Removing Lead-base paints, “C-33”, LLC & DBA’s, Carpet Cleaning and Apprenticeship licensing

It took years to become contractor’s law but the popularity of the LLC has soared among California firms. We have answers for LLC’s and clarify a contractor’s question about reciprocity. We’ve helped people through the application process for more than 25 years but get called out on the ‘carpet’ for the first time by an applicant’s question…

Q:  I am a licensed “C-10” (Electrical) contractor. I recently formed a Limited Liability Company (LLC) with a partner. Do I have to change my license to LLC in CA, or can I file a dba for my LLC under my Sole Proprietor license name?

A:  Contractor’s licenses in CA are issued to a specific entity, i.e. Sole Proprietor, Corporation, LLC, Partnership, etc. Therefore, any time you change your entity type you need to notify the CSLB by re-applying for a new license; you cannot just add a dba to your Sole Proprietor license.  There are certain circumstances that allow you to re-assign your number to the new entity, which in your case would require that your Sole Owner license be in good standing and that you own at least 51% of the LLC.

Q:  Can a Nevada Licensed Contractor do work/contract in California? I read that there is a reciprocal agreement between the two States.

A:  No, a Nevada licensed contractor cannot do work or contract without a contractor license issued by CA.  Yes, there is reciprocity between Nevada and California for certain classifications so there is a possibility that the Qualifier can waive the Trade Exam, but he/she would still need to go through the license application process.

Q:  I’m currently a certified (Class “A”) General Contractor in Florida. In an effort to qualify the company that I work for in your state, I want to obtain a “C-33” (Painting and Decorating) License in the state of California. In looking at your “C-33” classification, it does not depict the total scope of work that our company performs. Since it is imperative that we comply with your state’s license board requirements, I would appreciate any effort on your part to clarify the following questions for me. Our company performs the following work: pressure washing, abrasive blast cleaning, lead removal, bridge, tunnel, and industrial painting, including platform installations in order to perform our work. Are all the above-mentioned tasks covered under the “C-33” classification? Thank you in advance.

A:  All of the work described, with the exception of lead paint removal, can be performed by the “C-33” Painting and Decorating classification in CA.  In order to perform the lead paint removal you will need to contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to become certified in lead abatement.  The CSLB does not regulate that portion of the work.

Q:  We are forming a new company that will provide a variety of services that will require several specialty classifications.  One of the services we will offer is carpet cleaning.  Does that require a specialty license, and if so, what classification does that fall under?

A:  Carpet cleaning does not require a contractor’s license because you aren’t installing anything. 

Q:  I just completed a plumbing Apprenticeship program and now I want to get my plumbing (“C-36”) contractor’s license.  Can you help me with that?

A:  Thank you for contacting us.  The CSLB will give you up to three years of credit towards the four-year experience requirement for completing a formal Apprenticeship program.  In addition to the Certificate of Completion you will also need to show at least one year of experience in the plumbing trade.  If you can do that, then yes, we would be happy to assist you with the process.