General CA License, Bankruptcy & Disassociation

Doing something is different than watching it being done. This is especially true for contractors hoping to use ‘experience’ in obtaining or upgrading a license. We go for ‘broke’ in helping answer another contractor, before ‘signing’ off our last inquiry in this Capitol Connection…


Q:  I currently have a sole owner “B” license that’s been Inactive for years.  The company that I work for holds the “C-21” (Demolition) and “A” (General Engineering) classifications.  The current Qualifier is retiring and I’m in the process of purchasing the business from him.  I applied to replace him as the Qualifier and the CSLB approved me to sit for the “C-21” exam, but determined that I’m not qualified for the General Engineering classification even though I’ve worked for the company for over 5 years.  Isn’t overseeing “A” projects for over 5 years enough to qualify to sit for the trade test?


A:  When it comes to experience, the CSLB will want to see some hands-on Journeyman or Supervisory experience in your work history.  We suggest that you either reword your Experience Record form to better reflect your oversight of paid projects or try and work out an agreement whereby the seller remains on the license so you don’t lose the “A” classification.  If the Board will still not accept your revised Experience Certification, we suggest working to gain that additional experience so you can re-apply at a later date.  Also, in the meantime you can add your “B” classification onto the license with no testing required!


Q: I would like to obtain my Contractor’s License in CA and NV, but I recently filed a personal bankruptcy.  Will this prevent me from getting a license in those States?

A:  According to Shauna a personal bankruptcy alone should not prevent you from getting a Contractor’s License in California or Nevada.  There is a question on the NV application about whether you’ve filed bankruptcy. The Nevada Board will require that you submit your bankruptcy documents with your application but it’s not often a cause for denial.

The California license application addresses bankruptcies if you check “Yes” to question #10.  You’re required to attach a statement identifying all judgments (pending or on record), liens, past due unpaid bills, claims, or suits and a detailed explanation of the situation, including the names and addresses of the parties involved.  If the obligation was or is being discharged in bankruptcy, a copy of the filing and a copy of the creditors list are required.

While ultimately you should be able to get a license, the bankruptcy will adversely impact the amount you’ll have to pay for a license bond in each state (i.e. because most bonding is based on your credit score).


Q:  Our Company is hiring a new Qualifying individual.  He works for another company but will be leaving in order to become our Responsible Managing Employee (RME).  My question:  At what point must he leave the current license in order to become the Qualifier on our license?  Also what happens to this present employer’s license after he leaves?

A:  Your new RME should rightly Disassociate from his current employer’s license effective the last day of employment.  He will not be able to officially become your Qualifier until he has been removed from his present license. His  employer will then have 90-days from the date of Disassociation to qualify someone new.

Q:  Our Corporation has a CA contractor’s license with a fictitious business name.  When advertising or signing contracts do we need to use the full corporate name and dba name?

A:  You can use the FULL name (corporate and dba) or just the fictitious business name (dba) alone for advertising and contract purposes. In addition, you should always display the license number in advertising or signage.