License Number Advertising, Experience Credit & LLC Insurance

While it’s certain contractors need to be licensed, some other ‘players’ must also ‘ante up’ if they want to be in the construction ‘game’. What seems like a simple mistake, you might also be making, could leave another contractor in ‘suspense’ if he doesn’t act quickly to correct it, because, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, ‘ignorance of the law is no excuse’…

Q: I am a construction consultant.  I don’t do any building work, but basically design the structure, make sure that the job runs smoothly and on budget, and I sometimes arrange for contractors and their crews to perform the job.  I don’t have any experience in the field but I do have a degree in Architecture.  I was recently told that I need a contractor’s license to consult on these projects.  My first question, am I required to be licensed?  And secondly, how would I obtain a license with no field experience?


A: Yes, construction consultants are required to be licensed with the CSLB. B&P Code Section 7026.1 addresses this issue and states that ‘anyone who oversees bids and construction projects and/or arranges subcontractor work and schedules is in fact acting in the capacity of a contractor and is required to be licensed.’

To answer the second part of your question, you would not be able to qualify for a contractor’s license with no field experience.  In order to qualify for a license you are required to show four years of full-time work experience in the trade you are applying for, with one of those years being hands-on field experience.  However, the CSLB will give you credit for your architectural degree.  Without the hands-on experience though, you may want to consider hiring an individual who does have the General Building experience to act as your qualifying individual.


Q: I have a landscaping license in CA and I have the phrase “Licensed and Bonded” on my business cards.  I recently read an article online that stated that it was against CSLB policy to refer to your bond in advertising.  What is the penalty for this?  I’ve unknowingly had this on my business cards for years.


A:   Obviously my first suggestion would be to get new business cards printed without the reference to your bond ASAP.  Any reference to your bond in advertisements is grounds for suspension of your contractor’s license.  I am not aware of any further penalties.

Q:  We are in the process of obtaining a Contractor’s License for our company, which is an Limited Liability Company or LLC.  We submitted our insurance certificate to the CSLB and they rejected it stating that our insurance carrier is not acceptable.  Can you shed some light on this for us?  We are not sure what they are looking for.

A:   B&P Code section 7071.19 (c) requires that; LLC liability insurance policies be written by insurers that are “duly licensed by this state or an eligible surplus line insurer.”  According to the legal office of the California Department of Insurance (CDI), the only insurers that are duly licensed by the State of California are admitted insurers that are licensed by CDI.  You can call us for further assistance or visit the CSLB’s website for a searchable list of approved carriers at