Suspension, Retroactive License Renewal & What “B” Contractors Can Do

We help an attorney better understand how interpretation of contractor’s rules may yield a ‘general’ exception in one regulation.  In the ‘good old days’ one branch of government might not always share the same information. In this century technology has brought instant access and a uniformity that keeps all the agencies that contractor’s work with on ‘the same page’…


Q: My client hired a “B” contractor to remodel a 2-story home plus add a room addition.  He hired various subcontractors but handled the exterior framing and drywall himself.  I read online that “a general building contractor shall not take a prime contract for any project involving trades other than framing or carpentry unless the prime contract requires at least two unrelated building trades or crafts other than framing or carpentry”.  This is a bit confusing but it appears that this contractor should have performed one more trade to be legal.  Am I missing something?  Did he do anything wrong?


A:  In the case you describe, this contractor appears to have acted properly within the definition of Section 7057.  By taking a contract that “involves two or more unrelated trades”, he has the option of subcontracting all aspects of the job; self-performing a portion of the project; or handling the entire contract himself.  This is based on the assumption, or interpretation, that a typical remodel/room addition would certainly involve at least a dozen trades or crafts.


The General Builder definition can be a bit confusing and may seem contradictory at times especially when it comes to the “B” being able to take a prime or subcontract for framing or carpentry only.  This would appear to only be one trade; however, “B” licensees are allowed this one exemption from the “two or more trade” requirement if handling rough framing (“C-5”) or finish carpentry (“C-6”).


Q:  Our license is due to expire at the end of the month.  We just recently discovered that our corporation is suspended with the Secretary of State.  Will we still be able to renew our contractor’s license?  If we can’t get the license renewed by the expiration date, is there any way we can request a retroactive renewal once the company is back in good standing?  And lastly, is this something that you can help us with?

A:   After inquiring at the Secretary of State (SOS), I was able to find out that your corporation is suspended due to an issue with the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).  The majority of the time this has to do with failure to file/pay taxes on time.

The CSLB will not renew your contractor’s license while your corporation is suspended with the Secretary of State.  You will need to resolve the suspension in order to renew the license.

In rare instances the CSLB will renew a license retroactively and primarily the reason for doing so is if the renewal did not get processed based on an error by the CSLB.  According to B&P Code Section 7141.5, the registrar may grant a retroactive renewal of a license if the licensee files a petition within 90-days of the renewal date and show that “the failure to renew was due to circumstances beyond the control of the licensee.”

If you need assistance with this process we would be ready to help you or anyone who may find themselves in the same fix.