Home Improvement Contracts and Working with Suspended or Expired Licenses

While the Legislature writes the rules governing contractor’s licensing in black and white, reading and understanding exactly how they will be interpreted can be confusing. That’s why experts are hired to avoid mistakes. But first a contractor playing by the rules has issues with some others who aren’t…

Q: I’m a licensed contractor and read your column regularly but don’t recall seeing this issue covered.    I went through my local newspaper and decided to check all the contractors that advertise in the business section.  I found several that had license Suspensions and some that had Expired nearly a year ago (he also had a cancelled Bond).  I know the CSLB does sting operations to catch individuals who are unlicensed but maybe they should look at “licensed” contractors who are operating illegally.  Any thoughts on what I can do as a contractor who is active with the proper Bond in place?


A:  Thank you for the email and for reading the column.  You’re correct, in that the Contractors Board regularly conducts sting operations to catch unlicensed operators; however, these same operations can also catch contractors whose license is

Suspended or Expired.  Since I do not know who these contractors are, it is possible these suspensions are temporary due to issues with a Bond or Worker’s Compensation Insurance.  Sometimes, if the suspension is only a few weeks old, a Contractor’s Bond or Worker’s Comp certificate may have been sent to the Board but not yet processed.  On the other hand, an Expired license (“for nearly a year”) and Bond cancellation would almost certainly mean the contractor has decided this by choice.  Either way, none of these folks should be contracting until their license is active and in good standing.


You could file a complaint with the CSLB or write a letter to the Board’s Enforcement Division.  They may contact the offending contractor or may even “invite” him to their next sting.  It would help if you provide a copy of the newspaper ad and any other information you think will help with their investigation (i.e. if you happen to know of any job he is working on)


Q:  In your Capital Connection articles for the week of 11/18/13, you address the impact of AB2337 on home improvement sales contracts.  My company is a remodeling corporation with our CEO holding a class B license.  We maintain two salespeople who are registered as Home Improvement salespeople with the CSLB.  In reading your article, I am trying to determine if under this law I am going to need to have my project lead carpenters registered with the CSLB as well.  They are production employees that also oversee the project when the CEO is not onsite.  While they do not handle sales, they do manage other employees on site, our subcontractors, and schedule materials as part of the project oversight.

Thank you for the clarification, I appreciate being able to call for more help.

A:  Actually that bill is related to construction consultants needing a contractor’s license in order to handle Home Improvement Contracts.  The bill was not related to HIS (Salespersons).  As long as your carpenters are working under your ‘B’ license you are good to go!