Defining “Incidental & Supplemental”, Contracts & Qualifying Multiple Licenses

While the law in contractor’s regulation is black and white, how those words are interpreted has always been a ‘gray’ area where expert advice is often advised. Can a Sole Proprietor keep some parts of his license active while also qualifying someone else?  Maybe, maybe not as we all learn from his question…

Q:  I frequently read your articles and often times you refer to certain trades being “incidental and supplemental” to the classification that a contractor holds.  How does the CSLB define incidental and supplemental?  It seems that contractors could use these terms broadly to perform work out of the scope of their license.


A:  Board Rule 831 states “for purposes of Section 7059, work in other

classifications is ‘incidental and supplemental’ to the work for which a specialty contractor is licensed if that work is essential to accomplish the work in which the contractor is classified.  A specialty contractor may use subcontractors to complete the incidental and supplemental work, or he may use his own employees to do so.”


Q:  I have a CA Contractor’s License with 3 classifications: “C-8”(Concrete), “C-27” (Landscaping), and a “C-29” (Masonry).  It is now a Sole Proprietor license.  I want to be a Responsible Managing Employee (RME) for a new corporation but the company only needs the “C-27”.  I know that since I’m an RME I am going to have de-activate the “C-27” classification on my individual license, but is there a way to still keep the other two classifications active?


A:  There are limited circumstances in which a RME can qualify two active licenses at the same time however the situation you described doesn’t appear to fall under those circumstances.  There is no way to inactivate particular classifications on a license while keeping the others active.  That being said, you will be required to inactivate your Sole Owner license in order to act as an RME for a new corporation.

Q:  We have made some structural changes to our corporation that involves adding several Officers.  We have already updated the Secretary of State with the changes.  We plan to file the changes with the CSLB to update our license as well, but it is my understanding that each of the new Officers will be required to get fingerprinted, so the process of adding them to the license could take several weeks.  In the interim, are those individuals permitted to sign contracts?

A:  To the best of my knowledge, your company ultimately decides who has the authority to sign contracts.  I am not aware of any CSLB law or rule that regulates who can and cannot sign contracts on behalf of the company.   With that said, as long as your corporation approves of the new Officers signing contracts, have them sign away!