advisor. There could be some tax or legal considerations that may be applicable to your situation.