Business Names, RME Limit and Joint Ventures Contractor Licensing

You can be licensed and still not be able to use ‘contractor’ in your name! I will ‘clarify’ an answer for a “C-9”. It’s one for all and all for one in a Joint Venture and pay extra attention as we ‘demolish’ the question on RME’s for another contractor…

Q:  We have a Joint Venture (JV) license made up of three companies.  We want to obtain another license number with a different business name, but with the same three entities.  Will the CSLB allow the same Joint Venture partners to have two separate license numbers with different business names?

A:  Yes, the CSLB allows for Joint Venture applicants to have two separate license numbers with two different business names even if they are made up of the same entities.

Q:  We are a “C-21” (Building Moving/Demolition) Contractor and we recently hired an employee who previously had a license for the “A” (General Engineering), “B” (General Building), and “C-8” (Concrete) classifications.  His license expired in 2014.  We’d like to use him as a Responsible Managing Employee (RME) to add those classifications to our license.  I assume we need to reactivate his license and then what paperwork would be required after that point?

A:  In fact, you are not required to reactivate his license prior to adding him as the RME on your license for the three additional classifications.  Actually, an RME is only permitted to be on one active license at a time, so if you were to reactivate his license and then apply for him to be added to your license as an RME, the CSLB would respond requesting that he Inactivate his license.

With regards to the required paperwork you would need to submit the Application for Additional Classification.  Only one classification can be requested a time, and an individual can only have one application in process at a time so you will need to complete three separate applications, and space them out accordingly.

Q:  I applied for a “C-9” (drywall) license recently and the technician at the State who is handling my application contacted me and informed me that I cannot use the word “Contractor” in my business name.  When I let her know I had already registered my business name with the CA Secretary of State and it was approved, she said I would need to come up with a DBA (Doing Business As) name.  How is it my name is acceptable with the Secretary of State but not the CSLB?

A:  There are many times when a business name is acceptable with the Secretary of State but not the CSLB, however I think there may have a been a bit of a misunderstanding in your case.  Anyone applying for a Contractor’s License can use the word “Contractor” in their business name provided it meets B&P Code Section 7059.1, which requires the name style to be in line with the classification you hold.  If a word in your business name is vague, it needs to be clarified.  For example, a drywall contractor cannot use the business name “ABC Contractor Inc.”, but “ABC Contractor Inc. dba ABC Drywall Contractor” or simply “ABC Drywall Contractor” would be acceptable since you are describing the contracting work you are licensed to do.