Landscaping & B License

You hire a licensed landscaper to create and maintain your property, but did you know he could also bid for the contract to build your swimming pool? One of the ways to obtain a low contractor’s license number in California is to buy one. Another contractor is having some sleepless nights worrying about losing his license because of an ‘arresting development’…

Q: My license was issued about three years ago. At that time I was fingerprinted and had no problems on my record. I was just arrested for a minor incident and am worried that this could cause a problem with my license. Do I need to tell the Board about this problem? Can the Contractors Board take my license away because of one incident?

A: I am just guessing but from your question it seems you were also convicted of this ‘minor’ crime. Since you were fingerprinted when you applied for this license three years ago, the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) should notify the CSLB that you’ve been arrested. If in fact this is a “minor incident”, it is very unlikely the Board will take any action against you. To be proactive, you may want to notify the CSLB regarding your arrest and provide them with any legal or court records.

The Contractors Board has the authority to suspend or even revoke a license if the crime is substantially related to your contracting business. This might include fraud, theft, or a crime involving deceit. Crimes or acts involving physical violence or a “substantial or repeated disregard for the health, safety or welfare of the public” could also lead to a license suspension or revocation. Licensees are allowed to appeal any administrative action taken by the Board.

Q: I am purchasing a company that holds a “B” license and have two questions: 1) Can I keep the license number? 2) What is the best way to put myself on the license as RMO?

A: As we discussed, since you’re purchasing 100% of the stock, you can keep the existing license number. In order for you to become the new Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) you must file an Application to Replace the Qualifying Individual. Since you already hold a “B” license, no testing will be required.

Another thing you will want to look at from a licensing standpoint is the listing of officers. Based on my experience, most sellers want off the license immediately and most buyers want to officially add their own officers as soon as possible. Soon after the purchase is finalized, I would recommend filing an amended Statement of Information with the Secretary of State and the form to report the current officers of the corporation with the CSLB.

Q: I will be applying for my “C-27” contractors license soon. There was some question at the company where I worked regarding whether a landscaper can build a swimming pool. Could you clarify this for me?

A: B&P Code 7027.5 specifies that a landscape contractor can “contract for the construction of a swimming pool, spa or hot tub provided that the improvements are included within the landscape project that the landscape contractor is supervising and the construction…is subcontracted to a single licensed contractor holding a “C-53” (swimming pool) classification”.