Family Waiver, Signing for Experience, “C-20” and Adding Inc. To Your Name

Among the best advice I received as a kid was ‘documentation’. Keeping good records is important. For current and future contractors that’s also always going to be true, especially when counting on ‘experience’ in a license application. We also ‘incorporate’ a good lesson for all Soles to remember…

Q: I’m going retire and my son wants to take over my license. I heard there is a CA “family waiver” option where he would be able to keep my license number and not have to take the exams. How does that process work and what are the requirements?

A: In order to qualify for a Family Waiver, he would need to make the request in writing, and your son will need to show that he has been employed by you and actively engaged in your business for five out of the last seven years. He will likely be required to provide W-2’s to document this employment.  The CSLB will also verify that you have carried Worker’s Compensation attached to your license for those five years. Keep in mind that no Waiver request is automatic, the Registrar has complete discretion with regards to these requests.  Contact our office if you’d like assistance with the process.

Q: I have worked for a General Contractor for over five years. I typically do all of the carpentry work for him and I’d like to obtain my own “C-6” license.  Do I have to have my employer sign off on my experience?

A:  Anyone who has firsthand knowledge of your work experience can sign your Certification of Work Experience page.  He or she must have actually observed your work.  Examples other than your employer include fellow employees, other journeyman, contractor, union representative, building inspector, architect or engineer.


Q:  I let my “C-20” (HVAC) license expire two years ago because I went to work for a General Building company.  My company wants to add me as a Responsible Managing Employee (RME) and use my “C-20” qualification on their license.  Do I need to re-activate my license first in order to be the RME on my company’s license?  Am I required to oversee all of our “C-20” projects?

A:  No, it is not necessary to re-activate your license in order to add the HVAC “C-20” to your company’s license.  Once your license expires, you have up to five years to act as the Qualifying Individual on a license without the need to re-test.

An RME is required to work a minimum of 32 hours a week or 80% of the company’s operating time, whichever is less.  You are required to be a bona-fide employee and actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the company.  As long as you meet these requirements, you are in compliance, which many times means that you cannot oversee all projects.

Q:  I have a Sole Proprietor license and I recently Incorporated under the same name, just with “Inc” at the end.  How do I change my business name on my contractor’s license to reflect the “Inc”?

A:  Contrary to what many people think, a business entity changing, such as a Sole Proprietor to a Corporation, is not as simple as a name change with the CSLB.  You will need to apply for “new” contractor’s license in the name of your corporation.  As long as you own at least 51% of the corporation you can request that your Sole Owner license be re-issued to the corporation.