Green Tech Licensing, CA General rules

‘Green’ technology is helping revitalize building. Who can properly install that solar energy system may unexpectedly create new profits for some contractors. As in most economic downturns businesses look for new ways to work, and contractors are ‘generally’ on the ‘cutting edge’ when it comes to innovation…

Q: I have a General building license and want to apply for a “C-46” classification. I’ve been told this is required in order to perform solar installations. Do I have any other alternatives?

A: One alternative is to simply use your existing “B” license. Among the Board’s many Rules and Regulations is 832.62, which states: “An active solar energy system constitutes use of more than two unrelated building trades or crafts within the meaning of Section 7057 of the B&P Code”. In plain English, this means the CSLB has determined that general builders can perform solar work. For your information, this same Board Rule allows an “A” contractor to install solar energy systems.

If you still want to apply for the “C-46”, you will need to complete an application for additional classification and document 4 years full time experience in this trade.

Q: We’re in the process of applying for a new contractor’s license and know we can’t license a Limited Liability Company (LLC). What about a Limited Partnership (LP)? Would you please confirm that a LP could obtain a contractor’s license in CA?

A: There is no problem licensing a LP; however, keep in mind that the general partner of this entity CANNOT be a LLC.

Q: An attorney who said you could answer my contractor licensing questions referred me. As a “B” contractor I know I need to handle projects involving two unrelated trades. I would like to form a new corporation and install cabinets. I have been doing his type of work for many years and would like to know the best way to proceed.

A: By definition, a “B” contractor can install cabinets (“C-6”) or framing (“C-5”). In most cases, the General builder must handle two or more unrelated trades on each project; however, rough and finish carpentry are exceptions. This being said, you may still apply for a “C-6” to conduct business under a second name.

Q: I would like to obtain a “B” and “C-33” (painting) license. I have been working in the building trades for over 20 years and figured it’s about time to get my own license. I want to be in a position to build a few custom homes when the economy turns around (by next year?), and maybe do some small painting jobs until then. I have a fairly good idea what to do but would like to discuss how best to proceed and avoid delays with the licensing process.

A: Since you can only apply for one classification at a time, you may want to go for the “C-33” first. The requirements are as follows: When filing your application for original contractor’s license, make sure you show 4 or more years experience in the painting trade. I recommend submitting the required $12,500 Contractor’s Bond, Exemption from Workers Compensation (if applicable), $400 Application/Initial License fee and Open-Book Asbestos exam before taking the test.

Once the CSLB accepts your application, they will send you notification of a test date and a “Live Scan Request” (for fingerprinting). Handle this immediately since these prints can take weeks to clear the Department Of Justice and FBI. Pass the tests and you’re ready to go. Once a license number is issued you can apply for the “B” classification. Don’t hesitate to call back if you encounter any problems.