Specialty Licenses, Generals & Advertising DBA’s

I will ‘mow’ down a common misconception about adding ‘landscaping’ work to your General license. Two other questions help clarify how and when a ‘special’ waiver may be obtained by “A”, “B” or “C” contractors. First, we share the rules on when a DBA is appropriate in advertising a business name…

Q: I am familiar with the CSLB’s advertising guidelines after having reviewed these on your website Online Resources page. Nevertheless, there still seems to be some uncertainty associated with these statutes (B&P 7029.6 and 7030.5).

Our interest is to simplify our advertising whereby both our companies can advertise under the same ‘DBA’. Two questions: will the Board allow two companies with the same business name? Will we need to list the FULL company name plus the DBA? I know we’ll likely need to register any changes with our local government.

A: I’m glad you found these guidelines useful. In answer to your first question, YES, in general the Board will allow the same fictitious business name (DBA) for two companies. However, it is very unlikely the Board would allow a General Partnership (GP) or a Limited Partnership (LP) to list a ‘DBA’ as is the case with one of your business entities. In response to your second question, NO, you’re not required to list the full company name – only the “DBA’ portion.

Q: We’ve had a “B” license for many years. Our interest is to secure a “C-27” class to handle landscaping. Do you feel the CSLB would issue a waiver of this class under 7065.3?

A: According to Section 7065.3, the CSLB will look at whether a Specialty (“C”) classification is “closely related” to the class presently held by the contractor. Or as it relates to “A” or “B” contractors, the applicant will need to apply for a classification “which is a significant component of the licensed contractors construction business as determined by the Registrar”. While current law allows for an “add class” waiver, I do not believe the CSLB would grant a waiver for the landscaping classification.

Q: I have a large roofing company client who wants to add the “B” to his existing “C-39” license. He has experience in carpentry, HVAC, electrical and plumbing while performing commercial re-roof projects. I would like to get him an exam waiver under B&P 7065.3. Can you help with this and do you think the CSLB would approve such a request?

A: I have yet to see the Board approve a waiver for a General classification when the present class held is a ”C” specialty. As I responded to the prior questioner, the classification being applied for must be sufficiently related to the class presently held by the contractor.

When 7065.3 was added to the Board’s statutes in 1990, its “general” purpose was to allow “A” or “B” contractors to secure a waiver of a related additional class that had been performed or supervised on a regular basis. For General builders, this would likely include (but not be limited to) Plumbing, Plastering, Carpentry, Painting, Drywall, or Roofing. For General engineering contractors, this would include Sanitation Systems, Pipeline or Earthwork and Paving for example.