Using Solar in a Name, Out of State Qualifiers and Family Waiver Limits

What’s in a name? We hold ‘class’ for this ‘general’ answer on contractor regulation.  Another Lone Star contractor hopes to ‘address’ a question on long-distance ‘supervision’. We find it unfortunate to inform a daughter that despite the loss her worthy ambition is not experience in applying for a license number…

Q:  Our business name has the word “Solar” as part of it.  We currently have the “B” (General Building), the “C-10” (Electrical), and the “C-46” (Solar) classifications.  We need to replace our Qualifier but our new employee has only taken the exams for the “B” and the “C-10”.  We don’t really need the “C-46” classification so we are going to let it drop off of our license.  When I called the CSLB to inform them of our situation, the person I spoke with said we would need to change our name to eliminate “Solar” since we are no longer a “C-46” contractor.  Is there any way around this?  We’ve been in business for over 20 years and don’t want to lose our company name.

A:  It depends. A company can only use the word “Solar” in the generic term if they hold the “C-46” classification.  For example, if your business name is “ABC Solar”, you would be required to have a “C-46” classification on your license.  However, you are allowed to use the word “Solar” in your business name if you have either the “A” (General Engineering), “B” (General Building), or “C-10” (Electrical) as long as it is descriptive to your classification.  Such as, “ABC Solar Electrical” (“C-10”), or “ABC Solar Construction” (“B”).


Q:  We are applying for a new license for our Texas Limited Liability Company (LLC) and we have an employee who has been with us for over 20 years and is involved in all of our projects.  He sometimes works 60 hours a week.  We are wanting to obtain a California license, but reading the regulations, we are wondering if he should use a California address based on the need to “supervise”, or is it okay to use his actual address on the application, which is in Texas?  Will he still meet the requirements of an RME if he doesn’t have a California address?

A:  It is perfectly acceptable for an Responsible Managing Employee or Responsible Managing Officer to reside out of State and still fulfill their duties as RME/RMO.  There is no requirement for a Qualifier to be on every job site.  Your RME is required, per Board rule 823, to be working at least 32 hours per week or 80% of the company’s operating time.

Q:  My Dad recently passed away and I want to take over his Contractor’s license.  I haven’t technically been an employee but I’ve been involved in his business doing estimating, design, coordinating meetings with other contractors, etc.  This is all while holding my full time job as a real estate agent.  How do I get his license number under my name?  I don’t want to have to take any tests.

A:  Unfortunately you will not qualify for the license unless you have four years of full time work experience (within the last ten).  Further, you will need to document at least one year of practical experience, meaning hands-on.  The CSLB does not consider estimating, design, or coordinating meetings with other contractors, as relevant work experience for qualifying for a Contractor’s License.  They need to see that you’ve performed and/or supervised the work in the trade you are applying for. I’m sorry to hear of your loss.