Adding Specialty Classes, Partnerships & Corporate Licensing

Could you bid more work if you qualify for a new specialty based on your experience in another class? Can a corporation ‘give’ its license to another company? Must a partnership register with the Secretary of State? A wide range of questions and answers in this edition of the “Capitol Connection.” Don’t forget you can always find more on these and other contractor’s questions by keyword search at…

Q: A question has come up about what would be involved in ‘transferring’ our existing license (“ABC”) to our new company (“XYZ). How easy would it be to do this? What would be the timeframe for completion?

A: Since ABC is a corporate license it would be very difficult to transfer the number to XYZ. The only way this could happen is if the ABC Corporation were merged into XYZ. Otherwise, XYZ will need to apply for its own license.

If you want to retain the ABC license you will need to locate a new Qualifier, either a Responsible Managing Employee (RME) or Responsible Managing Officer (RMO). If ABC will cease operations, the Qualifier can transfer their status to the new license. As of this writing, it should take you less than a month to secure a new contractor’s license number.

Q: I have held a sole owner license with the “C-35” Lath and Plaster for over 12 years. Will the state board consider a waiver of the “C-9”? To me, Lath Plaster and Drywall are pretty closely related. Thank you.

A: Code Section 7065.3 allows contractors like you to apply for an additional class and request a waiver of the trade exam. As I have mentioned in prior columns, this code section has been around since 1990 and allows both general and specialty contractors to apply for one or more additional classifications if the new class is closely related to the present class held by the contractor.

Applying for an exam waiver requires a good deal of paperwork (such as project lists) and there is no assurance the Board will grant your request. This being said, during my 20 years handling or reviewing these “7065.3” applications, I have seen the Board grant a number of additional classifications with no testing. I have accumulated an unofficial list of those classes that are “closely related” so anyone considering this type of application can contact my office for an expert opinion and anticipated chance of success.

Q: I’ve formed a General Partnership and applied for a contractor’s license. I received a reject letter from the CSLB telling me I need a Federal Employer Identification Number. How do I go about getting this? Do I need to register with the Secretary of State like a corporation?

A: A Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) can be applied for by phone or online through the IRS. 
Once issued, you should provide this nine-digit number to the CSLB. In turn, they should accept your application for processing. It may only take a few minutes to complete the online form, and my understanding is that the FEIN will be issued soon thereafter. General Partnerships are not required to register with the Secretary of State; however, they do have this option.